Committed to transparency in our processes and materials, Archie Rose Spirit Data allows you to delve deeper into our spirits production on a batch by batch basis, through detailed tasting and production notes from the distillery floor and bond store.view more
Whisky or whiskey is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. Various grains (which may be malted) are used for different varieties, including barley, corn, rye, and wheat.
Whisky is a strictly regulated spirit worldwide with many classes and types. The typical unifying characteristics of the different classes and types are the fermentation of grains, distillation, and ageing in wooden casks.
Both spellings of the word, whiskey and whisky, are correct - and they are both pronounced the same way. The tricky part is matching the right spelling with the right country of origin. Generally speaking if you’re talking about a spirit that’s been made in Australia, Scotland, Canada or Japan, use the spelling without the e — whisky. When referring to drinks distilled in the United States or Ireland, use the e — whiskey. There are of course exceptions to this with some rye or corn based whiskies in Australia choosing whiskey with an e to match the style produced and - Makers Mark being a good example of a Bourbon choosing to use whisky in homage to their families Scottish roots.
There are several reasons why whiskies produced in different distilleries vary in flavour:
The distillery – including location, quality of the water source and skills of the distillers.
The grain - including the quality and treatment of the grain. At Archie Rose, we believe malt provides a potent and vital contribution to the final flavour profile of our whisky. Some of our grains produce an extremely low-yielding spirit – a small sacrifice for a rich and expressive flavour. This is in addition to the terroir from which the grain originates (soil type, aspect, unique environment contexts, farming practices and the grain’s specific growth habitat), along with the specific variety of each grain used.
Fermentation - including the yeast strains used and the fermentation time.
Stills - the type of still used and the number of times the spirit is distilled will also produce different flavours. In addition, the energy source powering the stills, the speed of running the stills and the cut points (fores and feints) will have an impact on spirit character.
Casks - The size of the casks, cask treatment (e.g toast and char levels) and the previous contents (e.g Sherry or Bourbon). Additionally, some whiskies may be matured in multiple cask types and vatted, or finished for a shorter period in a different type of cask than which it has spent most of its life.
Maturation - the climate and natural environment that casks are matured in will have a significant impact on flavour and rate of maturation - temperature, humidity and elevation all have an impact - plus the period of maturation.
Distillery philosophy (of production). Encompassing much of the above - but coming down to one key question - what sort of spirit does the distillery want to make?
Style - are distilleries trying to make spirits in a certain style or character to reflect their philosophy, history, ethos etc.
People - distilling is very much a blend of art meets science, and the human factor is not to be underestimated in having influence over all of the factors above.
ABV - cask entry strength prior to ageing and bottling strength will impact flavour.
Whisky finishing is when whisky is transferred from one type of cask into another. This ‘secondary maturation’ can add additional complexity to the whisky, depending on the type of cask used. The type of casks used for finishing is diverse and can include fortified wines (e.g. Sherry, Port or Madeira), red or white wine casks (e.g Burgundy or Shiraz), and even other spirits such as rum or cognac.
In general, distilled spirits can be quite hardy. Unopened bottles of whisky can last a long time (assuming it has been handled properly, not subject to extreme temperatures, and firmly sealed). In terms of opened bottles, we recommend drinking within 6 months of opening, as spirits will lose some flavour/character over time. This really depends on a couple of factors such as the size of the bottle, the ABV of the spirit, and the amount of spirit remaining in the bottle v air that has been introduced. Some might compare an open bottle of spirits to watching something on TV in colour, and the longer the bottle is open, it gradually tunes the TV to black and white. You still know exactly what is going on, but the flavour is not as vivid.
Whisky does not mature in the bottle as glass is inert. Whisky matures due to the spirit interaction with the wooden cask it is ageing in, so the process stops when the casks are disgorged. As long as the bottle is kept out of direct sunlight and not exposed to extreme temperatures and sealed correctly whisky can last for many years in unopened bottles.
We invite you to enjoy our whiskies in the spirit it was created: to be savoured in good company and served the way you like. Whisky is a real personal experience so experiment, try neat, with a dash of water, add ice or try it in a cocktail.
Peat is a mossy accumulation of compressed decaying plant material, and peaty is a word used to describe the wide range of flavours its combustion provides depending on how and where it’s harvested. Peat is used as a fuel source by some distilleries whereby a peat fire is used to dry the barley during the malting process for some of their products before grinding it and making the mash. Peat smoke contributes phenolic compounds, such as guaiacol, that give aromas similar to smoke. Scotch whisky in particular regions are most commonly associated with whisky using peat, however, it is also used in Australia (most commonly in Tasmania). We use a peated malt as one of our six malts in our Single Malt Whisky.
We suggest getting the most out of the flavour of your whisky by enjoying at room temperature. Whisky straight from the freezer can produce a slightly duller flavour, we suggest storing in a cool dark space out of direct sunlight.
Neat is used to order a drink that is served with no ice or mixers. It is, quite simply, a straight pour of liquor from the bottle into the glass.