There is a deep and entrenched history around whiskey with each country from Ireland to Japan offering unique products yet Scotland remains the most popular. True Scotch Whiskey can only be made in Scotland with barley and other grains, water and aged in oak casks for 3 years.
Blended Malt Scotch Whisky – Malt whisky is made from malted barley, water, yeast and matured in oak casks. It cannot be Scotch Whisky until it has matured in Scotland for at least 3 years. If the whisky is distilled at one distillery, it’s considered a “Single Malt Scotch Whisky” and if it’s from more than one distillery, it’s a “Blended Malt Scotch Whisky.”
Grain Scotch Whisky – made from malted barley and other grains like wheat or maize and aged in oak. It cannot be Scotch whisky until it’s matured in Scotland for 3 years. Grain whisky is typically milder in both flavor and aroma than Malt and are the heart of Blended Scotch Whiskies.
Major Types of Whisky on the market include:
- American – Bourbon and Tennessee whisky are the main varieties, each based on corn with wheat and rye often in the mix. Straight rye whisky is also an American tradition with the base being rye instead of corn. Rye mash is a whisky aged in used barrel’s
- Canadian – usually a blend of soft corn-based spirit with added flavors of rye and barley. It is generally a light-bodied, easy to drink and appropriate to mix in cocktails.
- Japanese – this is a new world whisky produced in Japan with an array of different products.
- Irish – may be single malt, grain, pure pot still or blended. Similar to Scottish whisky but with varying tastes and many are triple distilled. Wood aging will usually occur in new oak which adds sweet oak character and weight.
- Scotch Whisky – must be produced in Scotland and matured for three years in oak casks; can be single malt, vatted malt, grain, single grain and commonly a blend of a number of whisky types. Scotland produces more whisky than any other country and some of the finest in the world.
Scotch Regions & Flavor Profiles
The rugged landscape produce Scotch which are typically robust with hints of smoke, peat, herbs, honey and even floral.
Elegant and complex scotch with smoky, floral and fragrant flavors originate from the River Spey and hills of graphite.
Strong and powerful with aromas and flavors of smoky peat, salt and seaweed from the sea spray blowing across the Island.
Typically light, smooth and gentle on the palate originating from the calm and lush countryside.
Scotch is best enjoyed in a rocks glass. Pour a full once into the glass and enjoy the color and aromas, a drop of water can be added to enhance the aromas and flavors. A cube or two of ice can be used to cool the beverage.
Originating from Bourbon County, Kentucky, Bourbon must be made from at least 51% corn. As one of the sweetest grains, corn provides a sweeter flavor for the bourbon as well as a deep brown or amber color resulting from aging in oak for at least two years.