Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Waiting

Whisky. Uisga Beatha. Water of Life.

By law, Scotch (that is, whisky without the ‘e’) must be aged in oak barrels in Scotland for a minimum of three years. Most premium distillers, however, mature their whisky for much longer (8, 10, 12, 15 years, etc.). Many of the casks that are used to age Scotch are imported from America and Europe and have previously held wine, bourbon, port, and sherry. Each barrel lends its own distinctive flavors and color to the finished product. It is a long process, but believe me, for the distillers and those of us who reap the benefits of their labor…

Stacked whisky barrels in a warehouse.
Stacked whisky barrels in an old warehouse.

…it is worth waiting for.

A glass of whisky next to green stonecrop.

To be a part of the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, click here.  Thank you, Amy, for this week’s challenge!


The History of Whisky

The word ‘whisky’ is derived from the Gaelic term “uisge beatha” (“oosh-keh beh-ha) which means “water of life”.

The Scottish Gaels called it “uisge beatha.” In Latin, the phrase is “aqua vitae.” Both translate to “water of life.” What is this “water of life” to which they refer? It’s whisky, my friends.

A glass of whisky sitting on a rock next to stonecrop.

The history of whisky is not 100% definitive but there seems to be a pretty solid consensus as to how this rich and complex liquid came to be. (Please keep in mind that there will always be slightly differing opinions on the matter.  We are, after all, talking about a very long time ago!)

The national drink of the Scots, whisky likely originated over 1,000 years ago after traveling monks crossed into Scotland and Ireland from mainland Europe, bringing their knowledge of distillation with them. Whisky’s story begins long before that, however, in the world of the Mesopotamian ancients.

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