Every question you ask about the fantastic world of whiskies comes to another question when you are just beginning your exploration of this lovely realm. How does one become an expert on the various types of whisky?
What kind of glass should be used in this situation? What sets a single malt apart from a blended whisky, and which should you choose? Whiskey? Whisky? Are you planning to order whisky online?
This guide will give you all the fundamentals you need to know about whiskey and some classic whiskey beverages you can try. This is necessary because there are a lot of subtleties involved when it pertains to whiskey. Let me introduce you to whiskey with this essential drinking guide without further ado.
The brief history of whisky
If you’ve ever discussed it with a whisky enthusiast, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that they like to sprinkle the conversation with interesting anecdotes about the beverage’s long and illustrious past.
To get you started on your path to becoming a whisky enthusiast, I’ll give you a quick rundown of the history of whisky, beginning with:
Whisky is a Gaelic word that originated in Scotland and originated from the Gaelic phrase uisge beatha. The name beatha originates from the Old Irish word bethad, which meant ‘of life’. The word uisce, pronounced like whisky, comes from the same language but means “water”.
Whisky, along with its distillation of alcohol, has been argued to have its roots in Babylonia by some and the Greeks discovered the process around 100 AD. The first documented instances of Irish whiskey and Scottish whisky occurred in the 1400s and are thought to date back to the 14th Century.
Whisky dates back to 1608 when the Old Bushmills Distillery was awarded a licence to distil whiskey. As this is the practice that the distillery still practises today, it is the earliest whisky distillery in the entire world. Whisky began as a harsh and unrefined spirit but has since developed into the refined beverage we are familiar with today.
Quickie guide on whisky terms
Whiskey comes in various styles, each of which can be distinguished from the others by several essential characteristics. It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with these characteristics as soon as possible.
So, first things first, let’s talk about the difference between malt and grain:
- Malt whisky is composed mainly of barley that has been malted, but grain whisky can be created from virtually any kind of grain or a mix of grains.
After that, you will most likely become familiar with words like single malt, blended malt, single cask, and cask strength. The following is a breakdown of those, as well:
A whisky is considered to be single malt if it is produced at a single distillery using only one type of malted grain. These whiskies are typically considered to be of a higher quality than others, as they bear the name of the distillery as well as the age of the whisky.
Blended malt or malt:
These mixed malts are comprised of various malt whiskies produced by different distilleries; the name of the whisky brand does not necessarily identify the location of the distillery from which the whisky was produced. These are some of the whiskies that are easier on the wallet.
Because they are not watered down in any way and are bottled directly from the cask, these exceptional whiskies are a cut above the rest of the field’s offerings. If you want one, you should brace yourself to feel pain when you give over the cash.
The cask-level whiskies have a more affordable sibling known as single-cask whiskies. Despite this, single-cask whiskies still are incredibly pricey.
They are not a combination of whisky from multiple casks; each bottle contains whisky from its barrel. As a result, the flavour of two different whiskies aged in distinct casks could be slightly distinct.
The types of whisky
Now we’ve established the ground rules for whisky, let’s get into the details. There are many different whiskies out there, each of which is different.
Johnnie Walker Black Label is a great entry-level whisky that can be mixed into whisky cocktails. It will not win any prizes for being the best Scotch, but it is a nice, smooth scotch overall. After becoming accustomed to Johnnie Walker, you should consider switching to a single malt, such as a Glenlivet 12-Year-Old.
To be legally classified as Irish whiskey, the spirit must have matured for a minimum of three years in Ireland. Compared to Scotch, Irish whiskey undergoes one additional distillation, making it a triple distillate. It also has a significantly less smokey flavour than traditional methods because it does not use peat. The 10-Year-Old Single Malt from Bushmills has a honey-like flavour and hints of vanilla.
The mash of grains used to make bourbon must contain at least 51% corn, rye, wheat, malted barley, or malted rye grain. In addition, the whisky must age for at least two years. The maturing process lends bourbon its signature sweetness and a faint hint of smokiness. Woodford Reserve is a bourbon that is artisanal and hand produced.
Tennessee Whiskey has a poor reputation among whiskey fans but is still an excellent affordable whiskey worth trying. A whiskey with a traditional rock-and-roll flavour, Jack Daniels isn’t very remarkable, but it’s well worth a try. If you’re looking for a more expensive alternative, buy yourself a bottle of Buffalo Trace instead, and you’ll be glad you did.
Rye is more abrasive and has more nuanced flavours than bourbon, which has a more pronounced sweetness. Rye is similar to bourbon because it is matured in wood casks but has a sharper sting. Our particular favourite — is Bulleit Rye, with undertones of cherries and vanilla and delicate aromas of leather and tobacco. Simply put, it’s masculinity in the shape of a drink.
A primer on how to enjoy whisky.
There is no right or incorrect answer to this question. The reason that people are arrogant is only that they adore whisky. They consume it because it pleases them, which should be your motivation for doing so. Sip it neat, take it over ice, enjoy it in a cocktail, sip it over cold stones or gulp it from the bottle.
Relax, take a drink, and savour the moment. Please do not listen to anyone who makes fun of you for enjoying it in an old-fashioned cocktail and tells you that genuine men prefer their whisky neat. Even if other people warn you that it makes the drink overly watered down, you should still have it over ice if that’s how you prefer it.
Beginners might choose between sipping it neat or with a splash of water. The first taste to determine whether it suits your preferences, and then decide if you want more water. Some believe that whisky is best enjoyed with water added to bring forth its full bouquet.
Whether or not whisky is something you enjoy. Moderation is the game’s name for alcohol consumption, and your health should always come first.
Get together for a few beers with pals or coworkers, but don’t get too drunk. Don’t become too intoxicated or careless because you won’t appreciate having the details of the night wiped from your memory.