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Ranked among the world's most famous spirits, Whisky or Whiskey is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grains or by distilling Beer. Most whiskies have a minimum alcohol percentage of 40% ABV (alcohol by volume). Whisky can be made using barley, rye, or a mix of two or more types of grain. It's aged in wooden casks, giving it its distinct woody and smoky flavor.
Whisky ingredients, called the mash bill, include various grains like barley, corn, rye, and wheat (which may be malted), depending on what is made. Whisky is typically aged in wooden casks for at least a few years, generally made of charred white oak. Styles of distillation depend on the grains used and where it's made. Most Whisky distilleries are in Scotland, Ireland, America, and Japan, to name a few countries.
The unifying characteristic of the different styles and types is the process of fermentation, distillation, and aging in wooden barrels. Even the type of wood influences the flavor of the Whisky a lot! Some standard tasting notes of Whisky include smoke, wood, spice, nuts, fruit, vanilla, and caramel. So if you try a whisky and think it tastes like wood, don't worry about it – you're definitely on the right track.
Yup, it isn't apparent. The key to unlocking this mystery is where the spirit is made. Whiskey, with the 'e,' is used by distilleries in Ireland or The United States – so if it's bourbon or rye, it's Whiskey. On the other hand, if it's spelled without the 'e,' it will likely be produced in Scotland, Canada, and Japan.
Bourbon or American Whiskey, typically made in Kentucky or Tennessee, is matured in newly-charred American oak casks. Its mash bill consists of at least 51% corn but may contain malted barley, rye, or wheat.
Typical flavor notes: nuts with sweet, mellowed caramel
Try On Boozy: Jack Daniel's, Jim Beam
Rye Whiskey is distinct in that it has a lighter body than other whiskies and is typically sweeter. This type of Whiskey must contain at least 51 percent rye in its composition, along with corn and malted barley. Rye Whiskey is also primarily produced in the United States and is aged in new oak casks.
Standard tasting notes: spice, fruit
Try on Boozy: Jack Daniel's Rye, Sagamore Spirit
Single Malt Whisky can only be made from malted grain, and only one type is used instead of a mix; that's why it's called "Single Malt." It uses only one kind of grain (typically barley), even if it can be from different barrels. It must be aged in oak barrels for at least three years, and new casks are never used. This type of Whisky is not exclusive to a single country but can usually be found in Ireland, Scotland, and Japan.
Standard flavor notes are mostly smoke and wood (unique tasting notes vary per distillery). With so many Scotch Whisky brands here on Boozy, you'll find your favorite.
Try on Boozy: Glenfiddich, Singleton of Dufftown
Blended Whisky is the best-selling type of Whisky around the world. As its name suggests, it's a fusion of different whiskies from different distilleries. It's made by combining malt and grain whisky.
Standard flavor notes: vanilla, chocolate, smoked, candied fruit
Try on Boozy: Johnnie Walker, Chivas Regal
Irish Whiskey is typically distilled at least three times, and because of that, it's known for being notoriously smooth compared to other whiskies. Irish Whiskey is made from a yeast-fermented blend of malted grains like corn, wheat, and barley.
Standard flavor notes: smooth, honeyed
Try on Boozy: Jameson, The Sexton, Bushmills
Scotch Whisky, compared to its Irish counterpart, is distilled only twice. Scotch Whisky is known for its distinct smokiness and is made entirely from malted barley.
Standard flavor notes: smoky, smooth, fruity
Try on Boozy: Chivas Regal, Johnnie Walker, Ballantine's Finest
Cask Strength Whisky, Single Cask Whisky, Grain Whisky, Malt Whisky, Corn Whiskey, Rye Malt Whiskey, Wheat Whiskey, Canadian Whisky, Japanese Whiskey, Taiwanese Whisky, Welsh Whisky, and more.
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