Types of whiskey

Whiskey is a drink in which many people love to indulge. Attracted to all sorts, people find themselves filling up their flasks, ordering another round, and telling bottles that they are their water of life. Whiskey, quite simply, is among the most lavish of liquors: ordering a glass always raises the bar.

Yet, there are some people who have never tried whiskey, some unfortunate souls who frequently indulge in only tequila or vodka. It's not these peoples' faults, we must not go after them in some sort of Whiskey Rebellion. Whiskey, instead, is to blame: after all, this is one drink that is intimidating to the novice.

Not only does whiskey demand a certain sophistication, like a drink that rolls its eyes in the direction of light beer and one that refuses to sit anywhere other than the top shelf, but it also comes in an overwhelming variety.

The following list offers the novice a little help as it showcases the different types of whiskey: go ahead and drink it in.

Scotch Whiskey: These whiskies tend to answer to their first name: Scotch. Scotch is whiskey that is distilled in Scotland (a whiskey wearing a kilt is a sign of validity). They are typically distilled twice, but may be distilled three times. Scotch must be aged in oak casks for at least three years.

Scotch can be made from malted barely, unmalted barely, other unmalted grains or a mix. It can also come from a single distillery, or several. Regardless of the type, Scotch is well liked among drinkers: in many peoples' opinions, it malts in your mouth and not in your hand.

Japanese Whiskey: Initially, the Japanese took a page from the Scotch playbook and attempted to recreate the same whiskey in Japan. However, because the ingredients used in Scotland weren't widely available, they were forced to deviate from their original plan. Still, Japanese Whiskey does a good job of carrying on the traditions introduced by the Scottish, it just tastes different.

Japanese Whiskey typically does not contain wheat or rye (two ingredients essential to many types of whiskey), and is instead made using millet, rice, and corn. Their whiskey is also initially fermented in a fashion similar to that of their sake. This produces a drink with an innovative taste fit for a king, or at least an emperor.

Irish Whiskey: Irish Whiskey is a whiskey made in Ireland (who knew the Irish drank!). It can be produced a variety of ways, the most unique being in a pot. Pure pot still whiskey, available only from Ireland and made completely with barley, has a spicy, different, and highly sought-after taste.

Irish whiskey can be single malt (made from malted barely and distilled inside a pot still) or grain whiskey (made from grain and distilled inside a column still). Grain whiskey is a lighter whiskey and is rarely bottled on its own. It is often used as a blender with single malt. Though there are some similarities between Irish Whiskey and Scotch, Irish Whiskey does not involve the use of peat. This causes Irish Whiskey to be without the smokiness Scotch exhibits.

So there you have it: round one of the whiskeys (yes, this round's on me). Stay tuned for round two where we will discuss Indian Whiskey, Canadian Whiskey, and American Whiskey. In the mean time, the above whiskies should keep you busy, and keep you satisfied.

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  • Mcknick says
    Awesome article, should do a similar one on GOOD brands of these types available in NZ ... As I know there is a lot of terrible whiskey around and that could also contribute to the lack of drinkers ... Also maybe which ones are better on the rocks and which aren't ... Just a thought :-)
  • Jack Daniels :) Maybe something on the different brands of whiskey?
  • Daron says
    I recently tried this single malt made in NZ http://www.nzmaltwhisky.co.nz/history.php

    Apart from the fact it's a truly awesome drop the site offers some great history on Whiskey to compliment this article.
  • i really do enjoy whiskey's and have had my fair share of flavours and labels

    my tipple of the moment is a 12 yr bottle of Stronachie original single malt..

    this has a Smokey and peppery taste to it.. which is absolutely delicious when drunk neat.

    bought this from the whisky shop in Auckland city.
    the main guy there really knows his stuff and can easily recommend a tasty drop for your needs.


    • Iker says
      I agree........I was chatting with Sam from the Whisky Shop this week and he was a huge help. He has turned me on to some good (new) stuff. Namely, Ardbeg's new release: Corryvreckan.
      They really know their stuff down there. I highly recommend a stop in:).
      • Paulie says
        I believe the Scots drink Whisky and the Irish Whiskey. I'd recommend anything from Bushmills.
      • Millie says
        I've always wondered about Whisky - now i'm a little more clued up - thanks!
      • Ebbz says
        Look forward to the article on Candian whisky. I lived there for a few years and they know how to make a pure drop :)
      • paula says
        there are so many types of whisky yummo!!!!!!!!!
      • Jean Luc says
        Whisky is a drink best served chilled! Absolutely the best.
      • New Member says
        Bottoms up
      • blacknaf says
        Who would have believed there were so many different types of whisky? And so little time to try them all!

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