Is that whiskey or whisky, by the way?
It depends on where it's produced. Even the most seasoned drinkers are confused by the fact that whisk(e)y can be spelled with or without a "e." However, it turns out that the letter is crucial to the spirit's story. The "e" is used by the Irish, and this custom has been passed over to American whiskeys. The Scots do not use the letter "e," and distillers in Canada and Japan have followed suit. As a result, whisky (or whiskies) was born.
Malt whiskey is manufactured from malted barley, yeast, and water, and it comprises volatile and non-volatile taste components generated from the raw materials as well as the manufacturing processes, which include malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation, and ageing. Sensory analysis has been used to evaluate the character qualities of malt whiskey, and the links between sensory and chemical analyses are not well understood.
In each procedure, sensory analysis can reveal the character and origin of taste components. During the kilning of malted barley, phenolic chemicals are formed. During the fermentation process, yeast and naturally existing lactic acid bacteria have an impact on the character. The behavior of Sulphur compounds, particularly polysulfides, is influenced by distillation in copper pot stills. Finally, the extraction and absorption of different components occurs during ageing in oak casks. Sweet volatiles and gustatory non-volatiles are removed, while Sulphur compounds that are disagreeable are absorbed.
Let’s know about types of whisky
1. Irish whiskey
Other types of whiskey have a smoother flavor than Irish whiskey. It's created from a malt mash, can only be distilled with water and caramel coloring, and must be aged for at least three years in wooden casks. The outcome is a whiskey that may be enjoyed neat or on the rocks, however it can also be used in cocktails.
2. Scotch Whisky
Scotch whisky (sometimes known as scotch) is a type of whisky produced in Scotland using either malt or grain. The Scots take whisky production very seriously, and there are laws in place that distillers must adhere to. The spirit must be aged for at least three years in an oak barrel. Furthermore, each bottle must include an age statement that indicates the youngest aged whiskey utilized in the blend. This is a whisky to drink straight, as an after-dinner drink.
3. Japanese Whisky
Japanese whisky, while a little later to the game than Irish and Scotch, has built a name for itself in the spirits world for its high standards. Japanese whisky was produced with the goal of tasting as close to scotch as possible, and it employs identical distillation techniques. It's usually incorporated into cocktails or mixed with a splash of soda.
4. Canadian Whisky
Canadian whisky, like scotch, must be matured in barrels for at least three years. Because it has a significant amount of corn, it is lighter and smoother than other types of whiskey. The majority of Canadian whiskies are derived from corn and rye, but some may also contain wheat or barley.
5. Bourbon Whiskey
Bourbon is an American-style whiskey derived from corn. To be labelled bourbon whiskey, the spirit must be created with at least 51% maize, matured in new oak barrels, and produced in the United States. It does not require a minimum age period and must be bottled at a proof of 80 or higher.
Mint juleps have bourbon as the main ingredient, and you don't have to wait for the Kentucky Derby to learn how to create one.
6. Tennessee Whiskey
Despite the fact that Tennessee whiskey is technically classed as bourbon, some distillers in the state disagree. Instead, they define their style using Tennessee whiskey. State law mandates that all contemporary Tennessee whiskey makers produce their products in Tennessee and use the Lincoln County Process as a filtering step before ageing.
7. Rye Whiskey
Rye whiskey is prepared in the United States with at least 51 percent rye, as well as corn and barley. It is based on the bourbon distillation method. Straight rye whiskey is rye that has been matured for two or more years and has not been blended. Rye whiskey has a spicier flavor than bourbon, which is sweeter and smoother.
8. Blended Whiskey
Blended whiskey is precisely what its name implies: it's a concoction of many varieties of whiskey, as well as colorings, tastes, and even other grains. These whiskeys are perfect for cocktails since the method allows the flavor to shine through while keeping the price of the spirit cheap.
9. Single Malt Whiskey
Single malt whisky must be produced at a single distillery from a single batch of scotch. It must also be matured in oak for three years before being bottled. The word "single malt" stems from the ingredients’, as malted barley is the primary ingredient. These regulations, however, did not apply to distilleries in the United States. In America, for example, single malt is occasionally brewed with rye rather than barley.
Now, we enlist some of the Best Whiskey of All Time.
1. Henry Mckenna Single Barrel 10-Year
This Henry Mckenna Single Barrel is among the best bourbons available. It was named "Best in Show Whiskey" at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, which is one of the most prestigious awards in the industry. Furthermore, this bottle is just the second bourbon to get the honor.
Henry Mckenna is produced by the Heaven Hill Distillery in Kentucky, which is also known for award-winning whiskeys like Elijah Craig Bourbon, Larceny Bourbon, and Pikesville Rye Whiskey. Despite the fact that this bottle of Mckenna originates from a single barrel of bourbon that has been matured for ten years, the whiskey isn't too pricey.
2. Glenfiddich 21 Year Gran Reserva
If at all possible, we recommend that all whisky newcomers drink a top-shelf bottle to gain a comprehensive image of what whisky can be. This Glenfiddich 21 Year Gran Reserva is an excellent example of how to do it. Because of its maturity, the whisky's sting has been reduced, allowing you to completely enjoy the whisky's delicate characteristics. The single malt is completed in Caribbean rum barrels, giving it a distinct flavour profile of banana, spicy toffee, and other fruits.
You're also getting to know one of the world's most iconic whisky brands with the Gran Reserva. Glenfiddich is the world's best-selling single-malt whiskey, having been operating since 1887.
The historic brand is a must-have for any whiskey connoisseur's bar, and it's well worth a try if you're new to the spirit.If you've been drinking whisky for a while, you're probably aware that a 21-year bottle of Glenfiddich is a fantastic whisky.
Pick it up as a (very) pleasant present for fellow whisky connoisseurs, or save it for special occasions (if you have the self-control to do so).
3. Uncle Nearest 1856
Uncle Nearest 1856 has a compelling backstory to match its exceptional flavour. Nathan "Nearest" Green, the brand's namesake, was the first Black master distiller. Green, who was born into slavery, was instrumental in the development of modern Tennessee whiskey and passed on his knowledge to a bright student named Jack Daniel.
Uncle Nearest 1856, a Black-owned company, was founded in 2017 to recognize Green's significance in American spirits. Despite being 100 proofs, the whiskey is fragrant, floral, fruity, and exceptionally smooth (due to at least eight years of age). The whiskey community has praised it, giving it high grades across the board, and we have to concur.
4. Redbreast 12-Year
This Redbreast 12-Year fits the bill whether you're looking for your first serious Irish whiskey or want to branch out. The whiskey is manufactured from a mash of malted and unmalted barley, triple-distilled, then matured in Bourbon-seasoned American oak barrels and Oloroso sherry-seasoned Spanish oak butts for 12 years. These one-of-a-kind barrels impart a delicious aroma and a rich flavor to the whiskey, with notes of sherry, fruit, and cream.
The Redbreast distillery is one of our favorites because they stick to tradition. They've been creating rich bottles since 1857, and they're the best-selling single pot Irish whiskey in the world. This whiskey, like most high-quality Irish whiskeys, is best served neat or on the rocks. If you want to make a cocktail, use a different bottle.
5. Knob Creek Cask Strength Rye
Knob Creek's Cask Strength Rye Whiskey was awarded "Best Rye Whiskey" in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2018. It's Knob Creek's first limited rye (although we don't know how limited it is), with each bottle noting that it was barreled in 2009. Knob Creek was launched as a premium Jim Beam brand in 1994, making it a relatively new label by American whiskey standards. Nonetheless, many whiskey connoisseurs have swiftly adopted it as a favorite.
6. The Macallan Sherry Oak 12 Years Old
In the world of high-end whiskey, Macallan is a household name. They've been around since 1824, and they're still one of the world's most popular Scotch brands. They were actually one of the first distilleries to mass-produce single malt whiskey.
For two reasons, we appreciate Macallan's Sherry Oak 12-Year: first, it's aged in special Oloroso sherry-seasoned oak casks from Spain. The flavor is enhanced by the addition of these casks, which add a hint of fruitiness and flowery spice. Second, at 12 years old, it's a mature, quality scotch that's far more affordable than Macallan's oldest bottles (which may reach up to 72 years old and cost upwards of $10,000).
Macallan is a Speyside whiskey, which means it's made in Strathspey, Scotland, which also happens to be home to the world's two most popular Scotch whiskeys, Glenfiddich and Glenlivet. Speysides have a sweeter, more full-bodied flavor that is more approachable for novice whiskey consumers.
7. Suntory Toki Japanese Whisky
Over the last few decades, Chinese whiskies have developed in size and scale, rivalling the old dudes in Europe and the United States. Whiskey lovers haven't always been delighted to venture to a new continent, but they've kept buying Japanese whisky because it has a rich sharpness and spice that can't be found anywhere else. Suntory, a Japanese brand with three distilleries on the Chita Peninsula, Yamazaki, and the Japanese Alps, is leading the effort.
Toki whiskey is Suntory's best-seller, with a low-price tag and a flavor that works well on its own or in cocktails. Toki means "time" in Japanese, and it refers to the Toki's blend of variously aged whiskies from each of Suntory's three distilleries.
The Toki's accessible lightness (which makes it an ideal introduction to whisky/whiskeys) and notes of wood, honey, and vanilla have been recognized by tasters.
8. George Dickel Barrel Select
The second-largest Tennessee whiskey distillery is George Dickel, but it is significantly less well-known than the first, Jack Daniels. However, George Dickel is often regarded as having greater quality, and this Barrel Select bottle is the brand's best. It's aged for 10 to 12 years after being steeped in charcoal to soften the bite. Finally, George Dickel's Master Distiller, John Lunn, chooses ten barrels by hand.
Caramel and maize dominate the flavour profile, with overtones of vanilla, wood, clove, and rye. The caramel, cinnamon, and vanilla flavours fade slowly, leaving a delightful finish. Because it's a premium bourbon, it's best served neat with a drop of water, but it may also be used to make improved bourbon cocktails.
9. Chicken Cock Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Chicken Cock first opened its doors in 1856 in Paris, Kentucky. Chicken Cock didn't become known as the house whiskey of the Cotton Club, one of the most legendary prohibition speakeasies, until years later, during prohibition. Because the brand survived prohibition in America, they still know how to create whiskey the way they used to.
Master Distiller and 40-year veteran Gregg Snyder is in charge of this bottle of Kentucky pure bourbon. The flavor is rich, with a smooth finish and a spiciness from the pepper. Because it's 90 proof, there's a lot of heat in this Chicken Cock, so drink it neat and carefully.
10. Jefferson’s Ocean Aged at Sea Bourbon
Most whiskey distillers dabble with different woods, mixes, and ageing techniques. With their Ocean Aged at Sea Bourbon, Jefferson's takes this exploration even farther. The bourbon is matured for further five to ten months on an OCEARCH shark tagging vessel after eight years on land. By exposing the bourbon to temperature changes, salty air, and the rocking action of a ship, the flavor profile is developed.
This wild ageing process produces a one-of-a-kind, nuanced whiskey that everyone should try. Extra wood tannin extraction creates smells of vanilla, caramel, and burnt matches, but the saline of the ocean air is definitely apparent.