PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 01: Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer speaks to the media after the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2019 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)Alabama’s scheduling practices under Nick Saban have been criticized for years, and recently, the school has finally started to schedule some big-time non-conference opponents. Friday, former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer was asked by Colin Cowherd about scheduling in college football.Meyer told Cowherd that he, as both the head coach at Florida and Ohio State, signed off on non-conference matchups. He said that with the Gators, because they always played Florida State, they avoided traveling too far for another non-conference game. He said that with the Buckeyes, their philosophy was to schedule one major home-and-home opponent per year.The most interesting part of the conversation came when Meyer commented on the SEC’s perceived weak non-conference schedules.“I think Alabama’s changing but that’s way down the road when they’re going to Wisconsin. I think they’re going home-and-home with Wisconsin. …but you have to figure too that the SEC is getting two teams a year into the playoff. And Ohio State’s not. So does schedule strength really matter? That’s the question – does it matter? Should it matter more? Those are all debates.I remember Gene and I talking about it. You can say that schedule strength matters, but wait a minute, does it? If Ohio State doesn’t get in the playoff or another school doesn’t get in the playoff and they’re playing nine conference games and another big-time opponent and they don’t get in. And someone’s playing eight conference games and then maybe not the strongest non-conference but they do get two in – those are all conversations you have to have.”Meyer stepped down as Ohio State’s head coach after the 2018 season. While he’s said he thinks he’s done coaching, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him return to the sport at some point.Until then, you can catch him on FOX’s college football pregame show on Saturday mornings.
When it comes to the wide world of whisky, most drinkers can name off the major whisky-producing countries as easily as you could the players on your favorite football team. What you may not know is that India has been consuming and producing whisky a ton of whisky for quite a while.Just how much? According to the group International Wine and Spirits Research, 193.1 million nine-liter cases of whisky were consumed in India in 2016 (98.24 percent of which was made in India). Globally, 399.2 million cases were consumed in 2016, meaning that India drank just under half of the world’s whisky.With that staggering number now bouncing around your brain, let’s dig into how the Indian whisky sector got there and why you should be paying attention to it (before it’s too late, as it is with many Japanese age statement whiskies).Paul John Whisky/FacebookA Brief History of Whisky in India Whisky first appeared in India during the British Colonial period (the early 1800s), when the Europeans brought their whiskies (and their India Pale Ales, of course) with them to the country. This led to the establishment of the first brewery in India, which later became the first distillery.The thing is, a lot of what was produced in the country and was being labeled as whisky wasn’t technically whisky, at least according to European or American standards. Due to food and grain shortages, though, “whisky” was made with a blend of neutral spirits and fermented molasses — what would be identified rum almost everywhere else.Indian Whisky TodayIt wasn’t until the 1980s that a single malt distillery was established. Amrut, the first single malt distillery in India, began producing single malt whiskies from Indian barley, then mixing it with other alcohol before selling it. In 1992, John Distilleries was established, following a similar pattern. As the global market continued to grow and evolve, both distilleries made the move to producing single malt whiskies — Amrut in 2004 and John Distilleries in 2008.To find out more about Indian single malt whiskies, we sat down with John Distilleries’ master distiller, Michael D’Souza. For the brand’s Paul John whiskies, he says the team uses six-row barley from the foothills of the Himalayas. The higher protein and enzyme content of the barley helps to give the whisky more body and character. They then double-distill in specially designed copper pot stills that were made in India. When it comes times to age the spirit, D’Souza says that India’s climate helps the process greatly. The Best Blended Scotch Whiskies to Add to Your Collection 10 Best Whiskies for Irish Coffee Bruichladdich Distillery Unveils its New Octomore Scotch Whisky Series Whiskey vs Whisky: Is There Really a Difference? All the New Whiskies You Need to Drink This Fall “The ideal warm weather of coastal Goa helps our whiskies mature faster, unlike those produced in colder climates. Thus every step of the process, from germination to malting and peating, enhances the distinct flavors of our unique whiskies placing them in a niche of their own,” D’Souza says.Currently, there are five expressions from the brand available in the United States: Brilliance, Edited, Bold, Select Cask Classic, and Select Cask Peated. All of the expressions, D’Souza says, are aged a minimum of six years and some up to eight; they don’t rest longer due to the tropical climate and the accelerated aging process.Paul John WhiskyAnd what do the whiskies taste like?Let’s start with one of the brand’s three flagships, Brilliance. Cinnamon, spice, honey and, demerara sugar on the nose lead to a spicy, honeyed palate. Hints of cocoa lead into a strong yet smooth vanilla finish.For the peated flagship, Edited, you’ll find smells of coffee and smoke with some hints of honey and cocoa. The peat is subtle on the palate behind cocoa and mint flavors, which follow through to the finish.Their final flagship, Bold, is sweet and spicy on the nose as well, this time with honey and licorice dominating the profile. The palate is smooth, with spice notes coming through from beginning to end, with a little bit of smoke and a hint of metallic tang. The finish is light, with cocoa and spice flavors.Paul John WhiskyD’Souza says that the whiskies speak to a larger audience — not just those looking to try an Indian whisky for the first time, but those looking to experience something more. “We would like to say our [whisky] is not just a gateway to learn about other Indian whiskies, but a gateway to understand and know that a good single malt whisky can be made anywhere in the world and that a whole new category of whisky is emerging outside traditional whisky-making countries.”You can use John Distilleries’ store locator tool to find where you can get Paul John Single Malt Whisky near you. Editors’ Recommendations