Where is this whiskey sourced from?

It’s become an obsession.

I’ve encountered folks refusing to drink a whiskey for not divulging where it was distilled.

Are folks really that petty?

Let’s dial back a bit however & answer a few basic questions.

What got you into whiskey?

For me it was primarily taste & flavour.

The joy of exploring different whiskey using a variety of grains, distilling techniques, maturation & blending practices to produce a never ending cornucopia of brands for my palate to enjoy.

Is where the whiskey distilled important?

Starting out on my journey it wasn’t.

Initially I’d be unaware of the myriad of distilleries around the world – even if they were printed on the label – but as time progressed I’d begin to favour certain flavours & styles over others & take notice of where it came from.

Does knowing where the whiskey is distilled make a difference?

Yes.

My buying & drinking experiences began to be predicated on my previous encounters. A bias or prejudice towards certain styles or distilleries formed which I’ve subsequently worked to overcome. Blind tasting & doing an WSET course worked wonders in this regard & challenged any bias – conscious or not – & helped develop an open mind about the whiskey in my glass.

Do you need to know where the whiskey is distilled?

No.

Legally there is no jurisdiction that stipulates distillery of origin must be named. Usually they are – as it enhances brand recognition – but it’s not necessary. Knowing can automatically engender bias – so I often immerse myself in the taste & flavours of the whiskey in front of me before finding out the details.

What if there’s no information as to distillery of origin?

Enjoy the whiskey.

Blended whiskey by default do not name the distilleries the individual components came from as they are often made up of numerous malts, grains & single pot stills from a variety of changing sources to bring about a uniform flavour in the one brand.

Single Malt & Single Pot Still releases from blenders & bottlers may also be subject to legally binding ‘non disclosure agreements’ from the distilleries involved & whilst they come from a single source – this does not preclude that source changing. Distilleries are capable of replicating the style of another’s to provide consistency of flavour.

What do you want in a whiskey?

An enjoyable drinking experience that excites my palate.

While learning about where it was distilled, who made it & all the other information may enhance that experience – it’s not a prerequisite. If on the other hand knowing those details is more important to you – we’re not on the same page. Giving up the taste & flavour experience to a prescribed set of data that must be met before drinking is rather sad.

The frisson of excitement & growing sense of exploration & adventure in anticipation of tasting a new & unknown whiskey is a joy.

May I never loose it.

Sláinte

All images authors own.

2 thoughts on “Where is this whiskey sourced from?”

  1. I agree with so much of this. While I 100% think brands should disclose on the bottle that they used sourced whiskey (in whatever clear wording that they didn’t make it themselves) to avoid confusion or misleading info, I think there’s too much obsession about knowing where exactly a whiskey is made. To me, the discussion is getting old and it’s enough knowing it’s sourced whiskey. Personally, I don’t care where a specific whiskey is made unless I want to taste whiskey from a certain distillery. If it’s good, it’s good. As you know, I really enjoy a good blind tasting to really explore and appreciate, in an unbiased manner, what’s in the glass.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Who actually makes a whiskey is an interesting question.
      Is it the maltster, the distiller, the maturation person or the blender?
      Each have an important role to play in the final product & whether it’s all done under one company’s control or outsourced to many it’s still whiskey.
      The final piece of the jigsaw is marketing & distribution – without them you might never hear of the product or see it on the shelves.
      Narrowing whiskey down to the distillery minimizes the contribution of all those other factors that go to create the golden liquid before you.

      Like

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