Whiskey is a type of alcohol that is made from fermented grain. There are many different kinds of whiskey, and each one has its unique flavor profile. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the different types of whiskey and what makes them special.
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A Brief History of Whiskey
Whiskey has a long and storied history. According to documented records, the first distiller of whiskey was an Irish monk by the name of McNeill in 1405! Today, whiskey is made around the world, with different countries putting their spin on production and flavor.
The Different Kinds of Whiskey
Whiskey has been a popular spirit for centuries and can be subdivided into many types.
One type of whiskey is bourbon, which is made from grains such as corn and specialized yeast that is used to create its distinct caramel and vanilla flavor.
Rye whiskey, typically spicy and dry tasting, differs from other types of whiskey as it contains at least 50% rye in the mash bill.
Tennessee whiskey refers to aged within state lines and made exclusively from a mash of at least 51% corn with very specific distillation processes involved in its production.
Scotch whisky, on the other hand, varies greatly depending on where it was made. It is typically distilled from malted barley and aged in heavily-charred oak barrels, resulting in different flavor profiles such as smoky, peaty, or slightly sweet with hints of vanilla.
No matter what variation one tries, each cup of whiskey provides a unique taste adventure for any enthusiast.
Single Malt vs. Blended Whiskey
Single malt whiskey has been distilled from only malted grain, usually barley, and has been produced at a single distillery. Blended whiskey, on the other hand, is created by mixing multiple single malt whiskies from different distilleries with grain whisky or a neutral spirit.
By using multiple whiskies and creating blends, the flavors are usually more consistent compared to single malt whisky. Blended whiskies are also generally less expensive as some of their components can be sourced from abroad without incurring excise duties. Single malt whiskey typically carries more intense flavor profiles because only one malted grain is used in its production in comparison to blended whiskies. In terms of maturity and complexity, however, single malt whiskeys tend to offer a superior experience to blended varieties due to greater control over the ingredients and process during production.
Whiskey Drinking Tips
Learning how to properly appreciate whiskey takes both practice & knowledge.
To start, try using a whisky-specific glass, such as a lowball or tulip glass. These glasses are designed to allow the whiskey’s flavor to linger on your tongue, enhance its aroma, and create a beautiful display of the liquid itself. Next, try taking small sips and holding them in your mouth for a few seconds before you swallow. This will help you identify flavors that may have otherwise been missed when chugging down larger amounts at once. Finally, spend time experimenting with different whiskeys, taking them neat or on the rocks alongside some food pairings to bring out their nuances.
Food To Pair With Whiskey
Whiskey pairs well with a variety of different foods. A popular combination includes sweet and salty, such as dark chocolate combined with smoked almonds. The contrast in flavors greatly complements the notes of the whiskey. Cheese is also a good choice, and all one needs to do is settle on a pairing that accentuates the nuances of the particular whiskey they are drinking. For example, aged Gouda goes great with aged whiskey due to their shared nutty flavors. And don’t underestimate the sheer delight that comes from classic bar snacks like pretzels or popcorn when accompanying a glass of whiskey.
Now that you know a little more about the different types of whiskey, their taste and smell, and some tips on how to drink them, why not give it a try? Pick up a bottle of single malt or blended whiskey next time you’re at the liquor store – or better yet, order a glass (or two) at your favorite bar.
Interested in learning more about mixology? There are several online mixology courses available that will teach you what you need to know when it comes to mixology and liquors.