Alcohol plays an important role across The Frontier, being one of the few things that connect people of all stations. A social lubricant, a hard earned reward at the end of a long day of toil, a commodity for the rich. Many faces for the same result and perhaps no form of alcohol is more revered on The Frontier than whisky.
Or, at least in the eyes of the Whisky Syndicate and the distillers who form the organisation. Read on to learn more about the group and what makes whisky such a sacred drink.
Whisky of The Frontier
Whisky is held in the highest regard on The Frontier, with it being seen as a divine drink in some regions of the country. For the Whisky Syndicate, it has religious connotations and a connection to Malleus, the god of industry and alcohol.
Let’s take a look at the Provinces where whisky production is most common:
Corn whisky in Merais Province: Merais Province is considered to be the spiritual home of whisky production and is known for having the largest concentration of whisky distilleries on The Frontier. It’s also the base of the Whisky Syndicate.
Corn whisky is the most popular type to be distilled in Merais, though there are some distillers producing styles from other regions. These types of distilleries are moonshine operations, as under the guidance of the Whisky Syndicate, each Province can only be recognised for a distinct style and the distillers must stick within that region’s guidelines.
Merais whisky is characterised by sweetness, a smooth finish and a full-bodied quality.
Rye whisky in Frithland Province: Frithland Province is known for producing a large volume of rye whisky and the characteristics are spicy, briny qualities that are the result of a lot of the Firthland distilleries being located close to the sea.
Barley whisky in Lera Province: Up in the north of The Frontier, a lot of barley whisky is produced in Lera Province. The high altitude and temperate conditions tend to produce whisky that’s peaty, smokey and dry.
What is the Whisky Syndicate?
The Whisky Syndicate is the governing body of all the whisky distilleries across the land. They are made up of the three main guilds from Merais, Frithland and Lera and work to protect the product, set the rules and ensure that the whisky production process is respected.
The Whisky Syndicate has a pious quality to it, with some members of the organisation being determined to showcase the religious elements of whisky and its connection to Malleus. For example, the Merais Guild is the most passionate advocate of this viewpoint.
Rules and regulations
The organisation also sets out the rules for the industry. One of the most crucial regulations is that each Province’s style of whisky should be protected and has a Geographical Indication (GI) to denote the importance. In the eyes of the Whisky Syndicate it would be frowned upon for corn whisky to be made in Lera Province and barley whisky to be made in Merais Province.
That’s not stopped moonshiners from going ahead with their own styles and working under the radar of the Whisky Syndicate. The organisation is certainly not without its detractors, with some people seeing it as condescending and high and mighty.
These claims aren’t unfounded, as the Whisky Syndicate does have a tendency to look down on drinks from other categories, particularly rum and the rum distillers of Deepstead Province and beyond.
In response, the rum distilleries have taken to calling the members of the syndicate ‘whisky warriors’ for their overzealousness and stuffy qualities.
The infamous Hammer of The Witches, Clay McNab, is partial to whisky and you can follow his story in AT THE DEAD OF DUSK. Purchase the novella today and let me know what you think!