Melinda Mullet

​​Whisky,
Wheatons and
Whatnot!

​​ It's finally Spring here in Virginia.  A gorgeous time of the year even though it is a full frontal assault of pollen and petals by Mother Nature.  The pink snow of the falling cherry blossoms covers the lawn and spreads itself all through the house on feet and paws.  
But so many new adventures are on the horizon!.  I look forward to seeing many of you at Malice Domestic this weekend.  Bid on the Whisky Business basket in the silent auction and drop by for a whisky truffle and a chat at the signing tables.

Cheers!​​
    
Melinda Mullet
Author of the Whisky Business Mystery series, Melinda is happy to be known as a former lawyer, a travel junkie, and a life-long advocate for children’s literacy causes both domestic and international.
 
She lives just outside of Washington, DC with her whisky-collecting husband, two extraordinary young women she is proud to call her daughters, and an obedience school drop out named MacAllen.

Whisky 101
Whisky making is a mysterious alchemy that combines grain and water, smoke and earth to create a drink with so many nuances, that there truly is a dram for every taste and every occasion. 

   
There are two things a Highlander likes naked, and one of them is malt whisky. 
– Scottish proverb
    

   
The quickest way to annoy a Scot is to take an expensive single malt whisky and add ice and a mixer.  It's considered a sacrilege.  Single malts are enjoyed like wines for the infinite variety of flavors that come from the water, the grain, the stills and the barrels used for aging.  

That having been said, adding water can actually open up the flavors of the whisky.  How much water?  Up to you.  Serious tasters may add only a couple of drops.  Casual enjoyers as much as one-third water.  It’s all about personal taste.  Experiment and enjoy.  The kind of water is important for tasting.  Tap water can ruin the flavor a good whisky.  Use bottled water or water that has been boiled to give your drink a neutral canvas to play on.

Ice is another matter.  It can actually stifle the flavor of a whisky.   But sometimes you just want a cool drink.  So go for it.  Whisky stones have become popular lately as they chill your drink moderately without diluting it.  They are available on-line and at most liquor stores.

If you want to experiment with flavor changes, freeze some distilled water in an ice cube tray, then add a cube to your whisky and see how the flavor changes as the ice melts.

​ So grab a glass and let's go!


    

Whisky, whiskey, Scotch...what's the difference?

Generally speaking whisky is a spirit made in Scotland from malted barley.  It also encompasses whisky made in Canada or Japan.  Whiskies that are a product of Scotland are often referred to as Scotch – but not by the Scottish.  Whiskey on the other hand refers to whiskies made in Ireland and America.  Irish whiskies are made in much the same way as Scottish whiskies although they may be distilled slightly differently.   American whiskies are as diverse as the country itself, from the sweet bourbons, to rye whiskies, to new craft made whiskies made in the Scottish style. 
       
Scottish whiskies run the gamut from the big bold bear of an Islay (I-lay) whisky rich with earthy tones, to the lush, smooth drams of the Highlands and everything in between.

Blends vs. Single Malts.  For many people their first experience with a whisky will be a blended whisky (Chivas, Johnnie Walker, Cutty Sark…) Blends are a mix of whiskies from a number of different distilleries.  Whiskies are chosen to compliment and balance one another and create a smooth consistent taste.  Blends tend to be made in larger quantities and are readily available in almost every corner of the world.  Single malts are made from the whisky of one individual distillery and are prized for their unique characters and flavors.

Glasses.  You can drink whisky from anything, including the bottle, but a nice whisky deserves a nice glass.  If you want to get serious treat yourself to a Glencairn Whisky Glass.  Crate and Barrel carries them for less than $8.00.