whiskey

Three Popular Varieties of Whiskey

Were you ever curious about the difference of those dark hard liquors? If you thought they’re the same, then you might want to think again. Whiskeys come in different varieties; thus, it would helpful that we should know the difference between their three main types: bourbon, rye, and scotch.

Whiskey or whisky? Does it matter? No because they’re the same. However you spell it, whiskey is a distilled alcoholic drink that has been made from a fermented grain mash. It is aged in charred white oak casks, which gave it its brown color.

Whiskey is a broad category of hard drinks that generally differs in taste, smell and color. So, let’s differentiate its three main types.

whiskey

Different whiskies.Image by TinyPic

Bourbon

The name “bourbon” came from a place in Kentucky known as the “Old Bourbon”. Bourbon is a whiskey that has been distilled from corn. For a drink to be classified as bourbon, it must have at least 51 percent corn. Aside from that, it should be stored in charred oak containers with no additives.

Rye

As we all know, rye is a type of grass in the wheat family and it is closely related to barley. Rye whiskey is further classified into American whiskey, which is distilled from at least 51% rye and matured for two years or more; and Canadian whiskey, which may or may not actually contain rye during its production process. Complete in body and spice, rye whiskey — which is the closest cousin of bourbon since there was an increase in corn production in the US after Prohibition occurred – has been gaining popularity on the cocktail menus of many restaurants throughout the country in the last ten years.

Scotch

Scotch is a whisky (which is technically spelled without an “e”) that should be produced in Scotland. This drink is made up mostly of malted barley and is matured in oak barrels for approximately three years or even more. The number after the name of a bottle of Scotch whisky will typically tell how long the drink was aged. In terms of tastes, some Scotch taste a lot similar to bourbon. It has a signature smokiness that would linger at the end of a tasting. Because of that, some people would generally avoid it; meanwhile, others like the drinking experience.

Washington D.C.’s The Pig has over 70 choices of whiskeys on their menu that showcases the different shades and flavors of the many varieties whiskeys. While some are perfect for drinking on the rocks, others are ideally mixed into another drink.

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