Fermented grain mash. That doesn’t sound remotely appetizing, but those three little words actually create an entire world, lifestyle even, around a delicious liquid. A liquid that has been celebrated, prohibited, and revitalized over the course of history. We’re talking whisky, or whiskey depending on your preference.
It’s commonplace within San Diego to hear about wine and craft beer, but whisky? Oh yes, whisky is quickly becoming the hottest drink around town, and it’s no surprise that whisky bars are popping up all over to accommodate the developing thirst.
Scotch, bourbon, Tennessee, rye, Irish… what’s the difference? With whisky popping up all over the place, it’s a good idea to know some basic facts about the differences among whisky’s. That way, next time you order a drink, you won’t have to pretend like you know what you’re talking about, you’ll be a whisky pro.
Scotch is simple whisky produced 100% in Scotland, from malted barley.
Bourbon is made from a grain mixture, with at least 51% from corn, and must be made in the U.S.
Tennessee, if you can’t already guess, is a bourbon that must be made in the state of Tennessee. What makes Tennessee so special? Not sure, except they make excellent whisky.
Rye, is made with rye, but the Canadians, who were the first to make the stuff, didn’t set particular rules about it, so there are few regulations. In the U.S., it must have at least 51% rye in it.
Irish whisky is produced in Ireland, but other than that has no real rules concerning its development, so there’s much diversity among the drink.
Fantastic, now you’re acquainted with the types, but are you acquainted with the culture? Of course, you could drink whisky wearing whatever you want, in any type of glass, anywhere, but that’s like saying you’re going to drink wine in a mug, while eating pizza in a junkyard. It’s possible, but it doesn’t quite honor the experience the way you could.
Tweed coats, lace gloves, pressed pants, crisp dresses, are among some suggestions for attire. Of course this isn’t the roaring ‘20s anymore, but still, classy is always an elegant choice.
It’s imperative to note, that whisky is not for chugging. Rather, whisky is for leisurely sipping. One’s intention should be to savor each flavor, the way the craftsmen intended. It’s up to you if you prefer to drink your whisky neat, meaning no ice, on the rocks – with ice, or mixed with other liquids. It’s always fun to drink whisky with a whisky stone, basically just one large ice cube that keeps the drink nice and cool, without watering it down due to melting quickly.
That’s quite enough information to get you started, now you just have to pick out a place to go enjoy some whisky.
“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough,” well said, Mark Twain.
Well, good thing there’s a never-ending supply of not only good, but excellent, whisky at the Palace Bar. It’s only fitting that the romantically historical Horton Grand Hotel, where the Palace Bar resides, should house a bar befitting its class and style. To go along with the classical ambiance and satisfying drinks, there’s also live music to be enjoyed every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings from 7-10 p.m. at the Palace Bar. Grab your cigars, don your favorite whisky attire, and join us any night of the week for the ultimate whisky experience.