There are many styles and classifications of whiskey — so many variations that it can be overwhelming to a whiskey newcomer. Where can I start to decide what I’ll like? What separates whiskey from whisky?* How does regional origin affect taste? Here is our quick guide to whisk(e)y to help sort it all out.

Generally, if the spirit is from Scotland, Japan or Canada, it’s spelled whisky. If it’s made in the United States or Ireland, it’s whiskey.

American Whiskey:

American whiskey is primarily divided into three categories.
Bourbon | Contains a minimum of 51 percent corn, and is aged in charred, new oak barrels and is bottled 80 proof or higher.

Taste Profile: Sweet and bold flavors with hints of caramel, vanilla, coffee, honey and butterscotch.

Tennessee | Must meet all the requirements of Bourbon but it must be produced in Tennessee. It is aged in new charred oak barrels and filtered through maple charcoal prior to aging (commonly known as the Lincoln County Process), and is bottled 80 proof or higher.

Taste Profile: A softer dryer taste profile than bourbons, still highlighted by vanilla caramel.

Rye | American rye whiskey is made with a minimum of 51 percent rye. It has to be aged in charred, new oak barrels.

Taste Profile: Spicier and fruiter flavors, not a sweet as bourbon

Canadian Whisky:

Canadian whisky is made in Canada and aged in barrels at least three years. The mash bill is mostly made from corn but is also known for using Canada’s highly flavorful rye.

Taste Profile: Light and sweet

Irish Whiskey:

Irish Whiskey must hail from Ireland and is aged in barrels at least three years. Most Irish whiskey is triple distilled and most are blended with two or more separately distilled whiskeys. Single pot still whiskey refers to Irish whiskey made at a single distillery from a pot still.

Taste profile: Smooth, robust taste, flavors include spicy, nutty and vanilla notes.

Scotch Whisky:

Scotch whisky must be distilled in Scotland and aged in oak barrels at least three years. Most scotch is aged in used bourbon barrels. Scotch is typically distilled twice and is classified several ways.
Single Malt/Single Grain | Produced from malted barley/Grain from one single distillery.

Blend | A blend of two or more single malt or grain scotches.

Taste profile: Scotch taste profiles are determined by the region where they are produced.

2 oz. whiskey

1 oz. sweet vermouth

2 dashes bitters

1 maraschino cherry

Pour the whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until outside of shaker is cold to the touch. Place a maraschino cherry in a cocktail glass and strain the contents of the shaker over the cherry. Serve immediately.

Find Your whiskey

Prices as of As of 16 Jun 2021 4:46 AM | Prices subject to change without notice. | Agencies are permitted to limit the sale of limited supply product to one per customer per brand code.


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