May 6, 2022
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How to choose a quality whiskey?

How to choose a quality whiskey?

Whiskey is one of the most famous alcoholic drinks. It is produced all over the globe, in Scotland, Ireland, USA, New Zealand, Japan. In different regions, the tastes of this drink differ dramatically. Also, the taste and aroma of whiskey largely depends on aging, the type of barrels, the selection of raw materials, etc.

Types of whiskey

  • malt. The main raw material here is barley malt. This group includes single malt (single malt) – drinks produced at one distillery, cask (pure malt, blended malt) – spirits from different distilleries, but of the same type and single cask (single cask) – malt whiskeys that are bottled from the same or barrels;
  • cereals (grain whiskey). Alcohol for them is produced from any cereals: wheat, oats, barley, corn by a rectification method. In its pure form, only a few brands produce such whiskey, they are usually used in blends to stabilize the taste;
  • blended whiskey is the most common product. Blending allows you to get a clearly unified final taste. To stabilize the color of such whiskey, dyes are used, so the inscription blended on the bottle automatically means that the color of the drink will not affect its quality in any way. Blends are easier and cheaper to produce, the taste of any batch is standard, while connoisseurs believe that they are inferior to single malts in organoleptic properties;
  • bourbon. Whiskey, which is produced in several states of the United States. According to the US state standard, alcohol must be obtained from mash, 51% of which is corn grains. Everything else differs from brand to brand, wheat, rye, barley and barley malt are added in different proportions, different technologies are also used. For example, one of the most famous bourbon producers Jack Daniels filters their spirits through a 3-meter layer of maple charcoal. Another feature of bourbons is the addition of liquor to some types. So Jim Beam has a product Honey – a blend of whiskey with honey liqueur;
  • Japanese whiskey. It is similar to Scottish, as the alcohol industry in Japan copied the model for creating scotch, and the country’s climate is as close as possible to Scottish.

How to apply all this information to make the right choice?

Single malt whiskeys are considered the softest and highest quality, if you do not take into account the emphatically “peaty varieties”. Further down the hierarchy are blended varieties and bourbons (although this is a very rough classification, as some connoisseurs rank bourbons above many single malt releases).

Scotch whiskey (Scotch) depends on the region, the taste of this varies greatly:

  1. islands (Islands, Islay). Here it is customary to dry the malt over the coals of smoldering peat, so this whiskey has a smoked-petroleum flavor;
  2. plain (Lowland, Speyside). Whiskey with floral aromas, light with a mild taste and a balanced aftertaste. It is with them that one should begin acquaintance with whiskey in general.

But perhaps the most important criterion is to buy whiskey only in specialized shops with a license.

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