Whiskeys vary according to the grains used in the making and the production processes. There are many types of whiskey in the literature. In this article, I will try to briefly explain the basic whiskey types and their characteristics.

Basically, we can talk about 7 different whiskey categories.


Single Malt Whiskey

There are 3 points we need to know before we can call a whiskey malt whiskey.

  1. First of all, malt whiskey should only be produced in a single distillery.
  2. Malted barley is used in its production.
  3. It must be distilled by batch distillation technique in copper stills called “pot still”.

Although malt whiskey is usually associated with Scotland, many countries such as Ireland, Japan, India and Canada also have malt whiskey.

Sample: Lagavulin 16, Talisker 10, Highland Park 12, Glenlivet Founder's Reserve, Glenfiddich 15…

For more detailed information “What is Single Malt Whiskey?” You can check out my YouTube video.


Grain Whiskey

Grain whiskeys, unlike single malt whiskeys, are industrial whiskeys that are distilled by continuous distillation technique in huge alembics known as Coffey stills. In addition to barley, it contains other grains such as corn or oats.

Grain whiskeys do not have characteristic aromas like malt whiskeys, but mostly have similar noses and palates.

Grain whiskeys are less costly to produce than malt whiskeys and are generally used to make blended whiskeys. However, it should be noted that grain whiskeys have started to be bottled and sold in recent years (Haig Club).


Blended Whiskey

Blended whiskeys make up 92% of world whiskey consumption. For blended whiskeys, we can briefly call it a mixture of malt and grain whiskeys. The ratio in this blend is usually 40% malt, 60% grain whiskey.

You can think of blended whiskey as a formula. This formula contains between 15 and 40 whiskeys. The whiskeys in the formula are carefully selected by the head blender of the distillery. “Chief Blender” Perhaps the most prestigious title in the whiskey industry, they are highly respected people who have devoted their years to this business.

Although some brands are not afraid to mention some of the whiskeys in their formulas, they do not share all the formulas…

Although there are dozens of whiskeys in the blended whiskeys, there are single malt whiskeys that many blend manufacturers have determined as the center of their whiskey formula.

For example, Strathisla at Chivas Regal, Lagavulin at White Horse, Highland Park and Macallan at Famous Grouse, and Glenrothes at the center of the blend of Ardmore and Cutty Sark at Teacher's.

For more detailed information about blended whiskeys, visit YouTube. “Blended Whiskeys” You can check out my video.


Blended Malt Whiskey

Malt blend whiskeys, as the name suggests, are whiskeys that are produced as a result of blending malt whiskeys from 2 or more distilleries.

Malt-blend whiskeys, unlike blended whiskeys, do not contain grain whiskey.

Sample: Johnnie Walker Green Label, Monkey Shoulder, Chivas Regal Ultis


Bourbon

In order for us to call a whiskey Bourbon, 4 conditions are required.

  1. It must have been manufactured in the USA.
  2. Yapımında işleme giren tahılın %51’inin mısır olmalıdır. (geri kalanı çavdar, buğday veya arpa)
  3. The barrels used during the maturation period must be new (no whiskey has been kept in them before) and must be burned.
  4. En az %40 alkol derecesi olmalıdır.

Sample: Jim Beam, Woodford Reserve, Four Roses, Wild Turkey, Buffalo Trace, Old Forester, George T. Stagg…

The number of Bourbons on sale in our country is quite low compared to other categories. But very soon Maker's Mark, Booker's, Basil Hayden's, Baker's and Knob Creek It is pleasing that the diversity in the Bourbon category has increased, albeit a little, with the start of sales of brands such as.


Tennessee Whiskey

To avoid confusion, it is useful to specify from the beginning. What we said for bourbon whiskeys can be said for Tennessee whiskeys.

– So what's the difference?

The only difference between the two types is that there is an additional process involved in the Tennessee whiskey production process: coal filtration (known as the Lincoln County Process or Charcoal Mellowing).

We can briefly describe this process as follows:

İmbiklerden çıkan %70 alkole sahip alkollü içki (daha viski diyemiyoruz) olgunlaştırma aşamasından önce, Jack Daniel’s ile ıslatılıp sonrasında kömür haline getirilmiş akçaağaç odunlarının olduğu 3 metrelik tanklardan damla damla geçirilerek filtre ediliyor.

With this process, Jack Daniel's gains the easy drinking and charcoal flavors we are accustomed to.

Best-known Tennessee whiskey brands Jack Daniel's and George Dickelis .

What I wrote about Bourbon and Tenneessee whiskeys “What is Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey, What are the Differences?” You can find out in more detail the answers to questions such as what are the similarities of the two whiskey types, is every Tennessee whiskey also a bourbon, what are the features that distinguish Tennessee whiskeys from Bourbons?


Rye (Rye) Whiskey

Rye whiskeys have been on the rise especially in recent years. The most important reasons for this are the fact that the representatives of the rye whiskey category have won many awards in international competitions and that they have received high scores from the veterans of the industry.

As with any whiskey type, a whiskey "Rye WhiskeyIn order to be able to say ”, it has to fulfill certain conditions.

  1. Yapımında işleme giren tahılın %51’inin çavdar olmalıdır
  2. The barrels used during the maturation period must be new (no whiskey has been kept in them before) and must be burned.

As you see very similar to rye and bourbon whiskeys. The most important difference is that corn is our main grain in bourbons, while rye is rye in whiskeys, as the name suggests.

Of course, this difference in the main grain reveals the difference in taste between the two categories. While more spicy, bitter and dry notes are dominant in rye whiskeys, sweeter notes such as caramel, honey and vanilla are dominant in bourbons.

Another difference is that while all bourbons require production in the USA, there is no such requirement for rye whiskeys.

As a few examples of rye whiskey; We can offer Bulleit Rye, Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye, Jim Beam Pre-Prohibition Style Rye and Woodford Reserve Rye whiskeys.


You may also like;

For other basics about whiskey…

For basic information about Scotch Whiskeys…

For all my whiskey tasting notes…

3 Responses

  1. ozan black sea

    Hello Mr. Peace,

    In the malt blend, there should be malt whiskeys from at least two different distilleries.. How many different distilleries are generally blended.. Is it like 4-5, for example.

    👋👋 Thank you

    Reply
    • whiskey

      Greetings, it is difficult to give a number here, but as you said, the number of blended whiskeys does not go up to 40-50. When we look at the most known examples, Johnnie Walker Green Label has 4 malts, Monkey Shoulder has 3 malts and Chivas Ultis has 5 malts.

      Reply
      • Ozan Karadeniz

        Yes, I was wondering if that's the case too, but I'm sure now. Thank you very much.. greetings👋👋

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