Just posted on the blog, starting the new year with Islay whisky and Viennese music:

New Year’s brunch with Islay whisky and Viennese waltzes

#Islay #Scotland #whisky #NewYear #NewYearsConcert #Vienna #waltzes #music
New Year’s brunch with Islay whisky and Viennese waltzes
Excuse me for asking, but what does 'Bourbon cask' mean? Surely, this whisky does not have anything to do with the American drink, does it?
@mfierst it does, indirectly. Scottish whisky is mainly aged in two different types of casks, used sherry or used bourbon casks (in recent years other casks like wine etc have been added to the mix). Some whiskies are only aged in one type of cask (eg bourbon only or sherry only), others in a mixture (e.g. first seven years in a bourbon cask, then another three years in a sherry cask). This one spent the whole time in a single bourbon cask (which is why this is a single cask whisky. Most other whiskies you buy in supermarkets and even whisky shops are from lots of casks mixed together (mainly to ensure consistency). Does that explain it?
It does, thank you.
@mfierst you're welcome. One addition I just remembered: All the colour of a good whisky also comes from the cask(s), as the raw spirit when it is distilled is just plain clear. Peaty water or the peat used to dry the barley have no impact on the colour.
(caveat: Some whiskies also contain colouring (usually caramel) to ensure consistency of the colour. This is falling more and more out of fashion though and more and more producers are stopping colouring, in particular for high end whisky)
Yes, I know about the colour and the casks. Casks add flavour as well as colour. This is the case with many spirits, like armagnac, cognac, whisky, calvados and probably many others.
Incidently, are there large differences between Scottish and Irish whiskies, or is the difference more like the differences between different distilleries?
@mfierst well, to start with the spelling is different: Scottish whisky vs Irish whiskey. Then Scottish whisky is normally distilled twice while Irish is triple distilled. Scottish whisky used malted barley whereas Irish whiskey uses unmalted barley. Typically Irish whisky is considered to be smoother and lighter than Scottish whisky. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule and because of the large number of distilleries there's a good chance you'll find a pair of Scottish and Irish whiskies with very similar taste profiles if you just look enough.

I think those are the key points.
@appaloosa all the details about the food are in the blog post, just follow the link ;-)