Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Water of Life

The distilling of whiskey, which means the water of life in Celtic,  began in Ireland in 1100's but there is no record of it in Scotland until 1400's.  Somehow it does not surprise me that the Irish were the ones that created whiskey.  As the saying goes, "God was afraid that the Irish would rule the world.  So he created liquor."

When we were recently in Scotland, we toured the Dewar's distillery that is located just three miles from the birth place of John Dewar, the founder of Dewar's. Aberfeldy has been the home of the Aberfeldy Distillery since 1898 and produces the largest malt whiskey component of Dewar's Blended Whisky.

Dewar's whiskey brand was created by John Dewar, Sr. in 1846 when he  pioneered the art of blending different single malt and single grain scotchs  to create a smoother tasting whiskey.

Dewar's expanded to become a global market leader by 1896. They also pioneered the art of marrying whiskeys in oak casks for several months after blending to become even smoother and to create several layers of flavor.

The Aberfeldy Distillery was founded by John Dewar & Sons, Ltd. in 1896, and opened in 1898. The distillery is located on the eastern outskirts of Aberfeldy, on the southern bank of the upper Tay.

Under the control of his two sons, John A. Dewar ,Jr., who took over the steering of the brand at age 24 in 1880, and Thomas "Tommy" Dewar,  known for his wit and advertising ability including creating film advertisements for the brand. 
Aberfeldy distillery relies on the fresh water from Pitilie Burn, which runs alongside the distillery. Aberfeldy is the only distillery in Scotland to use these waters. Aberfeldy  also uses only Scottish barley, yeast and water.  It is truly SCOTCH whiskey.

The demand for barley as a basic foodstuff during World War I led to the distillery being closed from 1917 to 1919.   World War II also caused barley supplies to be cut, and the distillery was again forced to shut down for part of the war.

Since the Scots are known for being financially savvy and not wasting anything, the mash, that is a byproduct of the distilling process, is turned into cow cake and the sugar water byproduct is turned into cow molasses to mix with grain for feed for cattle.  No waste and more profit.  Now that makes the Scots happy.

Oh, after our tasting, part of the tour, I can insure you that it tastes great, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment