Have you ever wondered how whiskey came about? It has roots that go a long way into the past, and in this book, the author tells us how the various discoveries came together – first of all to obtain alcohol from wine, but in Ireland, where grapes do not grow, from ale. The monks who first carried out this experiment wanted alcohol for medical purposes because the monks in those days were also the physicians.Inevitably, the alcohol was tasted, and though at that time it must have been harsh in flavour, the feeling of well-being and warmth it created could not be missed. At first, it was flavoured with spices, notably saffron, which gave it a beautiful yellow/orange colour. Later it was discovered that storage in an oak cask not only produced the amber colour of whiskey today but did wonderful things to the taste. From then onwards, all additions other than water to adjust the alcoholic strength and some caramel to standardise colouring were prohibited by law.Whiskey distilleries were recognised by their chimneys indicating their voracious use of fossil fuels, but today distilleries are being converted to be 100% fossil-fuel-free and still produce the same beautiful amber liquid.
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