*Uisge beatha is one of the world’s most expensive liquids, but what is it?
The term uisge beatha is Scottish Gaelic for the “water of life,” a distilled spirit we know as whiskey.
From ancient Gaelic on, there’s a whole list of strange terms associated with the production of this incredible spirit. These terms aren’t just slang: the differences between them are often dictated by law. For example, what’s the difference between scotch vs whisky?
Are you looking for a quick primer on whisky terminology? We’ll take you through the origins and meanings of the most essential labels in the wide world of whisky.
Let’s Start Here: Whiskey and Whisky
What’s on your shelf? Is it whiskey, or is it whisky?
The answer depends not on the product or the blend or even the grain used. It’s all about where it’s made.
Whiskey is a distilled alcoholic spirit that’s made in places like Ireland, the United States, Canada, Japan, and lately, even further afield. The liquid in your bottle comes from a fermented mash of grain, which can include corn, rye, barley, or other grains. Your bottle of whiskey may be aged in oak, bourbon, red wine, sherry, or even port barrels for almost any length of time. Though, some rules do apply, depending on the product’s origin.
When you order a whiskey, the liquid that winds up in your glass could be the product of one of any number of factors.
Now, let’s turn our attention to whisky without the ‘e’.
Whisky is a distilled spirit made only in Scotland. Its essence is the same as whiskey: it’s a spirit distilled from a fermented mash of grain. But when we talk about whisky, we’re talking about a long list of rules – some of them enshrined into law.
What You Need to Know About Whisky
Whisky without the ‘e’ can only be distilled and aged in Scotland. Once you cross the border into England, it is no longer a whisky. Even if it’s distilled in Scotland and aged elsewhere, it loses its status.
The rules on this are as strict as they are old. UK law defined Scotch Whisky in writing in 1909, and it’s standing has recognition in European law today.
The most recent comprehensive law governing the distillation of whisky is the Scotch Whisky Act 1988 and the associated orders. By law, a whisky must:
- Be produced in a distillery in Scotland
- Be the product of water and malted barley (cereals like wheat and rye can be added)
The law also stipulates that the malted barley must:
- Be processed at that distillery
- Converted into fermentable form through endogenous enzyme systems
- Fermented on through yeast
Additionally, whisky must be first distilled to strength by volume under 94.8%. When ready for maturation, it can only sit in oak casks in Scottish warehouses.
Finally, a whisky isn’t a whisky unless it’s matured for at least three years. But you’re unlikely to find whisky on the shelves under five or even eight years old. Your final product must also be at least 40% strength by volume.
Scotch vs Whisky: Which Is It?
Scotch whisky by-and-large refers to the individual whiskies made in Scotland. You can say scotch or you can say whisky. You can even refer to it as scotch whisky. All three terms refer to the same product governed by the same rules.
Effectively, the difference between scotch vs. whisky is almost nothing. It’s a matter of semantics if anything.
Let’s Talk About the Different Types of Whiskys
Scotch and whisky may be the same drink, but no two batches – nay, no two distillers – are exactly the same.
Once you get into Scotch, you can break it down into several categories, including by grain, malt, and region. Though, they will all follow the rules as laid down in the Scotch Whisky Act 1988.
Within whisky, there are three main types: single malt, single grain, and blended.
What is Single Malt Scotch?
Single malt whisky is a Scotch made only from malted barley and water in on distillery. Because of the constraints on distilling, there are few operational single malt distilleries in Scotland. The majority are in the Spey valley (known as Speyside), nestled between the Moray coast and the Cairngorm mountains.
Traditionalists consider single malt to be the superior whisky, and the price and scarcity reflect this belief. A single malt scotch can set you back a pretty penny, but the distillation process means they’re more flavorful than its cousin, the single grain scotch.
What is Single Grain Scotch?
Single grain whisky is a scotch made from a base of malted barley with additional grains and water. Like single malt scotch, a single grain still needs to be produced and matured at the same distillery.
There are are also distillation differences compare to single malts. A single malt is distilled in a pot still, but pot stills aren’t suitable for producing huge batches. They’re used to focus on flavor.
A single grain whisky is produced through column stills, which allow products to work on a greater scale.
What is Blended Whisky?
Then, there is the blended whisky, like the Johnnie Walker whiskey collection. Blended whiskies are a “blend” of several different whiskies in one bottle. These aren’t unique to scotch whiskies, but scotch blended whisky will always be 100% whisky. American whiskeys, however, have different rules: an American blended whisky might only have 20% whiskey and the rest might be a mix of bourbon, whiskey, and scotch whisky.
In the past, most blended whiskys are a recipe featuring single grain batches rather than the more laborious single malt. However, that changed in 2009. Today’s blended scotch whisky blends must contain a combination of at least one single malt and one ore more single grain whiskies.
Do the whiskies in each blend need to come from the same distillery? No, the rule only applies to single malt or single grains bottled individually. You’ll find a mix of malts from distilleries across Scotland in each blender’s recipe.
You’re on Your Way to Being a Whisky Expert
Did you know the difference between scotch vs. whisky? Now, you know that there is no difference: they both reflect the same ancient, beautiful, and highly-regulated spirit produced only in Scotland.
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NBC Relaunches ‘Saved By The Bell’ on Peacock TV
*When your favorite tv show goes off the air do you think about the lives of their characters?
Wondering where would they be now, what would they be up to now? “Saved By The Bell” fans will get those answers in the relaunch of the show on NBC’s Peacock.
A.C. Slater (Mario Lopez) is a PE teacher and coach and Bayside and Jessie Spano ( Elizabeth Berkely) is a counselor at the school. What is Zack Morris (Marc-Paul Grosselaar) doing, well he is the governor of California, of course, Zack Morris became a politician. And as we saw in the wedding special “Saved By The Bell: Wedding In Vegas” he and Kelly Kapowski got married. They now of a son, Mac Morris who is attending their high school alma mater Bayside High. Mac Morris, played by Mitchell Hoog, seems like a Zack Morris 2.0. He is the popular kid at school who finds himself living in the shadow of his infamous father.
We talked with Mitchell Hoog about his role as Mac Morris and if he himself felt any pressure playing Zack Morris’ son.
“ I don’t think I felt pressure to live up to the legacy of the Morris name, me as an actor I always put it within the story. So within the storyline, I have pressure to live up to my dad,” says Hoog.
Mitchell Hoog’s character isn’t the only character following in their parents’ footsteps. Jamie Spano, played by Belmont Cameli, is Jessie Spano’s (Elizabeth Berkely) son who also has to live up to his mom’s high school reputation.
This reboot’s main focus is the new generation but having the original cast be so a large part of the show brings enough nostalgia for old fans to enjoy this new version of “Saved By The Bell.” It is said that the whole season is full of little Easter eggs that fans of the original should pick up on.
Don’t miss “Saved By The Bell” streaming on Peacock from November 25.
Actors Dexter Darden and Belmont Cameli Talk About Their Roles in The New Saved By The Bell
*The 90s sitcom “Saved by the Bell” is returning to TV. The revised Saturday morning favorite will be airing on NBC’s new streaming service Peacock.
The show will focus on a new generation of Bayside High students along with some old favorites. Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) is now the governor of California and come under heat as he is blamed for the closing of many low-income schools. To rectify the situation he proposes those students attend Bayside High.
The transferred students find themselves adjusting to being out of their element, while the Bayside students try to play nice and make room for the new kids. We spoke with Dexter Darden and Belmont Cameli about their characters.
“It really is important to show that just where you are doesn’t necessarily have to be where you’re going to go. For Devante to come to Bayside and meet Jamie Spano and Mac Morris and have the opportunity to interact with all these kids who aren’t like him and not what he’s used to, it’s really special,” is what Dexter had to say about his character Devante.
Belmont Camelin plays Jamie who is the son of Jessie Spano, played by Elizabeth Berkley. As a true fan of the original, you have to wonder if the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree? Is Jessie’s son a passionate outspoken book worm kind of kid? Well only somewhat according to Belmont:
“I don’t think he’s as strong about his academics but he’s certainly passionate and he’s a very expressive person. His mom has made him very aware of his feelings and relationships,” says Belmont.
Not only was Jessie a straight-A student she was also vocal about anything she felt wasn’t right, so it’ll be interesting to see her son be just as vocal as the show covers topics that the 90’s version didn’t cover.
Check out the new generation of “Saved By The Bell” November 25 on Peacock.
TRAILER DEBUT: ‘MLK/FBI’ | Directed By Emmy Award-Winner Sam Pollard | Opens January 15
*SYNOPSIS: MLK/FBI is an essential expose of the surveillance and harassment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (labeled by the FBI as the “most dangerous” Black person in America), undertaken by J. Edgar Hoover and the U.S. government.
Based on newly discovered and declassified files, as well as revelatory restored footage, the documentary explores the government’s history of targeting Black activists.
Directed by Emmy® Award-winner and Oscar®-nominee Sam Pollard, MLK/FBI recounts a tragic story with searing relevance to our current moment.
DIRECTOR: Sam Pollard is an Emmy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated director and producer. His films for HBO,PBS, and the Discovery Channel include the documentaries Four Little Girls, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, Slavery by Another Name, Sammy Davis, Jr.: I Gotta Be Me, ACORN and the Firestorm, Why We Hate, and Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children. Pollard also directed two episodes of the groundbreaking series Eyes on the Prize II. Since 1994 Pollard has served on the faculty of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and lives in New York City.
RIVETING. A timely reminder that King’s struggle for racial justice wasn’t straightforward, nor is it close to complete.” – THE ATLANTIC, David Sims
“An engrossing, unsettling documentary. Rigorously focused on the facts of the past, the movie is also as timely as an alarm clock.”- THE NEW YORK TIMES, A.O. Scott
“SEARING. Serves as a chilling reminder that white supremacy is not solely a partisan problem; it’s a cruelty baked into the fabric of our political system, poisoning it at every level. Change comes when we allow ourselves to challenge the stories we have been told about our history.” – THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, Jourdain Searles
Director: Sam Pollard
Producer: Benjamin Hedin
Executive Producers: David Friend, Charlotte Cook, Jeffrey Lurie, Marie Therese Guirgis, Kate Hurwitz, Dana O’Keefe, and Steven Farneth
Runtime: 102 Minutes
Distributor: IFC Films
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