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top 5 whisky myths busted

Jun 3, 2014

We've heard them all in our travels around the world. But there are some whisky myths that just keep coming back like a bad penny. For the love of whisky and all things proper we implore, don't ever let anyone say any of the below in your presence and help us bust these whisky myths once and for all…

1. Whisky is for men

There are great many talented women behind the world’s favourite whiskies, that includes anCnoc’s of course, but there are even more on the other side of the dram. From Japan to Brazil, from Sweden to Australia there are women who not only love great single malt whisky but know a great deal about it. One of our favourite whisky bloggers said:

“It still baffles me that there is a common misconception from men and women of all ages that women don't - or even in some cases, shouldn't - drink whisky. This is a beautiful spirit with so many fantastic varieties that I always feel a bit sad when people put these beliefs on it. Whisky is for everyone!”

She's a girl of course. Miss Whisky.

2. All whisky tastes the same

There is a tremendous variety of flavour in the whisky world. Let's take the peaty versus unpeated malts, like anCnoc Peter Arkle 'Warehouses' and anCnoc Flaughter. These two relatively young expressions do have a common denominator in the form of the Knockdhu Distillery style but if you compare them side by side, they are vastly different, there is no question about that. The former is light and clean and the latter assertive and smoky. And then, even within the Peaty Collection we recently introduced there are subtle differences in the peating levels (expressed in ppm phenol) making Flaughter, Rutter and Tushkar noticeably different despite being clustered in the same style. Click here to find out more about anCnoc Peaty.

What's more, spirit from every Distillery has its own unique character thanks to the equipment, the production methods, the location, the ingredients and so on. Without getting too technical, just think about Knockdhu surrounded by fields and gentle rolling hills and compare this to, say,Pulteney Distillery in Caithness sitting right on the rugged North Sea coast. These different locations create different maturation conditions and thus have a profound impact on the finished product. It's easy to see, just taste them side-by-side.

3. Scotch whisky can come from anywhere in the world

This is not so much a myth as a very common mistake which we find a bit baffling. When people tell us about whisky made elsewhere in the world, they often call it 'Scotch'. Well, it's in the name. For a whisky to be called Scotch it has to be made in Scotland. Let's do away with modesty, our country holds a special place on the distilling map of the world and the term Scotch whisky is ours and ours alone. Which doesn't mean there is not great whiskies made out there from across the seas. We occasionally indulge in a drop of American bourbon, Irish whiskey or even Japanese whisky and we'd encourage you to do the same but when it comes to Scotch there’s only one country in the world that crafts this whisky. Scotland.

4. You either love peaty whisky or you hate it

In the recent months we've met literally hundreds of people who tried our new peaty range and came over to the dark side, even though they had had previous experience with smoky drams they didn't care for an awful lot. Peaty whiskies can be light or heavy, sweet or dry, fruity or malty. So if you've tasted a peat monster in the past and the memory still makes you cringe a little, don't give up, there is definitely still hope for you to shine a light on your dark side.

5. Older is better

By now we feel like this myth should be well and truly done away with. But there are still people we meet on our journey who wouldn't touch young whiskies because they are 'not good enough'. The way we see it, whiskies are a bit like people. They all have something that makes them unique and interesting. Young whiskies often offer freshness, liveliness and a crystal clear, an unobstructed view of the distillery house style. We love younger whiskies and we love older whiskies, that's just the way we are.