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Whiskey, What is Whiskey, Types of Whiskey, Whiskey production

Whiskey speaks to what is Whiskey, types of Whiskey, Whiskey production and the manufacture and taste of such.

Whiskey is an alcoholic drink which is distilled from fermented grain mash. The different kinds of whiskey are distilled from different varieties of grains which include barley, malted barley, rye, malted rye, wheat and corn.

Wooden oak casks are used to age most whiskey except of course corn liquor.

How is whiskey made states the making of whiskey is regulated in most countries which state that that corn liquor may have a maximum 80% alcohol by volume and for other grains a maximum of 90% alcohol by volume before water is added.

Most whiskey sold on the market is at 40% alcohol by volume. This ensures that the whiskey retains some of the grain flavor. If it does not retain some of the grain flavor it is known as grain neutral spirit such as vodka or alcool.

How is whiskey made states that it obtains much of its flavor from the cask that it is aged in. What affects the flavor is the type of wood used and the charring or toasting done to the wood. Bourbon whiskey for example is legally required to be aged in charred new oak barrels, whereas quality Scotch whiskies often used the partially spent barrels from Bourbon production to induce a slower maturation time, adding additional subtle nuance.

How is whiskey made states there are various methods of combining malts and grains for the production of whiskey.

Vatted malt is blended from malt whiskies from different distilleries. If a whiskey is labelled "pure malt" or just "malt" it is almost certain to be a vatted whiskey. This is also sometimes labelled as "blended malt" whiskey.

Single malt whiskey is malt whiskey from a single distillery. However, unless the whiskey is described as "single-cask" it will contain whiskey from many casks, and different years, so the blender can achieve a taste recognisable as typical of the distillery. In most cases, the name of a single malt will be that of the distillery (The Glenlivet, Bushmills, Yoichi), with an age statement and perhaps some indication of some special treatments such as maturation in a port wine cask.

How is whiskey made states pure pot still whiskey refers to a whiskey distilled in a pot-still (like single malt) from a mash of mixed malted and unmalted barley. It is exclusive to Ireland.

Blended whiskies are made from a mixture of malt and grain whiskies. A whisky simply described as Scotch Whisky or Irish Whiskey is most likely to be a blend in this sense. A blend is usually from many distilleries so that the blender can produce a flavour consistent with the brand, and the brand name (e.g., Chivas Regal, Canadian Club) will usually not therefore contain the name of a distillery.

How is whiskey made states Jameson Irish Whiskey is an exception and comes from only one distillery. However, "blend" can (less frequently) have other meanings. A mixture of malts (with no grain) from different distilleries (more usually called a vatted malt) may sometimes be referred to as a "blended malt", and a mixture of grain whiskies with no malts will sometimes carry the designation "blended grain".

Cask strength whiskies are rare and usually only the very best whiskies are bottled in this way. They are usually bottled from the cask undiluted. Rather than diluting, the distiller is inviting the drinker to dilute to the level of potency most palatable (often no dilution is necessary, such is the quality of single cask whiskies). Single cask whiskies are usually bottled by specialist independent bottlers.

Whisky by Country

American

How is whiskey made states it is federally regulated and the most common types are: Bourbon whiskey, which is made from mash that consists of at least 51% corn (maize).

Rye whiskey, which is made from mash that consists of at least 51% rye.

Corn whiskey, which is made from mash that consists of at least 80% corn (maize).

Straight whiskey, (without naming a grain) is a whiskey which has been aged in charred new oak containers for 2 years or more and distilled at not more than 80 percent alcohol by volume but is derived from less than 51% of any one grain.

A distinct American whisky is Tennessee whiskey, of which Jack Daniel's is the leading example. During distillation, it is identical to bourbon whiskey in almost every important respect including the sour mash process, which is generally unique to North America, but Tennessee whiskey is charcoal filtered prior to barrel aging.

The most recognizable differences are that Tennessee whiskey is filtered through sugar maple charcoal, giving it a unique flavor and aroma. The other major difference is the reuse of barrels which is not allowed in bourbon whiskey production. Though not defined by regulations, the Government of the United States of America officially recognized Tennessee whiskey as a separate style in 1941.

Canadian

How is whiskey made states Canadian whiskey is recognized as the more light and smooth in taste and have used malted rye to produce a full and smooth flavor. Canadian whiskies must be produced in Canada, be distilled from a fermented mash of cereal grain, "be aged in small wood for not less than 3 years", and "possess the aroma, taste and character generally attributed to Canadian whiskey".

The terms "Canadian Whiskey", "Canadian Rye Whiskey" and "Rye Whiskey" are legally indistinguishable in Canada and do not denote any particular proportion of rye or other grain used in production.

Finnish

How is whisky made states Finnish whiskey is a relatively new product in the world market as there are presently three working distilleries in the country. Whiskey retail sales in Finland are controlled solely by the state alcohol monopoly Alko and advertisement of strong alcoholic beverages is banned.

At this time there is little information available which is devoted to the taste and smoothness of this whiskey.

German

How is whiskie made states German whiskey is made from grains traditionally associated with the production of whiskey. The distillation of German-made whiskey is a relatively recent phenomenon having only started in the last 30 years. The styles produced resemble those made in Ireland, Scotland and the United States: single malts, blends, and bourbon styles.

There is no standard spelling of German whiskies with distilleries using both "whisky" and "whiskey" and one even using "whessky", a play on the word whisky and Hessen, the state in which it is produced. There are currently ten distilleries in Germany producing whisky.

Indian

How is whiskey made states Indian whiskey is an alcoholic beverage that is labelled as "whiskey" in India. Much Indian whiskey is distilled from fermented molasses, and as such would be considered a sort of rum outside of the Indian subcontinent. 90% of the "whiskey" consumed in India is molasses based, although India has begun to distill whisky from malt and other grains.

Kasauli Distillery is set in the Himalaya mountains and opened in the late 1820s. The main whiskey brand is a single malt named "Solan No. 1". This was named after the town nearby called Solan. It was the best selling Indian whiskey till recently, but has declined since the early 1980s' because of the stiff competition from the larger distilleries. Other whiskies this distillery produces are Diplomat Deluxe, Colonel's Special, Black Knight and Summer Hall.

Irish

How is whiskey made states most Irish whiskeys are distilled three times, although there are exceptions. Though traditionally distilled using the pot still method, in modern times a column still is used to produce the grain whiskey used in blends.

By law, Irish whiskey must be produced in Ireland and aged in wooden casks for a period of no less than three years, although in practice it is usually three or four times that period. Unpeated malt is almost always used, the main exception being Connemara Peated Malt whiskey.

There are several types of whiskey common to Ireland: single malt, single grain, blended whiskey and uniquely to Ireland, pure pot still whiskey. The designation "pure pot still" as used in Ireland generally refers to whiskey made of 100% barley, mixed malted and unmalted, and distilled in a pot still made of copper.

The "green" unmalted barley gives the traditional pure pot still whiskey a spicy, uniquely Irish quality. Like single malt, pure pot still is sold as such or blended with grain whiskey. Usually no real distinction is made between whether a blended whiskey was made from single malt or pure pot still.

Japanese

How is whiskey made states the model for Japanese whiskies is the single malt Scotch, although there are also examples of Japanese blended whiskies. The base is a mash of malted barley, dried in kilns fired with a little peat (although considerably less than is the case in Scotland), and distilled using the pot still method.

For some time Japanese whisky suffered from the commonly held belief that whisky made in the Scotch style, but not produced in Scotland, was inferior, and until fairly recently, the market for Japanese whiskies was almost entirely domestic. In recent years, Japanese whiskies have won prestigious international awards and now enjoys a deserved reputation for a quality product.

Scotch

How is whiskey made states Scotch whiskies are generally distilled twice, though some are distilled a third time. International laws require anything bearing the label "Scotch" to be distilled in Scotland and matured for a minimum of three years and one day in oak casks, among other, more specific criteria.

If Scotch whisky is from more than one cask, and if it includes an age statement on the bottle, it must reflect the age of the youngest whisky in the blend. Many cask-strength single malts omit the age as they use younger elements in minute amounts for flavouring and mellowing.

The basic types of Scotch are malt and grain, which are combined to create blends. Many, though not all, Scotch whiskies use peat smoke to treat their malt, giving Scotch its distinctive smoky flavour. While the market is dominated by blends, the most highly prized of Scotch whiskies are the single malts. Scotch whiskies are divided into five main regions: Highland, Lowland, Islay, Speyside and Campbeltown.

Welsh

How is whiskey made states that in 2000, Penderyn Distillery started production of the Penderyn single malt Welsh whiskey in Wales, the first Welsh whisky since all production ended in 1894. The first bottles went on sale on 1 March 2004, Saint David's Day and is now sold throughout the world. Penderyn Distillery is situated in Brecon Beacons National Park and is considered the smallest distillery in the world.

Other whisky

How is whiskey made staes that in Britanny, France, five distilleries (Distillerie des Menhirs, Guillon, Glann ar MorKaerilis and Warenghem produce whiskey using techniques similar to those in Scotland.

Two whiskies are produced on the French island of Corsica: Altore and P&M. Altore is distilled in Scotland, but blended and matured on Corsica in muscat casks. P&M (Pietra & Mavella) is a coproduction of the brewery Pietra and the distillery Mavella. The mash is enriched with chestnut flour. P&M is also matured in muscat casks.

Manx Spirit from the Isle of Man is, like some Virginia whiskeys in the USA, actually distilled elsewhere and re-distilled in the country of its nominal "origin".

In Sweden a new distillery (Mackmyra), started selling its products in 2006.

How is whiskey made states that recently at least two distilleries in the traditionally brandy-producing Caucasus region announced their plans to enter the Russian domestic market with whiskies. The Stavropol-based Praskoveysky distillery bases its product on Irish technology, while in Kizlyar, Dagestan's "Russian Whisky" announced a Scotch-inspired drink in single malt, blended and wheat varieties.

In Taiwan, the King Car company built a whisky distillery in the city of Yilan, and has recently begun marketing Kavalan Single Malt Whisky. King Car Whisky Distillery

Production of whiskey started in Norfolk, England in late 2006 and the first whisky (as opposed to malt spirit) was made available to the public in November 2009. This is the first English single malt in over 100 years. It was produced at St George's Distillery by the English Whiskey Company. Previously Bristol and Liverpool were centres of English whiskey production. East Anglia is a source of much of the grain used in Scotch whiskey.

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