It’s World Whisky Day 2019 is on Saturday, May 18, and people across the globe are being encouraged to try a dram and celebrate what the event’s official website calls “the water of life”.
World Whisky Day also falls on Australia’s Federal Election day, so if you’re feeling like having a tipple as the results unfold, Drinks Trade publisher Ashley Pini has three suggestions:
Slane – Ireland
Start in Ireland – they claim to have invented the stuff. And whether it was the Irish, the Scottish or anyone else, the smooth style perfected on the Emerald Isle over the years is now enjoying unprecedented interest and new exciting distillers picking up the mantle. None more so than Slane Irish Whisky, whose renovated horse stable on the estate of one of the country’s most famous castles, is now a state-of-the-art and environmentally friendly distillery.
The brainchild of Lord Henry Mount Charles and his son, Alex Conynham, it was all made possible by the purchase in 2015 of Slane Whiskey by US company Brown Forman, makers of Jack Daniels. Slane Castle is also famously the venue for an annual music festival that dates back to the early ’80’s, hosting acts such as The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Robbie Williams, The Rolling Stones and, of course, Ireland’s very own U2. This year Metallica will be performing and, there’s every chance, enjoying their fair share of Slane Irish Whiskey.
BenRiach – Scotland
A jump across the Irish Sea to Scotland and into what many call the home of whisky – Speyside, where BenRiach started producing malt whisky back in 1898. The distillery had been the victim of unfortunate timing as BenRiach was operational for just two years before the ‘Pattison Crash’, in 1900, which resulted in a period of hardship for the entire whisky industry. While the stills at BenRiach fell silent, and remained so for 65 long years, they rose once more and began producing whisky from both peated and non-peated malted barley and created a cult following for their work with several interesting wood finishes. To this day BenRiach pushes the boundaries with unique and innovative whiskies.
Woodford Reserve Distillery – United States
Woodford proudly stands as the oldest operating bourbon distillery, set amongst the picturesque hills of bluegrass and thoroughbred farms, along the banks of Glenn’s Creek> Woodford dates back to 1812.
The site was chosen by Elijah Pepper who, in search for fresh spring water for his whiskey, came across the limestone waters of Glenn’s Creek.
It was years later at this very site that Master Distiller James Christopher Crow perfected his whiskey production techniques, many of which are still common practice today. The distillery continues to use the original copper-pot stills imported from Scotland and the 100-year-old cypress wood fermenters, alongside state-of-the-art technologies such as the 500-foot-long gravity-fed barrel run and the heat-cycled barrel houses, the only of their type in the world.
Happy World Whisky Day!