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A Passion – ‘Usquebaugh’ – Water of Life

A Passion – ‘Usquebaugh’ – Water of Life
See, this is the difference when it comes to a passion. Or, as the French say, ‘une grande passion’. Just sounds so much more appealing when coached in those terms, doesn’t it?

Because in water cooler supplier terms, water of life means what it says – an absolute necessity – without water, not much life going on.  But-t-t-t-t-t-t to a whisky drinker, ‘Water of Life’, means pretty much the same thing, but there’s an incredible history and la passion behind that expression too!

So, for your eddication:

‘*The Gaelic “usquebaugh”, meaning “Water of Life”, phonetically became “usky” and then “whisky” in English. However it is known, Scotch Whisky, Scotch or Whisky (as opposed to whiskey), it has captivated a global market.

Scotland has internationally protected the term “Scotch”. For a whisky to be labelled Scotch it has to be produced in Scotland. If it is to be called Scotch, it cannot be produced in England, Wales, Ireland, America or anywhere else. Excellent whiskies are made by similar methods in other countries, notably Japan, but they cannot be called Scotches. They are most often referred to as “whiskey”. While they might be splendid whiskies, they do not captivate the tastes of Scotland.

As you may have gathered at this point, I have a slight yen for the usquebaugh – the single malt variety that is. The more peat, seaweed and evocativeness, the better.

Many people (more for me I say) don’t ‘get’ whisky (or whiskey for that matter), probably in a similar manner to me not ‘getting’ brandy.  You must understand (ooo! Tina Turner!) when I was introduced to whisky and for a number of years thereafter, I had no concept of the multi-billion pound industry that whisky is. All I knew is that I really liked the stuff. Pretty simple really.

Anyhow, water for you may be a little different to the water for me.

What I do think is worthy of a mention though, is that were you aware that a lot of the water that AquAid supplies to its customers is from Scotland – more specifically, that the water is drawn from 120 metres beneath the ancient, unspoiled Lammermuir Hills, where it is naturally filtered by deep layers of hard basalt rock and red sandstone?

Now, add into the mix the fact that the first process in whisky making is finding a plentiful supply of water. Scotland has some of the purest water in the world. Most distilleries are built on good reliable water sources, which can be springs or boreholes. Each unique water source adds to the character and flavour of the whisky.

Hmmm, don’t know about you, but that’s an easy parallel to draw there and I think credit must be given to me for my superlative good taste in the ‘water of life’!

*Excerpts from – A Brief History of Scotch Whisky



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