ALL ABOUT WHISKEY
Whiskey is a type of alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. The grains used in whiskey production include barley, rye, wheat, and corn. Whiskey is typically aged in wooden casks, which give it its characteristic amber color. The alcohol content of whiskey varies depending on the country of origin, but it is typically between 40% and 50% ABV. Whiskey is traditionally consumed neat or with a splash of water. It can also be used as a base for cocktails such as the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan.
Whiskey has been used for both medicinal purposes and as a beverage since the early 1100s. Distilling techniques were brought to Ireland and Scotland by monks around this time, who needed something different than wine due to their location not having any nearby sources of grapes or other fruit trees- thus creating "whiskeys'' such as those found today!
How Whiskey is Made
Whiskey is made from a fermented mash of grain and then distilled. The most common type of whiskey is made from corn, but rye, wheat, and barley are also used. whiskey must be aged in oak barrels for at least two years, though many whiskey producers age their whiskey for much longer. The longer whiskey is aged, the more smooth and rich it becomes. When whiskey is first distilled, it is clear. However, the color darkens as it ages in the barrel due to the interaction between the wood and the whiskey.
- Bourbon Whiskey - A type of whiskey that is made in the United States and must be made from at least 51% corn. Aged in new, charred oak barrels. They are often sold to other distillers who use them to age rum, tequila, and other spirits. This sustainable production method helps to give each whiskey its unique flavor profile. Bourbon whiskey is the most popular type of whiskey in mixed drinks. It is also a key ingredient in many classic cocktails, such as the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan.
- Scotch Whisky - Hails from Scotland. A particular malt drying process imparts to the liquor a distinctive smoky taste. In addition to the smoky flavor, whiskey can also be sweet, fruity, or spicy. It is often enjoyed neat or on the rocks (without ice), but it is also a popular ingredient in cocktails, like in a Scotch Sour.
- Irish Whiskey - Also known as “uisce betha,” which means “water of life” in Gaelic. A blend of corn based and malted spirits. It is known for being very drinkable with a smooth, toasty, and typically sweet flavor.
- Blended Whiskeys - A mix of barrel aged malt and grain whiskeys. Blended whiskeys taste sweet with flavors of vanilla, cherry, candied fruit, or chocolate. They can also taste smoky or ashy, with hints of leather and dried fruits. They're generally more mild and approachable than single malts.
- Single Malt Whiskey - Produced by a single distillery using a single malted grain. Generally, whiskey tastes like oaky, woody, roasted grain alcohol, often with caramel, vanilla, fruit, or nut notes. Single malts tend to amplify and mellow these flavor characteristics simultaneously, so the drink is superiorly smooth.