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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 distilleries 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.
Westland Single Barrel 724
- Distillery: Westland – Seattle, WA
- Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley (5-Malt Grainbill)
- Strength: 58.0% ABV (116 Proof)
- Tasting Notes: Dried figs, spicy tobacco, fresh caramel, chocolate, baked goods, apple pie filling.
WhistlePig 10 Year Rye
- Distillery: WhistlePig – Shoreham, NH
- Mashbill: Undisclosed
- Strength: 59.4% ABV (118.7 Proof)
- Tasting Notes: Rye spice, vanilla, cinnamon, licorice, cherry, almond, fresh herbs.
Old Forester 1920
- Distillery: Old Forester – Louisville, Kentucky
- Mashbill: 72% Corn, 18% Rye, 10% Malted Barley
- Strength: 57.5% ABV (115 Proof)
- Tasting Notes: Dark brown sugar, sweet oak, mocha, banana, orange peel, creme brûlée.
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