What defines us as gentlemen? Some say it’s the way you dress, some say it’s the way you act, and the list can go on. However fortuitous this debate may be, we can definitely agree an integral part of being a gentleman is how you hold yourself in social settings.

As gentlemen, it is our duty to be educated, polite, and distinguished (amongst other traits). For me, Scotch is the perfect embodiment of these traits. Far above a beverage, Scotch tells a story. This post will bring you a little knowledge about the world of Scotch, and hopefully get your feet wet and taste buds inspired for this unique beverage.

Far above a beverage, scotch tells a story. Click To Tweet

Scotch, or Scotch Whisky, evolved from a Scottish drink called uisge beatha, which means “water of life” and dates back to the 15th century in the rolling hills of now Scotland. It is a variety of whisky, deriving only from Scotland, and holds a prestigious seat in the world of liquor.

Like anything, the creation of Scotch simply begins with water, hence why most distilleries are located on rivers or major bodies of water. Once enough water is collected; barley is added into the vats. The barley can be prepared in a variety of ways, and has an immense amount of influence on how the Scotch will end up tasting. Once the water and barley is combined, the fermentation process begins. At this point, the 3rd and final ingredient, Yeast is added into the concoction. Through a process of re-mixing and heating, the Scotch will reach about 70% abv (alcohol by volume). At this point, the batch is about 11 days old.

Once the liquid is cooled, the Scotch will be added into a variety of wooden oak casks (majority of casks are originally Bourbon casks) that have already been used on a previous liquor (bourbon, sherry, port, etc). The barrels will now go into storage for a minimum of 3 years (to be considered Scotch), and can sit for up to 40 years! As the liquid ages, the scotch gains more flavor, and creates a smoother finish.

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Aside from being produced in Scotland, and aging a minimum of 3 years, there are a few other requirements to call your concoction Scotch Whisky:

  1. Not artificially colored or scented
  2. No added substances besides waters and caramel coloring after barreled
  3. Minimum 40% abv

There are 5 main regions of Scotland in which Scotch is produced. All have distinct flavors and labels of Scotch:

  1. The Highlands
    • Medium body Scotch like Oban and Glenmorangie.
    • This is the best introduction and foray into Scotch.
  2. The Lowlands
    • Lighter flavored Scotch with few distilleries.
  3. Speyside
    • Home of the most elegant, sharper Scotches such as Macallen, Balvenie, and Glenlivet.
  4. Islay
    • Very heavy, smoky Scotches such as Lagavulin and Laphroaig.
  5. Campbelton
    • Small region with 3 distilleries; all uniquely flavored.

There are 5 main types of Scotch, all with different levels of prestige, flavor and age:

  1. Single Malt
    • The most prestigious (and often expensive), this is malted Scotch produced from a single distillery.
  2. Single Grain
    • Grain Scotch from a single distillery (uncommon).
  3. Blended Malt Scotch
    • A mix of malt Scotches from an assortment of distilleries.
      • Can be expensive like Johnnie Walker.
      • Can be cheap like The Famous Grouse.
    • Blended Grain Scotch
      • A mix of grain Scotches from an assortment of distilleries.
    • Blended Whisky
      • A mix of grain and malt Scotch from an assortment of distilleries.

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There is an immense amount of pride, precision, and patience that goes into making Scotch Whisky, and I think it is the perfect metaphor for being a gentleman. It is not harsh, nor immature like a bourbon can sometimes be. It is not cheap nor ill-tempered like many beers we see today. It is a combination of maturity, refinement, patience, and revitalization. This is why I think Scotch is the perfect gentlemanly drink, and is the perfect companion for both a quiet evening in, or a night on the town.

Crafting Scotch Whisky is the perfect metaphor for being a gentleman. Click To Tweet

When you drink Scotch, you aren’t just enjoying a carefully crafted beverage, you’re making a statement; and that statement is both bold and distinguished.

Mr. Harvell

Guest Writer at The Modern Day Gentleman Blog
"It's a dangerous business... going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." - J.R.R. Tolkein
Mr. Harvell

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