(Article courtesy of Tactical Life)

Life is too short to drink cheap scotch.

This is a motto that has served me well over the years and led to a deeper appreciation for “uisge beatha,” or the “water of life.” Few drinks carry the romance of scotch, and it has been a staple of refined adulthood for more than 500 years. Yet even with such an extensive history, many people are still a bit foggy on what is what in the scotch world. Their experiences have been mixed, with some falling in love with the golden necter and some questioning its right to exist. If your first experience with scotch required you to punch a hole in the wall to make it go down, then gather ’round for a little guidance.

In short, scotch is malted barley that has been fermented and distilled twice. After that, it is put to rest in oak barrels to begin the aging process—oak barrels that are commonly seasoned by American whiskey makers. In fact, the well-known scotch distiller Glenmorangie has a deal with American icon Jack Daniel’s to use its old whiskey barrels. Jack Daniel’s harvests the oak from the Mark Twain National Forest and uses it to make barrels to age its products. After 50 years, the barrels will go to Glenmorangie to age its scotch. Deals like this show just how stable and profitable the world of whisky is.

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