There are many types of drinks your bartender can introduce you to. Some are of high quality while others are counterfeit. When choosing the best quality whisky, there is a sheer number of whisky types you can come around. That means you should take your time when choosing the best liquor to gift a whisky lover.
What is the difference between whisky and whiskey? Or, what is the difference between Scotch whisky and Irish whisky? There is a lot you should know when you decide to shop for the best quality whisky. If you are new to whisky, you are in the right place definitely.
In this article, Bottle and Ash educates you on the major whisky types you should know before throwing that birthday party.
1. Blended Whisky
Just like the name suggests, blended whisky is a mixture of different types of whiskies. It can also contain flavors, grains, and colorings. Blended whisky is the best for making cocktails because the process enables the flavors in the liquor to come out while keeping the price low.
2. Single Malt Whisky
Single malt whisky is made from one batch of scotch whisky from a single distillery. Also, before the distillery puts the drink in the bottle for consumption, it must be aged for at least three years in oak barrel. The phrase ‘single malt’ is derived from the ingredients used in making the whisky.
Malted barley is the main ingredient distiller’s use in making single malt whiskey. The strict rules used to make single malt whisky did not find their way into the US whiskey industry. In the US, sometimes rye is used in making single malt whisky.
Bourbon is one of the most popular whiskey drinks in the American market today. To qualify as bourbon, the drink:
- Should be made from at least 51% corn
- Must be made in the United States
- Water should be the only additive used in the drink
- Should be aged in a charred new oak barrel for at least two years. This two-year-aged bourbon is called straight bourbon.
- It should be made from 51% corn
- Should be bottled at 80 proof or more
4. Tennessee Whiskey
Tennessee whiskey is another type of whisky you should look forward to drinking if you need some high-quality liquor. Ideally, Tennessee whiskies can also be classified as bourbon.
However, some distillers in the US prefer using Tennessee to define the drink and distinguish it from the from Kentucky bourbon. The liquor law in the United States requires that all distilleries producing Tennessee whisky do so in Tennessee. Additionally, all Tennessee whisky producers are required by law to use the Lincoln County Process in making their whiskies.
Rye is popular whisky type you should know. This type of whisky is made of 51% rye, unlike bourbon, which uses 50% corn. The main ingredients in rye whisky include barley and corn.
When a distiller decides to bottle a rye that has been aged for more than two years and not blended with any whisky, it is called a straight rye. Rye is smoother and spicier than bourbon and other types of whiskies.
6. Japanese Whiskey
If you are looking for the best in whisky, then you should look for Japanese whiskies. This type of whisky may not be the oldest in the market but one of the best you can have for a party. In addition, Japanese whisky makes a mark in the world of spirits for being closer to scotch style.
This type of whisky is made using the same distilling method as scotch. In most cases, this whisky is embedded with a splash of water and other drinks.
What to Consider When Choosing Whisky Types
There are varieties of expensive and cheap whisky brands you can shop for if you want to have the best times with your drinking friends. But, before the party kicks off, take your time to look at some of these factors you should consider when buying whiskey for the first time:
- Types of whiskey flavors you like: most whiskies come in different tastes and flavors like cinnamon, cedar, peanut butter, peach, apple, salted caramel, and many others. Always choose your best flavor when shopping for whiskey.
- Age is not a number: When it comes to choosing whiskey, age plays a significant role – you should not take it for granted. When whisky ages in an oak barrel, it increases the alcohol percentage and the flavors. For instance, when whisky stays in a barrel for 18 years, it can develop flavors like wood, smoke, and nuts,
- Popularity: If you are new to whisky, choosing one of the best can be hectic. To make the work easier for you, you should select whisky based on its popularity. The most popular whiskies like Jameson, Johnnie Walker, Lynchburg, and Manhattan are some of the best you can have for the party.
- Cheap is expensive: Yes, when you buy whiskey, don’t go for the cheapest. Even on the lowest budget, you should not buy the most affordable whisky your bartender suggests. In most cases, the cheapest drinks have the most inferior quality, and some may cause hangovers.
- Variety is key: Every whisky enthusiast will agree that the more whisky you drink, the better you become in choosing one for the road. First, you should figure out whether you love Irish, rye, or bourbon. You make it easy picking the best of whisky when you’ve been drinking different brands.
Whisky is one of the best drinks to share with friends. However, choosing the best one can be hectic if you are new to the market. The first lesson is learning the different whisky types available, then choosing one that suits you. Some of the best whiskies to shop are bourbon, scotch, single malt, and blended whisky.
Always take your time when picking the best type of whisky from the counter. It doesn’t get any better when you have your favorite whisky staring at you.