Whiskey is a popular variety of alcohol. In fact, liquor enthusiasts have their own preferred way of drinking it. Some like it to be shaken, while others opt for it to be stirred. Whichever group you belong, everyone would agree that whiskey is just too good a drink to pass up on.
If you want to learn more about this all-time favorite alcoholic drink, then read on!
Below, you will find how whiskeys are being differentiated and distinguished.
But first, let’s get on a very heated debate: Is it whiskey or whisky?
Is it Whiskey or Whisky?
The rule in spelling out this liquor is to spell it with an “e” (whiskey) if the country of its origin also has an “e”, just like the United States and Ireland. For countries such a Scotland, Canada, Japan, and India, it will be spelled without an “e” (whisky). However, there is an exception to this rule. American distillers, who adapted several techniques of Scotch distilleries, will opt to spell this liquor without the letter “e.”
What is a Whiskey?
Whiskey is a distilled beer that is made from a mash bill of grains (specifically malted Barley, Rye, Corn, or Wheat). These grains are heated and soaked in water to generate fermentable sugar from the starch and develops into a liquid named “Wort.” The Wort is then mixed with yeast for fermentation and distillation. This process will yield a clear whiskey that is then aged in oak barrels for months or years. The drink’s aroma and flavors will vary depending on the type of barrel, which also cast the color of the liquor. Whiskeys that were not cultured in barrels are labeled as unaged whiskey, which is also known as “moonshine.”
Types of Whiskey
Just like any alcohol, whiskeys also have sub categories with different characteristics. A few of them include the following:
This specific type of whiskey was prevalent in the late 1700s and early 1800s in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Due to prohibition, it disappeared for a time and re-emerged in the recent years.
According to the law, this specific whiskey must be manufactured from a mix of grains that has a minimum of 51% Rye and must be distilled in new oak barrels for two years.
Rye Whiskey has a dominantly spicy taste due to the high percentage of Rye grains used to create it.
For your enjoyment, you can relish it straight or with water.
Despite being named after Bourbon County, this specific whiskey does not have to be manufactured in Kentucky. Even if the whole process of producing this wine was performed outside of Bourbon County, it can still be categorized as a Bourbon Whiskey.
The specification of this whiskey is the mash bill that should at least have 51% corn and must be aged in charred new American Oak barrels.
Due to the caramel, coconut, notes of vanilla, and a high percentage of corn, this whiskey yields a sweet taste.
Tennessee Whiskeys have similar production requirements as the Bourbon Whiskey except for two things. Unlike for Bourbon Whiskey, which does not have to be manufactured exclusively in Bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey must be strictly produced in Tennessee only.
Another difference is the filtering technique which Tennessee Whiskeys utilize. The Lincoln County Process is a filtering technique that steeps the wine in charcoal chips made out of sugar maple. This step will provide smoothness and character to the wine.
What Whiskey Brands Are Best to Consume?
Want to know the best whiskey brands to consume on a regular day or during special occasions? Here are a few of our suggestions:
This whiskey was distilled three times and took at least four years to mature. With a light sweet floral fragrance and a spicy wood scent, this whiskey coats the mouth with a balance of spicy, nutty, and vanilla notes. For extra smoothness, a hint of sweet sherry is also present.
Johnnie Walker Red Label
With the combination of light whiskeys originating from Scotland’s East Coast and peaty whiskeys from the West Coast, this whiskey refreshes the palate with aromatic spices, such as cinnamon and pepper. When enjoying this, you might get a hint of sweetness from apple or pear, as well as a smooth wave of vanilla and its trademark lingering smoky finish.
Southern Comfort dates back to 1874. It was inspired by the recipe made by M.W. Heron, founder. This whiskey has fruit and spice accents that are a sure hit among the mixers.
Jim Beam White
Since it was founded in 1795, this bourbon distillation ages their whiskeys for at least 4 years in oak barrels. With the long aging period, this bourbon provides a sweet, fruity taste with notes of char, oak, and grain. With every sip, you can expect an oaky vanilla scent with a spicy touch.
With the wide variety of whiskeys there are in the market, there is surely one that would suit whatever preference you have.
If you’re interested in buying a bottle or two but you don’t know where to start, then check out our selections above for top-notch options that will surely not disappoint.