In simple words, whisky is a strong liquor that is distilled from grains and stored in oak casks for years. This process is cold ‘aging’ and this gives Whisky’s unique flavour.
The primary ingredients in Whisky are water, grains, and yeast, but that’s just a small picture of the drink. Since this drink managed to become world famous, you will have to consider looking at different countries that produce the brew.
Whisky in Ireland
In Ireland, Whisky is spelled with an ‘e.’ That is Whiskey. The drink is distilled from a mixture of different blends, which include un-malted and malted barley. One of the most popular Irish Whiskeys is called Jameson.
When the Whiskey is distilled in a pot, it is called “pot still” Whiskey. Redbreast is a famous pot Whiskey in Ireland. The Irish usually prefer the triple distillation process, compared to the Scottish method that prefers double distillation. The result is a smooth, lighter end product.
Whisky in Scotland
In Scotland, there are different types of Whisky;
- Blended whisky: this is a mix of malt Whiskies that are usually from different distillers. The drink typically has a considerable amount of grain Whisky. An example of the blended whisky is Chivas Regal.
- Malt Whisky: this type of Whisky is made from malted barley. At the same time, the distillers use copper pots.
- Grain whisky: typically produced from different crops, for instance, wheat, maize, unmalted barley. An example of grain whisky is North British.
By the law of the country, the brew has to mature for over three years before they can refer to it as Whiskey. More to that, the fresh distillate is known as ‘new make’ or ‘spirit.’
Whisky in the United States of America
The United States also produces Whisky of its own, known as American Whiskey (over time the Irish spelling has taken on). The brew is made from a mix of grains following a specific recipe known as ‘Mash Bill’. There are different Whiskey brands in the country.
- The famous Bourbon Whiskey made in Kentucky, for instance, is called Four Roses. The Bourbon consists of at least 51%, and on the mashbill, the corn should be less than 80%.
- The world famous Tennessee Whiskey is called Jack Daniel’s. This alcoholic beverage is filtered through a specific layer of maple sugar charcoal.
- Rye Whiskey also made in Kentucky. An example is the Old Overholt.
In the USA, the grains are typically produced before distillation as opposed to the Scottish method. Over the past decades, there has been a growth in the American Whiskey industry. Therefore, it has given rise to the smaller, micro-distilleries.
Other countries that produce Whisky are Canada (Crown Royale and Glen Breton) and Japan (Yamazaki). Interestingly, Whisky is becoming more and more popular in cocktails just like Palinka. If you are in a bar, don’t miss whisky-based cocktails!