Whiskey 101

So how did I become “WhiskeyChick“, you ask? Simple. When I started blogging I was still working in the corporate world as a brand manager for a major software company, with my real name all over our company website. My first paid blogging gig was on an underground country music site called “DrunkenHillbilly”, and I, as well as the other members of that site, chose to use a pen-name in order to keep my personal life separate from my corporate life.

Since I was known to be a Jack Daniel’s fan, the other users suggested I go by “WhiskeyChick” and the name has just stuck with me ever since. As I’ve gotten older and more refined in my tastes, I’ve had the distinct honor of sharing some of the world’s finest distilled spirits with with an unbelievably talented list of musicians, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. In honor of those roots, here is a fun list of whiskey facts to read and share. Cheers!

Here's 40+ facts about whiskey you may not have known! #whiskey #whisky Share on X
Shauna WhiskeyChick Castorena - Music Blogger - Band Marketer

  • Angel’s share is the name given to the alcohol that evaporates from a cask as the whiskey is maturing in a warehouse. In Scotland and Ireland, this is approximately 2% of the contents of each cask each year, although this amount is higher in other countries with warmer climates.
  • The age on a bottle of whiskey refers to the number of years it was stored in the barrels before bottling. A whiskey stops maturing once it is bottled.
  • Top 5 Best Selling Whiskey Brands in the World are:
    1. Jack Daniel’s
    2. Johnnie Walker
    3. Chivas Regal
    4. Suntory
    5. Ballantine’s
  • There is a great debate over whether dropping an ice cube in your whiskey will disrupt its flavor, but most distillers agree that you should enjoy the spirit however you prefer.
  • Some experts recommend enjoying whiskey at room temperature as cooling it numbs the flavors slightly.
  • Nikola Tesla drank whiskey every day. If anything Tesla was a workaholic, not an alcoholic. Yet he drank whiskey every day, while he labeled tea and coffee as unhealthy stimulants. Tesla was also practically a vegetarian and he did not smoke. He thought whiskey would make him live longer.
  • Employees who work at Jack Daniels get a free bottle of Jack Daniels with their paychecks on the first Friday of every month.
  • Per capita the leading whiskey drinkers in the world are the French, followed by Uruguay and the USA!
  • India is the world’s largest producer and consumer of whiskey. However, distilled alcoholic beverages that are labelled as “whisky” in India are commonly blends based on neutral spirits that are distilled from fermented molasses with only a small portion consisting of traditional malt whisky, usually about 10 to 12 percent.
  • Whisky production represents second largest “money-making” industry in Scotland. On average, 34 bottles of whisky are exported from Scotland every second.
  • Whiskey is the official state beverage of Alabama.
  • In glass bottles it can survive unopened for 100 years, but it will not change its flavor.
  • An opened bottle of whisky can remain good for five years.
  • Most whiskies are sold at or near an alcoholic strength of 40% abv – although the strength can vary, and cask-strength whisky may have as much as twice that alcohol percentage.
  • Single Malt Whisky comes from a single distillery and a single grain. However, it is possible that it underwent maturing in multiple casks.
  • Blended Whisky is called Blended Whisky because of the mixture of Grain Whisky and multiple Single Malt Whiskies.
  • A Scotch Whisky must be made from malted barley or grain with the spirit aged in oak casks no bigger than 700 litres for no less than three years. Whisky of one type or another is made all over the world, but to be called Scotch Whisky it must be made entirely in Scotland.
  • Irish whiskey is any whiskey made in Eire (Republic of Ireland) or in Northern Ireland. Unlike Scotch, any malted cereal grains can be used in any proportion. Like Scotch, it must be aged in wooden casks for a minimum of three years.
  • Bourbon is an American whiskey made from malted grains that are at minimum 51% corn. The rules around what constitutes a bourbon are more relaxed than those for Scotch, but it must be made entirely within the United States to qualify.
  • The color of the whisky comes from oak casks (also around 60% of its flavor), and from small amount of caramel coloring.
  • Various grains (which may be malted) are used for making different varieties that includes barley, corn, rye, and wheat.
  • With a license to distill Irish whiskey from 1608, the Old Bushmills Distillery in Northern Ireland is the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world.
  • Whiskey is a strictly regulated spirit worldwide with many classes and types. A spirit is any alcoholic beverage in which the alcohol content has been increased by distillation.
  • The main differences between types of whisky are down to three things: the grain used; the production process – where the whisky was made; and how long it was matured for. 90% of the Single Malt Whisky’s comes from Scotland.
  • Distillation process, the key segment of whisky production was invented around four thousand years ago in the ancient civilizations of Babylon and Mesopotamia.
  • First detailed description of distillation came from 100AD, when Greek distilled sea water into drinking water.
  • First modern record of whisky comes from 1494 Scotland, with the letter that described acquisition of raw material needed for the production of over 1500 whisky bottles. Apparently by then, whisky was already widespread.
  • Whisky has two legitimate spellings. “Whisky” is used in Scotland and Canada, and “whiskey” is used by Irish and Americans.
  • There are over 5000 types of Single Malt Whisky.
  • Whisky was given its name from the Gaelic beverage “uiscebeatha”, which translates to “water of life”.
  • Moderate use of whisky can bring many benefits to the human metabolism. It can prevent stroke, dementia, heart attack, clotted arteries, increase good cholesterol and fight against cancer cells.
  • Whisky can exceptionally well withstand cold temperatures. Heroic Polar Explorers carried whisky on their journey to the South Pole, and whisky remained liquid even at -30 degrees Celsius.
  • Scottish whisky is distilled twice, Irish whisky thrice.
  • Whisky can age only in wooden casks. In glass bottles it can survive for 100 years, but it will not change its flavor.
  • An opened bottle of whisky can remain good for five years.
  • The color of the whisky comes from oak casks (also around 60% of its flavor), and from small amount of caramel coloring.
  • 90% of the Single Malt Whisky’s comes from Scotland.
  • Whisky and rum represented majority of drinks that were used on the ships during the famous “Golden Age of the Piracy”.
  • Five largest regional made whiskies are Scotch Whisky, Irish Whiskey, Kentucky Bourbon, Canadian Whisky and Tennessee Whiskey.
  • 90% of whisky produced in UK is intended for export.
  • To this day Irish and Scotts have disputes about who was first to make whisky.