The Terroir Of Whiskey

For decades, the wine industry has honed in on the transformative effect of terroir on its multi-billion dollar product. Science has shown how the soil, the microclimate of a region, and the topography of where the grapes are grown change and effect flavors.  But what about a distilled grain alcohol, aged in barrels? For years, scholars, brewers and distillers have debated the issue of terroir in relation to whiskey. And recently, a new study offers proof of terroir’s influence on the brown spirit, more or less settling the debate. Terroir can, in fact, be found in barley … more significantly, in the single malt whiskey distilled from it. In the peer reviewed paper published in the scientific journal Foods, titled “The Whiskey Terroir Project,” scientists studied two barley varieties grown on two farms with separate environments in 2017 and 2018: Athy, County Kildare and Bunclody, County Wexford in South Eastern Ireland.

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