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Issue 119 - Springtime in a glass

Whisky Magazine Issue 119
April 2014

 

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Springtime in a glass

Our man delves into how to enjoy your cocktail in relation to climate

Ah Britain in the springtime… there's a wonderful greenness to this country when the colder cloak of winter begins to recede. Daffodils sprout forth and the vibrancy of the trees and grass become apparent as daylight saving gives us a precious extra hour of sunshine. However, one thing it isn't is hot. It might be pleasantly warm and permitting of a T-shirt, but even in the heights of summer it rarely gets very hot – especially not in Scotland where most (but remember, not all!) of our whisky production takes place.

In fact, although it might feel so at the time, it also doesn't get that cold here either. As the name suggests, out temperate climate is quite mild and is responsible for the flora, fauna and food stuffs that are produced in these isles which of course includes whisky. This range of temperatures creates a steady and slow maturation, and allows the ageing of whiskies that can reach the venerable age of 60 plus years.

However, one thing to note is that it is much hotter outside of the UK (for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of traveling abroad). When it comes to world whiskies, they are playing on a very different ageing regime. We've all heard the tale that two years in Kentucky is akin to ten years in Campbeltown. However, frankly, this is not the case. Maturation is only in part to adsorption, absorption and the resulting evaporation. The greater diurnal and seasonal range in temperature no doubt has an impact on the maturation but it can als...

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