Whiskey Types 101
If you are like many people, then you have heard the terms Bourbon, Scotch, Canadian, Single Malt as well as other blended whiskies, but you may not actually know what these mean.
Before explaining what all of this means, you should understand certain terminology. The first thing you should know is that just because Whiskey is in the name of many beverages, does not mean that they are all created equal.
Bourbon Whiskey Type
Bourbon is American whiskey that is made from 51% corn, or sometimes more. The rest of it is made up of wheat or rye, as well as malted barley. This type of whiskey is aged in brand new charred American white oak barrels, and the length of time does not matter. It can be produced anywhere in America, and some of the most well-known brands of Bourbon include Jim Beam, Van Winkle and Woodford Reserve.
Canadian Whiskey Type
Canadian whiskey type comes right from Canada. This specific whiskey type is actually made from various types of whiskies. However, for the most part it is a grain whiskey that is made from wheat, rye, corn and barley. It is aged in oak barrels for a period of no less than three years. Crown Royal, Canadian Mist and Pendleton are some of the most popular brands.
Irish Whiskey Type
Irish Whiskey type is made in Ireland. Barley is what it is traditionally made with and it is triple distilled in copper pot stills. Some of the most famous Irish whiskey brands include Bushmills, Tullamore Dew and Jameson.
Rye Whiskey Type
The United States definition of rye whiskey. Rye will be made from 51% rye, but it is worth noting that most major brands will use a 60-80% rye content in their drinks, and the rest will be mostly corn. Some of the most popular brands include Templeton, as well as Sazerac.
Scotch Whiskey Type
This is made right in Scotland, and it is actually one of the most popular styles in the entire world. This can be a blend of things such as grain, single malt and so forth. For the most part it will need to be vatted and aged for at least three years in oak barrels. Ardbeg, Bowmore and Glenfiddich are three of the most popular brands of Scotch.
Now that we have discussed whiskey type, we will now talk about some terminology.
Blended Whiskey Type: This whiskey type contains both grain whiskey and malt.
Grain Whiskey Type: This whiskey type may contained barley that is unmalted or other grains that are malted and unmalted.
Single Malt Whiskey Type: This whiskey type is made from only grain (single malted) stock, traditionally barley and is made in just one distillery.
Single Barrel Whiskey Type: This whiskey type does not come from many blend of barrels, because the entire bottling comes from just one.
Straight Whiskey Type: This whiskey type is American and it is aged for no less than two years, but in a new charred white oak barrel/barrels.
As you can see there are a lot of different types of whiskey and they are not all created equal, so choose wisely.