Downing a drink has never been easier. It is embedded in the fabric of modern society, as professionals around the world come to a halt every evening, sitting with their deepest thoughts, aroused by a world of alcoholic beverages. The one drink that stands out in the list of various drinks available worldwide is whiskey. Often touted as the gentleman’s drink, there is always room for some good whiskey. No matter how many obscure drinks you down, a good aged whiskey does not go out of fashion, and perhaps paradise is a place where fine whiskey is reserved for the good. But most of us who drink whiskey are rarely aware of the types of whiskey, always confused by its changing colours, and its ageing consequences. So that brings us to this particular article, where I take the pleasure of defining the different types of whiskey to our readers.
A word that is forever associated with aristocracy, the Scotch whisky is that class of drink made in Scotland. You have the highland and lowland varieties that indicate that the scotch has been either produced in the highland areas, or the lowland areas. The Scottish highland is a rough part, with rugged mountains and isolated towns, while the lowland is a far simpler landscape with green pastures all around you. The scotch is further divided into five categories, namely, single malt, single grain, blended malt, blended grain, and blended scotch whiskey. An original scotch must be must be at least 40% ABV (80 proof), and less than 94.8% ABV (190 proof). Notable brands are Johnnie Walker, Dewars, and Macallan.
Made from corn, this one is an American classic, and should consist of at least 51 percent corn, while being aged in new, charred oak containers. Your typical straight bourbon should be aged for at least two years, and if it is less than four years then that must be mentioned on the label. Most bourbon whiskeys are distilled in Kentucky, America, and are popular in America. Some famous bourbon brands are Jim Bean, Four Roses, Woodford Reserve, and Makers Mark.
As the name suggests, this one is from Ireland, and is exquisite to say the least. A bottle of Irish whiskey must be distilled and aged in Ireland, with less than 94.8 percent ABV. Irish whiskey is made from yeast-fermented cereal grains, and is aged in wooden casks. A typical Irish whiskey should be aged for at least 3 years. Some famous Irish whiskey brands are Jameson Irish Whiskey, Locke’s Irish Whiskey, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, and Bushmills.
These beautifully bottled exquisite whiskeys are different from the rest, and have been heavily borrowed from Scottish distilling process. Japanese whisky giant, Suntory’s master distiller Masataka Taketsuru had studied in Scotland. Many Japanese distilleries use malted or peated barley that are in fact imported from Scotland. The whisky here is drier and smokier than others. Also, remember that the Japanese whisky is not written with an e, unlike the Irish spelling of whiskey, and much like the Scottish spelling of whisky. Notable brands include Suntory Hibiki 17 Years Old, and Nikka Single Malt Yoichi.
A top selling American whiskey, Tennessee whiskey means the forever enticing Jack Daniels. A bottle of Jack is originally straight bourbon, but the company labels it as Tennessee whiskey, which has permitted this category to crop up. Remember, Tennessee whiskey is not a recognised variety. The simple difference between a regular bourbon and Jack Daniels is in the process of filtering the whiskey.
Produced in North America, this one requires mash that is at least 51 percent rye, and is then aged in a charred barrel of two year minimum. You can expect your rye to be slightly fruity, and to help you make killer cocktails. It is important to remember that rye comes from the wheat family, but is not your regular wheat. Some famous brands of rye are Wild Turkey 101 Rye, Knob Creek Rye Whiskey, and Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve.