I was introduced to the Hot Scotchy tradition a few years back by pro brewer Jim Strelau of Oak Creek brewing. I've taken the tradition to other homebrewers that I know through HomebrewTalk.com
and my local club ASH www.azhomebrewers.org
The Hot Scotchy is explained here (and this is the earliest print reference I could find) :
"The origins of the following ritual are rather sketchy, but the late Russell Scherer is often credited with introducing it to the craft-brewing scene. Jim learned about hot scotchies from Artie Tafoya on a very cold, snowy day when he was brewing at the Hubcap Brewery in Vail, Colorado. The process is very simple. once you have recirculated and clarified your wort, draw off about a pint of first runnings, leaving enough room in the glass for an ounce of good single malt whisky. Add the scotch, mix well, and drink. The rich malt sugar of the wort combines wonderfully with the whisky - particularly a peatier Islay or lowland scotch - to make a delicious warm drink that gives you a nice energy boost during your brew day. A hot scotchie at the beginning of the lauter can help prevent stuck mashes - or at least make them easier to cope with when they occur."
Ray Daniels | Jim Parker "Brown Ale", Classic Beer Style Series, p. 109
Inspired by the writing of Jeff Alworth http://beervana.blogspot.com/2010/11/greatest-beverage-in-world-hot-scotchy.html
and The New School http://www.newschoolbeer.com/2011/04/portland-cocktail-camp-and-homemade-hot.html
, I wrote something for a local publication http://www.foodandflourish.com/guest-columns/2012/2/1/hot-scotchy-the-brewers-secret-cocktail.html
We've found that the Hot Scotchy is a vehicle to take beer to places that it has not normally been. As a club, we're able to work with establishments with liquor licenses and work with their kitchens to make a mash. This allow our homebrewers to assist in making a product that we can use to explain how beer is made and its relation to distilling. Since we obviously can't pour hombrewed beer at a bar, this is the next best thing. We have also made wort for events where liquor samples are served. If you're enterprising, your club might be able to work out a deal where proceeds go to your club.
As such we've got these events going for our beer week, ArizonaBeerWeek.com
I didn't see any other place where the Hot Scotchy was mentioned in this way, so I thought I'd start this thread. I also started this Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hot-Scotchy/319251714792712?sk=wall
Feel free to contribute in any way that you can with information on the history and pictures!