Friday, May 7, 2010

How to make enemies with Scotch whisky

  Taste is a sensation, a perception, an experience.Its a subjective impression of an objective reality, its purposeful:The means by which we sample our food, our judgement of it.
Phillip Hill uses this as a starting point for his book Appreciating Whisky ( which he wanted to call " how to make enemies with Scotch whisky").He delves into the  how & why scent plays a large part, for example the tongue has 9 thousand taste buds but the nose has between 50-100 million sense receptors.The way we use language & how our vocabulary mirrors our experience i.e the Inuit have dozens of words for snow where we have one, they make distinctions  which we do not see but for them are life & death.
Within this book he discusses,

  • Why whisky taste as it does.Chemistry- If we add 1 oxygen atom to methane we get not a gas but a liquid=Methyl alcohol
  • Why whisky taste as it does.The 5 materials- barley, water, yeast, peat & wood.
  • Why whisky taste as it does. The 5 processes-malting, mashing, brewing, distilling & maturing.
  • Why whisky taste as it does. Culture-which are broken down into 3 distinct areas, the culture of origin, corporate culture & the culture of consumption.
Appreciating Whisky covers areas not usually addressed within the literature of whisky. It does this with amazing whit & with a depth of knowledge on all matters concerning malt whisky. That makes this book the only course work you need, choose a bottle & pick up this book. Its your primer, your professor & your class clown.

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