What is Whiskey?
- Whiskey is a spirit made from fermented grain that is distilled and matured in oak casks.
- There are three main ingredients in whiskey: water, grains, and yeast. These ingredients have an influence on flavor, just like beer.
- Distillation is typically done on a traditional pot still or a column still. Whisky is most commonly distilled twice.
- The distilled whiskey is then matured or aged in oak. This is where the spirit picks up flavor and color from the barrel. The inside of the barrel also acts as a charcoal filter and removes unpleasant flavor compounds from the whiskey.
What makes one whiskey different from the next?
Differences in whiskey usually depend on the country where it is produced.
- Bourbon is a unique product of the US, made from at least 51% corn, and must be aged in a brand new charred oak barrel.
- Single Malt Scotch Whisky is produced at a single distillery in Scotland and is made from 100% malted barley. It can be aged in new or used oak casks. A small amount of Scotch whisky is produced using peat smoke which adds a smokey flavor. Blended Scotch either comes from whisky made at multiple disilleries or using other grains besides malted barley.
- Irish Whiskey is produced in Ireland, is typically distilled three times, and usually contains a percentage of both malted and unmalted barley which can create a grainy/grassy flavor profile.
- Japanese whisky is most commonly made as a single malt or as a blend similar to Scotch whisky. It typically has a lighter flavor profile due to production choices made during distillation.
Teeling Small Batch
- Distillery: Cooley Distillery – Louth, Ireland
- Mashbill: Undisclosed proportion of corn and barley
- Strength: 46% ABV (92 Proof)
- Tasting Notes: Finished in rum casks. Dried fruit, banana nut muffin, brown sugar, grainy, fresh-cut hay.
Evan Williams Bottled in Bond
- Distillery: Heaven Hill – Bardstown, KY
- Mashbill: 78% Corn, 10% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
- Strength: 50% ABV (100 Proof)
- Tasting Notes: Honey, cereal, hints of citrus, caramel, nutty, vanilla bean.
Bunnahabhain 12 Year
- Distillery: Bunnahabhain – Islay, Scotland
- Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
- Strength: 46.3% ABV (92.6 Proof)
- Tasting Notes: Baked apples, salted caramel, sultanas, hint of dried fruits, baking spice, slight earthiness.
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