Whisky myths: colour = flavour
While it may seem that a darker whisky would have more flavour than a lighter whisky, this just isn’t the case.
A whisky’s colour develops in the wood during maturation (casks, don’t forget, are filled with new make spirit which is a clear liquid). Different colours will develop from the wood for several reasons: the wood type and size of cask used, how that cask has been pre-treated, how many times the cask has been used before, what (if any) the previous contents of the cask were and, of course, the length of the maturation period. All these things will all affect the colour extractives that end up in the final whisky.
Then, there is question as to whether caramel colouring has been used. While the Scotch Whisky Regulations (2009) allow the use of E5100 for distillers to achieve colour consistency, caramel cannot be used to add flavour. So, while colour can potentially give many clues as to how the whisky has been matured, it can also be very deceptive and certainly doesn’t tell you the whole story.
Be smart, don’t believe the myth and enjoy whiskies across the whole colour spectrum.
Whisky can so often seem wrapped up in rules. Sure, there are the regulatory ones (legit) but what about the rest? Who makes these rules, and should you feel bad for breaking them? We’re here to bust the myths and separate the simple mistakes from the marketing speak.
Whisky ages in the bottle, right?