Medal winning Scotch Whisky at The Co-operativeAugust 16, 2012 by The Co-operative Food
Whisky has been around even longer than The Co-operative, and a bit like us, it just gets better and better. We like to think that our own brand whiskys are rather special, and so we were delighted to receive accolades at two recent award ceremonies.
If we were to try one of the early whiskys from the end of the fifteenth century weâ€™d probably find it horribly harsh as it was drank very young. That gradually changed as royalty started to take an interest in the drink and it became important to refine it and create something more palatable.
Today the drink is aged in barrels. These barrels are usually made of oak, and have often been used previously to store a different drink such as sherry.
The whiskyâ€™s character and individual flavour is largely determined by the nature of the barrel and the time it is stored (or aged as itâ€™s known). Unlike wine, once the whisky is bottled its character has formed and shouldnâ€™t change any further. Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s the number of years a whisky is aged for that is important rather than the year it was bottled as with a wine.
Weâ€™re particularly delighted with our 12 year old single highland malt. It has recently been awarded a silver medal at two important ceremonies, the International Spirits Challenge and the International Wine and Spirits Competition. The term single malt tells us that the whisky is from one distillery and all made with the same mash from the same grain.
A blended whisky will be the creation of a distiller using his skill to bring together the characteristics of several different whiskeys to create what he is seeking. Over the years the blends have helped many of the smaller distilleries to stay in business as their brands might not have been well known enough to keep going on their own, despite having a great product.
Our blended whiskys have been doing us proud too with our 5 year old premium Scotch, and The Co-operative Scotch both carrying away silvers from the International Wines and Spirits Challenge and bronze from the International Spirits Challenge.
There are now many countries that produce great whiskys, but Scotland and Ireland are probably both the longest established and best known. We enjoy savouring a dram now and then, but we urge you to drink responsibly.
The Co-operative. Award winning whiskys and spirits at a great price.