Tenon Tours hosted an Instagram Live with Camilo Gomez, founder of Once Upon a Whisky. Once Upon a Whisky offers walking distillery excursions that our travelers can experience when traveling through Edinburgh or Glasgow, Scotland. Hosted by Tenon’s Senior Product Manager, Liz Aungier, they chat about how to properly taste Scotch whisky, how to drink it, and the best type to use for cooking – as well as answered questions from our audience. You can watch the video in full on our IGTV channel below.

Once Upon a Whisky focuses on the historical, cultural and storytelling aspect of whisky instead of the production process. This can include quirky facts, whisky stories and the like.

SCOTCH WHISKY Q&A:

What is the difference between Scotch whisky and Irish whiskey?
Scotch whisky is made with malted barley, water and yeast while Irish whiskey is a mixture of different grains as well as water and yeast. Usually in Scotland, they distill twice which makes for a richer, more flavorful, spicier whisky while Irish whiskey is triple distilled. This makes Irish whiskey lighter and easier to drink than Scotch. Fun fact: the main ingredient in American whiskey is corn, which makes it sweeter and more mellow than Scotch.

How many whisky distilleries are there in Scotland?
In Scotland, there are around 130 working distilleries. About 80 of those are open to the public for tours.

Is it okay to add ice to whisky or not?
There are two ways to drink whisky: first is for appreciation, second is for enjoyment. When drinking for appreciation, definitely whisky neat (on its own) or with a drop or splash of water is fantastic. If you’re drinking whisky for enjoyment at a party with friends and family, you can add some ice and that is completely acceptable. In Japan, they drink whisky with a lot of water and ice at the same time. In the United States, they drink coke and whiskey at the same time.

What is the difference between “whisky” and “whiskey?”
The spelling with an “e” is an Irish or American whiskey. Without the “e” is Scotch whisky and the rest of the world, such as Canada and Japan. This is not a rule, just a matter of tradition. No one will say anything if you spell it one way or the other.

What is the best type of Scotch for a beginner?
A Lowland or Speyside whisky is best for someone who is starting their whisky journey. Usually the easiest whiskys to drink are from one of those two regions in Scotland. They have many flavors like vanilla and toffee to make it easy to drink.

What is the best use of whisky in cooking?
Don’t use the best whisky available when cooking, however, it is a fantastic combination to pair whisky with food. Cheese and whisky is a must try! As an ingredient, use just a little bit. It’s not like wine or beer that you can add a lot. You’ll want to use less than a shot, otherwise, the flavor will be overwhelming. One of the best recipes to use whiskey, specifically bourbon, is pork belly.

What is the best whisky cocktail?
An Old Fashioned. It sounds simple and common, but it is the best cocktail with whisky. It’s just whisky, bitters, orange peel (not the juice) and a little bit of sugar. It’s a good way to appreciate whisky but from a different perspective. You’re still able to taste the real flavor with some sweetness.

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