So you’ve decided to get into whiskey? That’s a great choice. And if you prefer Single Malt scotch to blended varieties, you have even more options. But how do you know which bottle of whiskey is the best? Good question! So here are some tips on choosing a good bottle of whisky.
Bourbon is a variety of whiskey made in the U.S. Bourbon must be distilled from a grain mixture of a minimum of 51% corn. Bourbon should age in charred oak barrels. Bourbon can be produced anywhere in the United States and not necessarily from Kentucky, although it’s typically only labelled as straight bourbon is made there.
If you love whiskey, give rye whiskey a try. The U.S. and Canadian versions of this spirit are distinct. The former is usually made with at least 51% rye, while the latter may be blended with other grains like corn or wheat.
Rye whiskey has an earthy flavour that some compare to pepper, but it’s more about the spice. It’s got a noticeably dry finish thanks to the high level of rye. As for the aging process itself? It can take up to 25 years for American ryes and up to 15 years for Canadian ones. The result is a complex drink that’s perfect on its own with just a dash of water!
Irish whiskey is produced in Ireland and distilled from grain, most commonly malted barley, and water. Irish whiskey must be distilled in Ireland, although not all are made there. There are four main types of Irish whiskey:
- Single Malt Irish whiskey, which is made from malted barley and water;
- grain whisky, which is made from corn or other grain;
- blended Irish whiskey, which is a mix of Single Malt and grain whiskies;
- and pot still/grain/malt-potable spirits.
Generally speaking, the malt will have a more complex flavour profile than its counterparts, which can sometimes taste too sweet or sour on the palate. Still, it’s often worth exploring the range available to find your favourite style of this iconic spirit.
Scotch whisky is a type of whisky made in Scotland. It must be aged in oak barrels for at least three years, and only water, yeast and malted barley can be added during the process.
This means there should be no other ingredients than water, yeast and malted barley used to produce scotch whisky. There are two main classes in Scotch:
- Single Malt (a product of one distillery)
- blended (made from various whiskies).
Japanese whisky is a type of whiskey that’s distilled in Japan. It’s made with a blend of grains and rice, as opposed to barley, the primary ingredient in Scotch and American whiskeys. The main difference between Japanese whiskies and other types of whiskey is that it’s aged for less time than its counterparts: about 5 or 6 years compared to 15-20 years for Scotch or eight years for bourbon.
This whisky is similar due to its aging process. It also differs from other whiskeys in another way: most bottles contain only 40% alcohol by volume (ABV), compared to 45% ABV for Scotch and 45%-50% ABV for bourbon. This lower alcohol content means that you’ll need fewer shots per drink!
Overall, the most important thing to remember when choosing a good whiskey is that you should be able to enjoy it. So, when sampling one of these brands, pay attention to your senses, and keep trying until you find what works for you!