// History of Spirits.
Chapter Two: WHISKY
Whisk(e)y, the wonderspirit.
A gentleman's mark, a lady's lark.
Smooth. Sinister. Sublime.
Whisky, the golden spirit, comes from distillation of fermented grain aged in wooden casks, with a story as intriguing as its notes; antiquated and archaic.
Dating back to 2000 BC in ancient Mesopotamia, the art of distillation was theorized, to concoct perfumes and aromatics. Followed by Alexandria Greeks in 1st century AD, and Latins in 12th century.
In the 1400's, medival monasteries in Italy distilled alcohol from wine, for treatment of smallpox.
The art of distillation reached the highlands of Scotland and Ireland, in the early 15th century. Scots distilled "aqua vitae" or spirit alcohol for medicinal purposes.
James IV of Scotland was known for his affinity for Scotch, purchasing from the Guild of Barber Surgeons (licensed medical practitioners). 500 bottles of aquavitae for the King!
Slowly but surely, the spirit made its way into households, as distillers turned homegrown grains into crude and potent whiskys. Renaissance era whisky smoothened with time.
In 1707, taxes in Scotland curbed distillers, and Scotch went underground. Scots took to distilling whiskey at night illicitly, and hence it was coined 'Moonshine'
Broadly categorized into Malt whisky (from barley) and grain whisky (from cereal grains), whiskey has metamorphosed beautifully over the years.
Single malts (single grain, individual distillery), blended malts (blend from many distilleries) marking the crème of Scotch.
Irish, American (bourbon, rye, wheat) and Japanese whiskies- close contenders.
Interestingly, the word 'whisky' comes from the Gaelic word "uisce" meaning water. In Latin, distilled alcohol is 'Aqua Vitae' or 'water of life'.
Indeed, the king of spirits, is aquavitae.
An ever-alluring escape, scented with the oak it matures in.
A golden spirit, breathing a curious complexity with its notes; beautiful, bold, and bequeathed.
History of Spirits is a collaboration between @_nextround and @anushkagupta5, delving deep into the histories of spirits, unraveling stories of their origins.