We’re guessing you didn’t know that there are over 5,000 types of single-malt whiskeys out there. We’re also going to go out on a limb and guess that you didn’t know that “whiskey” means “water of life” in Gaelic. It’s okay, we won’t hold it against you.
As everyone in our Whiskey of the Month Club knows, we put a big emphasis on not only tasting whiskey, but learning all about it to make your experience richer. We thought we’d put together a list of some fun and surprising facts you didn’t know about whiskey to whet your intellectual appetite.
Read on, our little whiskey apprentices.
1. Etymologically, “whiskey” means water of life
Whiskey comes from the Gaelic word “Uisge Beatha,” which means “water of life.” That phonetically became “usky,” and eventually was pronounced as “whiskey.” So, drink that water, whiskey fans!
2. In 18th century Pennsylvania it was the favored currency
In 18th century Pennsylvania, the favored currency was whiskey — which was used for cooking, medicine, and drinking, among other things. Loyalty to whiskey would eventually lead to the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion, where farmers fought against the taxes that threatened their liquor livelihood.
I’m not much of a fighter, but that’s a fight worth having, if you ask me.
3. It remains tasty for 100 years – hello legacy
Yes, you heard that right. Unlike wine, whose taste deteriorates in the bottle, whiskey lasts almost forever. An unopened bottle remains fresh for ~100 years; even an opened bottle remains good for ~5 years.
This means that investing in whiskey actually isn’t a terrible idea. So, instead of that 401k plan, consider investing in the liquid gold!
4. As other strong liquors it doesn’t freeze
Nothing proved this more than when this crate of 100-year-old whiskey was unearthed in Antarctica. And even though it suffered through the -20 degree temperatures, the bottles and liquor were all in great condition.
5. It was originally crafted by monks
The Monks were also very instrumental in beer production. Considering that the process for making whiskey and beer are (for the most part) identical until the distillation begins, it’s not surprising that the monks were all over whiskey, too.
That practice changed in 1541, when King Henry VIII dissolved all of their liquor-ridden monasteries. Sorry, monks.