If you love your drinks strong and smooth, then whiskey is the perfect one for you. In fact, there’s a wide range of whiskeys available in the market.
Some whiskey drinkers prefer their whiskeys sweet like Tennessee Whiskeys and Canadian ryes. Others like it with stronger savoury taste like with some Japanese and Indian whiskeys. Then there are those who love a smoother Irish whiskey finish.
Moreover, it has long been debated whether it's better to drink whiskey neat, on the rocks or with water. Some may argue that it’s a matter of preference, but recently scientists have weighed in on how best to enjoy this iconic drink.
But before we go through that let us just provide you a brief background on how and why whiskey came to be one of the most well-known spirits in the world.
Where Did Whiskey Come From?
There are varying accounts of where whiskey originated. Both the Irish and the Scots claim to be the first to discover it but so do the French and the Arabs. But this doesn’t change the fact that whiskey is one of the most well-known drinks in the world.
Whiskey vs. Whisky
Whiskey comes from the Gaelic phrase, uisge beatha or usquebaugh which means “water for life”. What is the difference between whiskey and whisky? Nothing, except for the spelling. It’s spelled as “whiskey” in both Ireland and the US while it’s referred to as “whisky” in Japan, Scotland, and Canada.
Types of whiskey
There are several varieties of whiskey available in the market. Here are just some of the more famous ones.
- Scotch is whiskey made from malted barley and water, and follows a complicated and strict process of distillation and aging. Legally, it should only be called scotch if it goes through this distillation process in Scotland.
There are three types of scotch whiskey––“single malt” which is single distilled malted barley; “single grain” made up of malted barley and grains in a single distillery; and “blended” which is a combination of whiskeys from different distilleries.
- Irish whiskey goes through a similar distillation process as the scotch whiskey, except that it’s only called Irish whiskey if it goes through this process in Ireland.
- Bourbon, on the other hand, is US whiskey made from a combination of corn, alcohol.
- Tennessee whiskey is bourbon made from sugar-maple charcoal distilled in the state of Tennessee.
How whiskey is made
There are different filtering processes for each type of whiskey. And it depends on where the whiskey is being distilled. For instance, Irish whiskey has a similar distillation process as the Scotch except that Irish whiskey is aged for at least three years in wooden barrels while Scotch is matured in oak barrels.
How should I drink whiskey?
With all the dizzying varieties of whiskey to choose from, a group of scientists from a university in Sweden came up with a study on the best way to enjoy whiskey. And their findings?
Drinking whiskey tastes better if diluted with a dash of water and makes it more flavorful.
So, now that you’re read about all these interesting facts about whiskey, how do you intend to enjoy yours?