Can You Tell the Difference: The Different Kinds of Whiskey
Whiskey is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks known to man. In fact, you can order a glass of this drink in almost every bar, pub, or club in any country. In the Philippines, Jack Daniel’s – a notable alcoholic brand – offers one of the many variations of whiskey.
However, there are more variations of whiskey than what was mentioned above. This would include bourbon, scotch, and Irish whiskey. Some parts of the world even have their own variants as well.
By reading this article, you will learn the whiskey’s creation process as well as its different variants that are out there.
The Creation Process of Whiskey
Whiskey is the final product when you heat grains such as corn, rye, barley, wheat or sorghum with water and ferment it to create mash. This mash is then distilled to create the whiskey base, which is aged in wooden casks.
There are several factors at play that will differentiate the various types of whiskey. They include the grains used to create this liquor, the distillation process, how long it aged, and what kind of barrel was used.
4 Kinds of Whiskey
There are four kinds of whiskey you must know about. These are scotch, bourbon, rye, and Irish whiskey.
For a type of whiskey to be considered scotch, it must be made mostly from malted barley. This alcohol has a strong taste that sticks, which to some may be enough reason to stay away from it. It can, basically, be considered as an acquired taste.
In its creation process, the maker is strictly forbidden to use whole grains, cereals, caramel coloring or fermentation additives. Take note that it also needs to be aged in oak casks, which are at least three years old and can’t be bigger than 700 liters. It also must have an ABV (Alcohol by Volume) of not more than 94.8% but not less than 40%.
Finally, scotch is only scotch if it was made from Scotland. It cannot be created anywhere else.
Bourbon sets itself aside from other whiskeys. This is because not only does it have a sweet and smoky flavour, but also its fermentation process is distinctly different. Essentially, its grain mix or mash is made out of 51% corn. Furthermore, its mixture undergoes the process called sour mash, which is being done by mixing a new batch of mash with an existing one.
This drink also has no aging restrictions, which means it doesn’t have a minimum aging period. However, you must make sure to use new charred oak barrels when you age them.
On a side note, straight bourbon needs to be aged for 2 years. Also, remember if real scotch is made in Scotland, then bourbon must be created in the United Stated for it to be considered as authentic.
As the name of this whiskey suggests, rye whiskey has a mash that is made of 51% rye. Similar with bourbon, it has no requirements when it comes to ageing, as long as it is encased in oak barrels that are new and charred. But you can’t say the same for straight rye.This is because you need a minimum of two years in order to age it.
When it comes to taste, rye is pretty similar to bourbon. However, it does have a little more edge and spice to its flavor.
Fun fact: The regulation on rye whiskey in Canada has loosened up to the point that even whiskeys with less than 51% rye are still considered rye whiskey even though America still follows the original regulations.
- Irish Whiskey
Ireland – a nearby neighbour of Scotland – is also quite well-known for their whiskey. Irish whiskey is a particular variation of whiskey that has simpler regulations.
First of all, it has to be distilled and aged in Ireland. The ageing process should be at least three years in wooden casks that are at the most 700 liters big.
Essentially, you can use any cereal grain and combine it with a mixture of two or more. But you have to remember that this process should be labelled properly.
The Irish whiskey’s flavor is quite smooth and not as smoky as other types of whiskeys.
These are the basic types of whiskey that you will normally run into. They all have their different variations as well as their unique tastes. Basically, it can cater to many people because of their versatility. You would also be glad to know that you can create all sorts of cocktails through mixing these whiskeys with other alcoholic drinks.
If you’re looking for your own taste of whiskey, Alcoline is the alcohol distributor for you. This is because we can offer you a plethora of choices of whiskeys. We have been in the industry for a long time and we aim to offer all our customers the best service that they deserve.