Scorpions make sweet music with first whisk(e)y offering
They may be your dad’s heavy metal band, but the Scorpions know that some things get better with age. Having added Swedish drummer Mikkey Dee to the roster, it’s only fitting that the German legends teamed up with Sweden’s Mackmyra distillery to launch a single malt. The Scorpions join a herd of other pop stars tapping the whisk(e)y market, from fellow hard rockers Metallica to U2 frontman Bono.
Rock me like a hurricane
Rock ’n’ Roll Star Single Malt Whisky Cherry Cask goes its own way, reports Brands for Fans, a Swedish outfit that helps the band and other metal stalwarts such as Motörhead and Slayer market their booze. Mackmyra matures the Scorpions’ offering in American bourbon and Oloroso sherry barrels—plus German sweet cherry wine casks, an unusual choice.
The latter bring a sweeter touch to a smooth single malt that also delivers fruity vanilla and buttery softness from the bourbon and sherry wood, according to master distiller Angela D’Orazio. Rock ’n’ Roll Star, thanks to that Teutonic twist, there’s no one like you. For whisk(e)y nerds, will it be love at first sting?
How whiskey added a vowel to its name
Whiskey is whiskey—except in Scotland, Japan and a few other places, where it’s whisky. How did we end up with two slightly different spellings for the same drink? As Josef Micallef explains, the story is more complicated than it might look.
Ireland vs. Scotland
The short version: back in the late 1800s, when Ireland sold more of the brown spirit than anyone, its major distillers began using “whiskey” to differentiate their product from Scottish whisky. The Irish spelling took hold in the U.S., too, because Americans preferred whiskey and thought it superior to Scotch. How’d that all work out for ya, Ireland?
Better listen what the Bible says
No matter how you spell it, whisk(e)y deserves a medal. In Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2019, the British critic reveals his annual list of the world’s top bottles. The U.S. and Scotland rule, after sharing the podium with Canada and Japan in recent years. Murray’s top three for 2019, courtesy of The Whisky Exchange Blog:
- William Larue Weller 128.2 Proof – Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2017
- Glen Grant 18 Year Old (No. 3 for 2018)
- Thomas H. Handy Sazerac 127.2 Proof – Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2017
Global thirst for Japanese whisky leaves buyers chasing great single malts
The rest of the world can’t get enough Japanese whisky (note the spelling), with predictable results for the world’s No. 4 producer. Blogger and author Brian Ashcraft, an expert in the nation’s whiskies, doesn’t expect the growing shortage of certain premium bottles to lead to a decline in quality for choice single malts and blends.
Whisky or shochu? Make up your mind
However, he tells Cengiz Yar, Japan’s highly creative distillers need to decide what a Japanese whisky actually is. Adding a cherry-wood lid to an oak cask is one thing, but making your liquor with rice? There’s a name for that, and it isn’t whisky. Or whiskey.
Whisky Wisemen Society raises a dram—and money for good causes
Don’t just sit around and drink: join the Whisky Wisemen Society and help your community while mixing with other young professionals. The not-for-profit, which launched in Vancouver in 2013 and also has chapters in Calgary, the Cayman Islands, Miami and Toronto, holds many tastings and speaking events featuring the world’s top whiskies.
Each Whisky Wisemen chapter donates proceeds from these gatherings to local charity partners. If there isn’t one in your town, why not start your own?