For all who don’t know “WHISKY” is just an umbrella term. Beneath it, there are many styles and variations of drinks so subtle they cease to matter to those who seek simple high or intoxication.
To break it a little further, whisky is an alcoholic beverage distilled from fermented grain mash (wheat, rye, barley or malt). The only exception to this is that some whiskies are made from corn/maize, which necessarily doesn’t need to be aged.
All whiskies are distilled at a minimum of 40% and a maximum of 94.8% ABV (alcohol by volume). So the difference between the various whiskeys relies mostly on the type of grain used for the mash.To understand your whisky, it is usually categorized according to their origin and is best known as follows:
One of the most renowned whiskys in the world, Scotch is distilled in Scotland only explains the ‘Sco’ prefix in it. With the need to maintain high level of prestige and strict regulations, the makers of this iconic brand have been forced to distillate in oak barrels, within Scotland. The process takes not less than three years. All this is to express prohibition of substances incorporated into the mixture as colourings or flavourings. Also the distillers are required to achieve a minimum of 40% alcohol in the mixture to achieve a perfect scotch.
Commonly referred to as Whisky, the essential difference of this whiskey brand is the way it sounds and written, because it comes from the great land of Ireland. The distillate occurs based on fermentation of barley, and is very common in the triple distilled form. Like Scotch it must be distilled to an ABV of less than 94.8.A wonderful example is the Jameson Whisky.
The Canadian whisky is greatly influenced from the Irish; this whiskey is usually characterized by a soft body and delicate flavour. Made from a mixture of grains of barley, maize and wheat, but sometimes rye (grass grown extensively as a grain) is also included. The whisky also borrows from the Scottish tradition of mandatory minimum of three years of ageing, but doesn’t specify what type of container material should be.
Popularly known as bourbon, whisky Irish American has obvious influences from the time of the “America” migration. The whisky is mainly produced from maize which is fermented in oak barrels for at least two years. The birth of the American whisky can be traced to the state of Kentucky, land of known Jasper Newton “Jack” Daniel, founder of the famous Whiskey Jack Daniel’s we drink today.
Other whiskys worth the mention include the
It is stoutly related to Scotch and has recently acquired recognition thanks to some local brands and quality processes to deliver a first class product.
Much less known than the Scotch and Irish whiskeys, the Japanese whisky has also heavily borrowed influence from Scottish whisky manufacturing methodology. It exists in Blended and Single Malt varieties, and is a high quality product, but is less on the market because it is mostly consumed in the local market.
Produced from the distillation of molasses ferments different, the Indian whisky is most often associated with the rum a very popular alcohol brand in India. With the changing dynamics the whisky has also begun to occur based on the malt and other similar grains.
Also a point to note, most sub-European whisky varieties have a similar profile based on Scotch whiskey, usually pre-processed products, which are later transferred for further ageing.
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