Appreciating the Ember Spirit on International Whisky Day

An ‘Ally’ in the Indian gin market

March 27th marks a globally celebrated occasion dedicated to the golden nectar of the Gods - International Whisky Day. As connoisseurs raise their glasses in a collective toast, let’s delve into the intricacies of this beloved libation, its rich history, contemporary trends, and its unique connection to Michael Jackson's birthday, all while supporting a noble cause - the fight against Parkinson's Disease.

Before diving into the dram, it’s crucial to distinguish between International Whisky Day and World Whisky Day. While both celebrate the spirit of whisky, they hold distinct origins and purposes.

International Whisky Day vs World Whisky Day

International Whisky Day, established by whisky writer Blair Bowman in 2009, at a Whisky festival in the Netherlands, commemorates the birthday, the life and work of revered whisky and beer writer Michael Jackson. It's a day for enthusiasts worldwide to share their passion, knowledge, and appreciation for this cherished spirit.

Conversely, World Whisky Day, founded by Blair Bowman as well, falls on the third Saturday of May. This day aims to celebrate whisky in all its forms, encouraging both seasoned connoisseurs and curious newcomers to explore the diverse world of whisky.

Blended Nobility in A Glass

Beyond the pleasure of indulging in a glass, International Whisky Day also serves a noble purpose - supporting Parkinson's Disease research and awareness. Michael Jackson, celebrated British Writer and Journalist whose birthday engendered the celebration, was not only a prominent whisky critic and beer aficionado but also a courageous fighter against Parkinson's. Thus, on this day, whisky enthusiasts come together not only to savour the fine spirit but also to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson's research, honouring Jackson's legacy.

A Whisky History Lesson

Whisky’s journey spans centuries, weaving through the annals of time with a rich tapestry of tradition and innovation. Its origins shrouded in mist and legend, whisky’s story traces back to ancient civilizations. From the monastic distilleries of medieval Europe to the rugged highlands of Scotland and the rolling hills of Kentucky, whisky has evolved into a global phenomenon.

In recent years, whisky has experienced a renaissance, transcending its traditional image as a gentleman’s drink. Craft distilleries are popping up worldwide, offering unique expressions that challenge conventional notions of whisky. From experimental cask finishes to innovative blends, the whisky landscape is as diverse as it is dynamic.

Moreover, the trend towards sustainability and transparency has gained momentum in the whisky industry. Distilleries are prioritizing eco-friendly practices and providing consumers with detailed information about sourcing and production methods.

Celebrating Michael Jackson’s Memory

It’s no mere coincidence that International Whisky Day falls on the same date as Michael Jackson’s birthday. The legendary whisky writer, not to be confused with the King of Pop, played a pivotal role in elevating whisky appreciation to an art form. His meticulous tasting notes, insightful commentary, and boundless passion for the spirit inspired countless enthusiasts around the globe.

Jackson's influence transcended borders, bridging the gap between whisky novices and seasoned experts. His legacy continues to shape the whisky world, making International Whisky Day a fitting tribute to his enduring contribution.

Whisky or Whiskey: Let’s Settle the Debate

As we raise our glasses in celebration of International Whisky Day, let’s savour not only the exquisite flavours and aromas but also the camaraderie and sense of community that unite whisky enthusiasts worldwide. Let’s get our spellings right. Is it Whisky or Whiskey? The answer lies in geography. Scottish and Canadian distillers traditionally spell it "whisky," while their Irish and American counterparts opt for "whiskey." The difference may seem trivial, but for purists, it’s a matter of tradition and heritage.

As mentioned above spelling of the word 'whiskey' depends on the country of origin of the spirit. Bourbon, Rye, Tennessee, and Irish whiskey are spelled with an 'e'. On the other hand, whiskies from Scotland, Canada, and Japan are spelled without an 'e'. Therefore, American and Irish producers tend to use 'whiskey', while Scottish, Canadian, and Japanese producers prefer 'whisky'. The difference in spelling also applies to the plural form of the word. For 'whiskey', the plural is 'whiskeys', while for 'whisky', it's 'whiskies'.

In addition to spelling, there are some differences in the way whiskey/whisky is produced in different countries. For example, the number of times the spirit is distilled varies depending on the location. In the US and Scotland, whiskey is typically distilled twice, while in Ireland, it's distilled three times before the aging process begins.

To summarize, whiskey (with an 'e') refers to grain spirits distilled in Ireland and the United States, while whisky (without an 'e') refers to grain spirits from Scotland, Canada, or Japan. So, that’s more or less about International Whisky Day - a day to celebrate tradition, innovation, and the spirit of whisky. Whether you prefer a peaty Islay malt or a smooth Kentucky bourbon, there’s a whisky out there waiting to be discovered and relished.

Do you want to learn more about the intricacies, history and recent trends surrounding this smooth libation, then mark these dates on your calendar: September 4-6, and head on to KTPO Convention Centre in Bengaluru for the fifth edition of Brews and Spirits Expo.

Brews and Spirits Expo 2024

Brews and Spirits Expo is a dedicated trade fair and conference for the production of beer, wine, and spirits. Since its inception in 2018. The expo has served as a vital conduit in the dynamic alcobev market, seamlessly connecting innovators, technology providers, equipment manufacturers, brand owners, digital influencers, raw material suppliers, brewers, winemakers, distillers, distributors and retailers of alcobev, food and beverages experts from the hotel, restaurant, and entertainment sector as well as connoisseurs of spirits and wine

As we revel in the joy of our favourite whisky drink, let’s also remember to raise awareness and support the ongoing fight against Parkinson's Disease, honouring the memory of Michael Jackson and his enduring legacy. Furthermore, let’s practice drinking responsibly. Cheers!

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