About whiskey


In this section we briefly describe the types of whiskey. More information will be in a separate project. And so “the family of whiskey ...”


Today, a man, who has more or less came in touch with the world of whiskey, knows that this word is of Celtic origin and its original name uisge beatha is translated as the water of life. You can also give a generalised definition of this drink: whiskey is a product obtained by distillation from a mash of cereal crops, among which to varying proportions is barley malt. The resulting alcohol must be aged in oak barrels. The whole process of whiskey production is defined by law of each country where the drink is produced. Also, each country has its own classification of whiskey.


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Scotch whiskey

Let's start with Scotland. Three main types are malty, grain and blended.

Malt whiskeys are only from malted barley using a double (rarely triple) distillation in copper stills and aged in oak barrels for at least three years. Grain whiskey is a blend of various herbs with the obligatory presence of malt (not less than 10%), distilled in a distillation column and aged in oak barrels for at least three years. Blended whiskey is the result of mixing the two


Irish Whiskey

In Ireland, there are such types of whiskey as malt, grain, blended, and a special kind as pot still. In Ireland, they use triple distillation and do not use peat for drying malt. The exception is the Cooley distillery, which by the production technology is closer to Scotland. Unlike Scotland with about 100 distilleries, in Ireland there are only three. But, nevertheless, they produce more than 30 different varieties. The first three categories are typical by the definition of Scotch, except for the above differences. A category of Pot Still is prepared from a mixture of malt and unmalts barley in distilling stills by the method of triple distillation. Whiskey is used for either blending or bottled straight, which unfortunately is extremely rare.


American Whiskey

In the U.S., the production of whiskey has a different story. It produces malt whiskey, but this is more nonsense than the norm. Of course the main pride of America’ whiskey production is bourbon. In general, the basic category can be considered Straight whiskey. The second category of blended whiskey can be unvoiced, because to the U.S. law it is a mixture of “straight” with the neutral alcohol with the addition of dyes and even flavouring agents. “Straight” whiskey is grain distillate, made from a mixture, which includes at least 51% of any one type of grain, and the remaining 49% may consist of a mixture of different grains. It is divided in turn into Bourbon, Tennessee, Rye and Corn whiskey. Classification speaks about the use of cereal crops. In the United States for the production of whiskey they use corn, rye, wheat and barley. Distilled strength should be at least 80% of alcohol, and bottled with strength of at least 40%. And it should be aged in burnt oak barrels for at least two years.


Canadian whiskey

According to the laws of Canada, whiskey must be distilled of the various crops grown in Canada, and aged in new and used oak barrels for at least three years. Its ingredients are allowed to add a 9.09% of foreign components - flavours, wines, and spirits, manufactured outside of Canada. (!) The law does not define the distillation methods -you can distil whiskey by the traditional method in stills, or in the columns of a continuous cycle. In Canada there is the concept of base whisky and flavouring whisky. This is reminiscent of the Scottish system of blended whiskey. But the Canadian ingredients are different from the Scottish. The base whiskey is distilled in rectification columns with 96% alcohol strength. The source alcohol exceeds the quality of raw materials for many well-known types of vodka. Flavouring whiskey is also distilled in the columns of a continuous cycle, but with 65% alcohol strength. Of course, the initial product obtained is sufficiently light and neutral. Once the synonymous with Canadian whiskey was the whiskey rye. It had a characteristic tangy, spicy aroma and taste. Today, the base whiskey is made of corn (90% corn and 10% barley malt) and the flavouring whiskey of rye. Not all companies are doing flavouring whiskey in the columns; some use the traditional double distillation. And bottle, as once, the traditional whiskey distilled from 100% rye malt. In Canada they also distil malt whiskey. On the island of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, right there, at the Glenora distillery, it is produced traditional Scottish whiskey.


Japanese whiskey

Japanese whiskey style is the youngest among the traditional. Date of start of production is known exactly, but rather the date of construction of the first distilleries is 1923. Although many knew of the existence of Japanese whiskey from Sophie Coppola’s film “Lost in Translation”. Just as in Scotland, in Japan there are three main types of whiskey which are malt, grain and blended. Most whiskeys produced are blends. Blended whiskeys of Japan are divided into three categories. Special (this word must be present on the label for this category), the first and the second category. In the blend the whiskey must be at least 30%, 20% and 10% respectively. Many manufacturers have their products added the impurities and flavourings. Blended whisky of the first two categories must consist only of grain and malt whiskeys. The latter category can contain a large percentage of white neutral alcohol, salt, sugar, wine, caramel, liquor and chemical additives. Unfortunately, the Japanese law does not give very clear definitions of the product, which can be called whiskey. Good samples of Japanese whiskey are often added with large percentage of Scottish malt.

The Japanese only have to bring them from their Scottish distilleries. But now the Japanese are increasingly dispense with the Scottish. After all, the malt whiskey is a special pride of the Japanese manufacturer.

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