China has liquor, Germany has vodka, and other countries have whiskey. It seems that there is no spirit that can cross so many borders like whiskey. So, today I want to talk about the classification of whiskey for everyone.
Whiskey (Whisky, Whiskey) is a kind of strong distilled liquor made from barley and other grains. After years of aging in oak barrels, it is blended into a strong distilled spirit of about 43 degrees. The British call it the “water of life”. According to the understanding of Lanyu Culture, the most representative classification method of whiskey is to classify it according to the place and country where the whiskey is produced.
Like wine, the world of whiskey is also exciting. There are many types of whiskey, which can be categorized according to raw materials, brewing technology and origin. Wine pays attention to terroir, so does whiskey. Whiskey from different regions has different styles. According to the division of producing regions, let’s learn about the 5 major types of whiskey in the world.
- Scotch whisky
Scotland has produced whisky for 500 years. Its products have a unique style, brownish yellow with reddish color, clear and transparent, with a burnt smell, a certain smoky flavor, and a strong Scottish rustic flavor. Scotch whisky has the characteristics of dry taste, full-bodied, full-bodied, round and soft, and it is one of the best whiskeys in the world.
Scotch whisky has always been known for its two most complex and noble characteristics. According to regulations, the alcohol content of Scotch whisky after distillation must not be higher than 94.8%, and must be aged in oak barrels for at least 3 years, and it must be 100% brewed and aged in Scotland. There are two main types of Scotch whiskey: malt whiskey and grain whiskey. Malt whiskey can only be brewed from malted barley and must be distilled in a pot still. Grain whiskey can be brewed from malted barley and other grains and distilled in a continuous distiller. Scotch whisky is divided into the following 5 major producing areas, each with different characteristics.
(1) Speyside: More than half of Scotland’s distilleries are concentrated in the producing area, which is the essence of Scotch whisky. The aroma of Speyside whisky is complex and varied, elegant, with a delicate smoky flavor. On the whole, it can be divided into two styles. The first is a light-bodied whiskey with a grassy taste, such as Glenlivet whisky; the second is a whiskey with a rich and sweet taste that resembles sherry, such as Macallan whisky.
(2) Highlands: This is the largest whisky producing area in Scotland, so it is impossible to generalize the whisky style of the highlands. West Highland Whiskey has a round mouthfeel, a dry flavor and a peaty flavor. Northern Highland whiskey has heather and spice flavors. Eastern Highland Whiskey has a smoother mouthfeel and a more fruity aroma.
(3) Lowlands: The whiskey produced here is usually light-bodied, with a lighter aroma, fresh taste, with grass and lemon flavors, slightly sweet in the mouth, and short aftertaste.
(4) Islay: The most distinctive feature of the whiskey in this region is the peat flavor, which is also the most wild style among Scotch whiskies.
(5) Campbeltown (Campbeltown): The flavor of whiskey produced in this region is mainly peat and sea salt. The taste is rich. Springbank and Glen Scotia are the most well-known whiskies. winery.
- Irish Whiskey
Although the Irish whiskey producing area is relatively small, Ireland’s contribution to whisky distillation is very large. Irish whiskey is one of the most typical whiskey styles in the world. Compared with Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey tastes softer and rounder. This is because Irish whiskey has undergone three distillation processes. Irish whiskey also does not use peat roasting. Therefore, there is no smoky flavor in the liquor, but it has obvious fruit and spice flavors. The taste is greasy and smooth, and the wine is full-bodied. Ireland has only three major whisky distilleries: Midleton, Bushmills and Cooley’s.
- American whiskey
(1) Bourbon: The most famous whiskey in the United States is Bourbon. Bourbon whiskey must be brewed from a mixture of grains, and the proportion of corn in the mixture should be at least 51%. Like Scottish whiskey, all bourbon whiskey must be produced in the United States (in fact, most bourbon whiskey is produced in Kentucky), and the alcohol content after distillation must be less than 80%. Matured in oak barrels. Although ordinary bourbon does not require the maturation time, if the wine merchant wants to label the wine as “Straight Bourbon” (pure bourbon whiskey), the wine must be matured in wooden barrels for more than two years. Bourbon whiskey has obvious aromas of coconut and vanilla, full-bodied and semi-dry taste.
(2) Tennessee Whiskey (Tennessee): This type of whiskey is basically the same as the bourbon whiskey. The only difference is that the Tennessee whiskey must be filtered with maple charcoal before bottling. The filtered Tennessee whiskey tastes smoother and has a smoother texture. There is a slight sweetness and smoky taste. The world-renowned whiskey brand-Jack Daniels is an important driving force for the success of Tennessee whiskey.
- Japanese whiskey
The development of Japanese whisky has a history of more than 80 years, but it has become one of the five largest whisky producing areas in the world. Japanese whiskey has the pedigree of traditional Scotch whisky, and the malt used is also imported from Scotland. However, Japanese whiskey also has its own local characteristics, such as the use of rare Japanese oak barrels to ferment, which brings the unique fragrance of Gores flower and exciting spice fragrance to Japanese whiskey, which is exactly how Japanese whiskey surpasses tradition. One of the magic weapons of whiskey. Suntory is a typical representative brand of Japanese whiskey. Not long ago, the news that “the best whiskey in the world is in Japan” attracted the attention of whiskey lovers. The highly regarded “Whiskey Bible” in the industry rated the 2013 Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask as the best whisky in the world, and this whisky is produced by Suntory.
- Canadian whiskey
Canada is also one of the main producing areas of whisky in the world. Canada is mainly known for mass production of whisky that is easy to drink and smooth in taste. Unlike other whiskeys, Canadian whiskey can be mixed with 9.09% of other beverages during the production process, which also adds a characteristic to Canadian whiskey. Of course, Canada also has high-end whiskeys, and Crown Royal is one of the representatives.
The reason why wine needs to be divided into categories is to distinguish between quality and category, and second, for marketing. Only by occupying the peak in a single field can it better occupy the market share. According to the characteristics of the classification, wine lovers can more easily find their favorite wine. Do you understand the classification of whiskey?