It can be a confusing world, the world of Whisky. This guide, with some brilliant videos, should make it a bit simpler.

As somebody who only started to learn about the beauty of the dram a few years ago, I can relate to those who struggle. To simplify things, here is a beginner’s guide to the different types of whisky and what it all means.

What is a Whisky / Whiskey?

In short, whisky is a spirit distilled from fermented grain mash. Grains are usually wheat, barley, corn or rye. It is is typically aged in wooden casks. Most whiskies are around 40% abv or higher.

You get many different types, each of which have their own chief ingredient and traditional geographic area of origin.

Scotch

In order to be Scotch, the whisky must be distilled in Scotland and matured for a minimum of three years in oak casks. Any age statement on the bottle, in the form of a number, must reflect the age of the youngest Scotch whisky used to produce that product. A whisky with an age statement is known as guaranteed age whisky. Scotch without an age statement may, by law, be as young as three years old.

Scottish whisky is split into five distinct areas : Highland, Lowland, Islay, Speyside and Campbeltown.

Malt v Blended

So what is the difference between Malt and Blended?

Bourbon

So what is Bourbon then? It’s American, I know that much. It also has to be made of at least 51% corn grain. What else? This will tell you…

Japanese Whisky

I’ve heard that Japan make whisky, using Scottish malt as it’s lead. Is it any good? Apparently, it’s amongst the best in the world.

Water, Ice or Neat?

So, if you want to try whisky, how should you drink it?

If you want to learn more about whisky, I’ve written more about it. There will also be some more interesting posts coming up in 2017, so keep checking back!

Final note

I find a nice malt to be a relaxing drink. It immediately puts a smile on my face and makes everything feel pretty good! So, to complete the perfect experience, I recommend the following. Pour yourself a dram, sit back, and enjoy this wonderful music!

Sláinte!