There are several different types of whiskey for you to enjoy discovering. Each type has its own history and unique qualities. We explain the difference between the various types and give you an idea of how each one tastes. Our aim is to help you to find the right one for you.
Understanding the different ways whiskey is made is interesting. It really helps you to appreciate this unique art.
Single Malt Whiskey
This is as the name describes, a whiskey from a single distillery. It is made from a mash that utilizes only one malted grain (normally malted barley). However unless the label on the bottle states it is “single cask” then chances are that the whiskey is from different barrels and possibly different ages. This is how the company’s blender can achieve such a consistent flavour for their particular brand.
Blended Malt Whiskey
As the name suggests this is a combination of different malted whiskeys. The whiskey could be blended from many different distilleries. The taste and flavor is down to the expertise of the blender. It this style of whiskey that many people start out experiencing.
Made from a mash that isn’t malted, this type of whiskey is normally taken from an individual barrel. In many cases the bottle is listed with the specific barrel. Without the blending the taste can change from cask to cask. This is an exciting class of whiskey, which is becoming increasingly popular. It is encouraging people to buy this beautiful spirit by the barrel rather than by the bottle.
As the name suggests similar to blended malt whiskey, except malted grains are not used in the process.
Famous in America, bourbon whiskey has to be made from a corn that is at least 51% of the total mash. It is also growing in popularity, as more people outside the US gain easy access to a wider range of Bourbons.
Again an American product where the mash needs to be at least 80% corn. This one is a bit of an acquired taste. Some people do not even think this tipple should be categorized as whiskey. It is powerful stuff, with a typical alcohol rating of 80% AV.
This way of making whiskey was first developed by moonshiners. However, because a traditional mash method is used it actually cannot be categorized as actual moonshine.
Rye and Wheat whiskeys
These whiskeys must have at least 51% Rye or Wheat as the main part of the mash. This style was developed to help to bridge the gap between Bourbon and whiskey. The flavor is typically quite complex. There are relatively few producers making this style of whiskey, but, again, it is growing in popularity as people seek out new taste experiences.
Trying out the different types of whiskey is an interesting past-time. It is becoming increasingly easy to book Bourbon tours as well as more traditional whiskey tours. If you want to get started buying whiskey sample packs is a particularly good way to do so. They also make very good presents.