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Issue 47 - The whisky forum

Whisky Magazine Issue 47
April 2005


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The whisky forum

Whether you are bemused, confused, excited or delighted, share your views and opinions with other Whisky Magazine readers.

Winning letter
The best letter in each issue wins a bottle of Berry's Blue Hanger 25 year old. Always impeccably turned out, just like the gentleman it is named after, Berry's Blue Hanger offers soft citrus aromas intermingled with leather, custard and pears, leading to an elegant butterscotch and rich orange peel palate with a dry smoky finale. One to ponder.

Aperitif Anyone?

We often see whiskies promoted as an aperitif or a digestif, but how does one go about deciding which is which, and does it really matter? To research this phenomenon (I just love conducting research on whisky), I descended into the inner sanctums of my whisky library (with dram in hand) to seek out some answers.

Sure enough, several books claim that certain whiskies are good as either an aperitif or digestif – without reference to why.

According to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, ‘aperitif' is a French term meaning ‘an alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite.' A ‘digestif' is also a French term for “something which promotes good digestion, especially a drink taken after a meal, e.g., a liqueur or brandy.'

Why haven't similar words been created in the English language? Are the French the only ones that drink before or after a meal?

Traditional aperitifs are usually wine or spirit based and are relatively dry compared to digestifs. The most obvious difference between the two is the level of sweetness. Too much sugar in an aperitif can ruin an appetite, but after a m...

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