Posted on June 10 2020
To be a classy gentleman, you must know your whiskey. Fortunately for you - we have you covered. In this edition of O/Z Lifestyle Tips, we are giving you a crash course on Whiskey. Sit back, grab your favorite glass and prepare to be educated on this classic gentleman's drink.
Whiskey is a drink made by distilling alcohol and fermenting grains in a wooden cask. This process gives it a unique color and taste beloved by men everywhere. Whiskey and sophistication go hand-in-hand. But, is it Whiskey or Whisky? It is important you know the difference between the two, as well the subsets of each. Let's start with some background:
Whisky vs. Whiskey
What's the difference between whisky and whiskey? Every whiskey produced in Scotland is called whisky. However, to make things a bit more confusing, whiskeys made in Japan are now also called whisky. Canada also calls what they make whisky. The whiskey produced within the US and elsewhere is called whiskey. Besides the difference in how they are spelled, here are how the types of whiskey differ from one another.
Scotch is made by using either malted barley or some other grain that is aged in an oak cask. The whisky ages in the cask for at least three years before it is ready to be bottled. Some whiskeys are aged 10, 15 or even 25 years (or more). Be prepared to pay a hefty price for those long-aged whiskys.
Once the whisky has been aged, it will produce a notable earth and smoky taste. Scotch, which hails from Scotland, has several different varieties, including:
- Single Malt
- Single Grain
- Blended Malt
- Blended Grain
Produced in the United States, bourbon is mostly made using corn. The Bourbon is then stored in charred oak casks for at least three years. Given that corn is the base for bourbon, it has a sweeter taste to it than Scotch. It can also taste smokier and have a red hue to it, given the fermenting of this whiskey in the charred casks.
Japanese whisky is made in Japan using either double-malted or peated barley. It also gets aged in wooden mizunara oak casks. This type of whiskey tastes drier and smokier. It is also produced as a single malt or a blend.
Irish whiskey is produced in Northern Ireland and is made using yeast-fermented grain. Alternatively, it is made using malted grains. In both situations, it takes three years to age within a wooden cask. When comparing it with Scotch, Irish whiskey typically goes down smoother (but don't tell that to any Scot or serious Scotch drinker!)
Rye whiskey hails from North America and is made using a mash that is over half rye. It will age in a charred barrel for at least two years. The taste of rye whiskey is slightly fruity, yet has a spicy kick to it.
Tennessee whiskey gets produced in the state of Tennessee in the US. There is a distinction to be made between this type of whiskey and the American-made bourbon. It all comes down to how it's filtered. This whiskey will steep in charcoal first prior to being put into casks to ferment. It tastes like a lighter version of bourbon, since the charcoal takes some of the harshness out of the flavor.
Canadian whisky is made in Canada and is a blend of several grain liquors, although primarily corn spirits are involved. This whisky will taste light and smooth in comparison to the other whiskeys on this list. The flavor-rich rye grain added to the mashes led to the term "rye whisky" and is another interchangeable term for Canadian whisky.
Now that you know what the different types of whiskeys out there are, you are more prepared to lead a men's classy lifestyle. Get together with some friends and enjoy some delicious aged whiskey, sharing the classy experience that whiskey provides for gentlemen everywhere.