Whisky’s common association with snobbery has led to more than a few whisky myths. From how you should drink it to what colour it should be, there’s a lot of speculative do’s and don’ts out there when it comes to tasting whisky. We debunk five common whisky myths that have made their way into popular culture.
Whisky myth 1: ‘Older whisky is always better’
Wrong! While older whisky allows for rarity points, it doesn’t always mean extra flavour. The whisky industry used to market age statements as a sign of quality, so it’s no surprise many people still think older is synonymous with better. In reality, the only thing that matters is your taste preferences.
Read our blog post on what makes a million pound bottle of whisky.
Whisky myth 2: ‘Colour is a good indicator of the quality’
This is somewhat linked to the first myth. Because whisky gets its colour from the cask it’s been aged in, many people believe the darker the whisky, the older – and therefore better. In fact, whisky can legally be artificially coloured to make it more marketable, so watch out for E150a on the bottle!
Whisky myth 3: ‘A ‘single’ label is better than a ‘blended’ one’
Single malt is whisky made in a single distillery. Because of this, it will often have a more ‘uniform’ taste. Blended whiskies, on the other hand, will have various flavour profiles exactly because they’ve been blended with other whiskies or flavours. Blended whiskies can be just as smooth and rich and single malts, however, and often more diverse. It’s just a matter of preference.
Whisky myth 4: ‘Sherry cask-aged Scotch tastes like sherry’
Sherry casks are a big factor in the Scotch whisky industry. However, whisky that’s matured in sherry casks gets all of its flavour from the oak – not the sherry.
Whisky myth 5: ‘It has to be drunk neat’
This is another outdated attitude towards whisky tasting! The fun thing about this delicious nectar is that there are no set rules. Whether you enjoy whisky the most neat, with ice, with a splash of water or in a cocktail then that is absolutely your call. Whatever helps you to enjoy whisky the most is the right way to be drinking it.