What is Whiskey?
Whiskey is an alcoholic spirit that is made from fermented grain mash. It can be made from a range of different grains that produce different varieties of whiskey. The most common grains are barley, malt, wheat, corn, and rye.
Whiskey is normally aged in American oak barrels for a variety of times. The longer the time spent in the barrel, the smoother, more complex, and rounded the flavor. It is no surprise that the longer time spent aging the more expensive the bottle as well.
There are so many characteristics of regional whiskey around the world. Each corner of the world that produces the spirit has a different set of rules that they follow. However, in broad strokes, the typical widespread characteristics are the fermentation of grains, distillation, and aging in wooden barrels.
Whiskey is around 80 proof generally, making it a standardly strong liquor. Some of the smaller, artisanal whiskey productions elevate the strength up higher, though this is seen as the expectation.
Everyone has their favorite whiskies. It tends to be the one liquor that people stick to religiously, once they find the best whiskey for them. There are so many alternatives out there that we recommend, especially when you order whiskey online.
What is Whiskey Made Up Of?
Whiskey is made up of just three ingredients: water, the grain of choice, and yeast. The most common grain is malted barley in regular whiskey, though this varies as previously discussed.
The water is generally purified water, to ensure the fermentation process does not spoil with any unwanted bacteria or toxins. The mashing of the grain, along with the addition of water and agitation, releases the natural sugars of the grain.
The sugars are then consumed by the yeast during the fermentation process, which can last up to 96 hours. The fermented product is then distilled, where it turns from a meager 5 proof into the mighty 80 proof and up that we associate with whiskey.
The different grains are mashed and fermented in different methods across different production houses. The fact remains that the grains are generally treated in the same way to release the sugars.
When you buy whiskey online, can gain access to all of these different varieties, and are able to taste the subtle differences between them. With the minimal ingredients list, it is evident that it largely comes down to the process that creates a unique flavor.
Where Does Whiskey Come From?
There is much debate about where whiskey first came from. We all have a common understanding that it is an ancient drink. The big debate is whether it originated in Scotland or Ireland.
Whiskey is recorded as being produced in Ireland as early as 1405, whereas the earliest record of the production in Scotland is in 1495. By these dates there is a clear winner, however, there is an undying dispute between the neighboring countries.
The Scottish are adamant that the famous spirit originated in their lands, and have published some very popular literature to support these claims. However, it seems that whiskey did in fact originate in Ireland.
Which Are The Types Of Whiskies Available?
The type of whiskies that are available mostly depends on the country they were produced in. Each country has its own method of production, be it ancient or recent. This tends to be the determining factor when advertising a whiskey, however, there are more technical aspects that can determine the type of whiskey.
Irish whiskey, the original, is made from a mash of malt. It is distilled in wooden casks for at least three years, creating a smooth spirit you can sip neat or on the rocks. The second most popular whiskey is Scotch Whisky, or simply Scotch.
There are more rules that Scotch producers have to follow, including a minimum of three years of aging in oak barrels. There must be an age statement for each bottle and is generally recommended to drink straight.
Other notable, newer whiskeys include Canadian and Japanese whiskey. Japanese is produced to resemble Scotch and is often served in a highball. Canadian whiskeys often contain a high percentage of corn.
The two stylistic differences are Bourbon and Rye whiskey. Bourbon is aged in a new oak barrel, creating a sweet and smooth drink. Rye is made from at least 51% rye and tends to have a spicier flavor than bourbon. Both are produced in America.
Which Are Some Of The Best Brands In Whiskey?
Some of the best whiskey brands are some of the most commonly drunk varieties. Due to the fact that many varieties of whiskey do not have to follow production rules, there are so many different products it is hard to get a grip on your favorite.
Jameson Irish Whiskey is a very common Irish variety that is absolutely delicious. It sits on the middle shelf in terms of price, but won’t disappoint when drunk straight or on the rocks. There are more expensive, more sought-after brands, but this is one you can get almost anywhere.
Laphroaig is another relatively wide-reaching Scotch. It is, however, at a completely different price point, being much more expensive. It is easily found on our whiskey online store if it is not found at your local bar.
The Bulleit whiskey brand is another of the great whiskey brands that you can get on our online liquor store. They have arguably the best rye on the market, alongside their flagship, famous bourbon.
A new brand that has bulldozed its way into the conversation with incredible whiskey products is Suntory. They have a range of incredible whiskeys, ranging from mid-shelf to incredibly high shelf in terms of quality and price.
What Is The Best Way To Drink Whiskey?
This really depends on the bottle. Different methods of production lend themselves to different methods of consumption. Alongside this, the variety of grain, and the different whiskey varieties might determine what is the optimum method of drinking. Lastly, the preference of the person should really determine how to drink their whiskey.
It might be easier to suggest the variety best suited to the method of drinking. If you prefer your whiskey neat, we would recommend a Scotch or Japanese whisky. This does not always mean it is the best whiskey, but you can buy whiskey online that is good and affordable enough to drink neat.
If you like drinking it on the rocks, we recommend an Irish whiskey, bourbon, or single malt. These have a robust flavor but often work well when opened up by a cube or two of ice.
We think that rye whiskeys go amazingly well in an Old Fashioned, and blended whiskeys go great in Manhattan or in a highball. They have flavor profiles that are powerful enough to pierce through these dilution methods.
If you are looking for these more specific varieties, like blended or Japanese whiskey, you might have to look online to find them. The best place to buy whiskey online is certainly right here.
What Is The Difference Between Whiskey and Whisky?
Though it might just look like a simple spelling mistake, there is actually a difference between the two spellings. In the modern-day, whisky is used for Scottish whisky, and whiskey is used for Irish whiskey. You might think this is another US/Canadian/British/Australian spelling disagreement, but it is not.
We have examined the differences between Scotch and Irish whiskey above, but there is also this spelling differential. Irish whiskey tends to be a little bit less smooth than scotch. Without being aged, it is a little harsher on the nose and stronger on the palate.
Scotch whisky is a little bit smoother, with a similar strength, especially when drunk neat as it is recommended.
There is a plethora of incredible whiskey products, and it can be tricky when you are looking for new options. It is hard to search for whiskey online. The best whiskey is always right around the corner, but actually doing the whiskey online ordering is filled with difficulties.
All of our recommended products are available on the CWS website, the best place to buy whiskey online. If you’re looking for how to buy whiskey online, just click the links attached to the brands.
Buffalo Trace is one of our favorite whiskey brands. Their bourbon is our best-selling whiskey. They have a wonderful range of products that span a range of prices. Why not try our ‘little bit of everything pack’. It includes a range of varieties that are sure to fulfill any flavor profile.
We have already mentioned Bulleit already, but they are so good we have to do so again. The best thing about this brand is you won’t have to visit an online liquor store to find it. It is likely to be found in most bars around the world.
However, the best place to buy whiskey online is here when searching for Bulleit bourbon. There is an amazing deal that includes a 10-year Bulleit bourbon, the standard Bulleit bourbon, and Bulleit rye for an amazing price!
Frequently Asked Question's
What is the difference between Whiskey and Whisky?
Though it looks like a simple spelling mistake, there is a key difference between the two words. The first difference is obviously the letter e. However, there are more meanings behind these words. It seems like another US/UK argument over a word, but it has some history.
Whiskey refers to Irish whiskey, whereas Whisky refers to Scotch whisky. We have covered the key differences a couple of times already, but we will add a refresher here. Scotch whisky is aged for three years and is a smoother, rounded drink. It is recommended straight. Irish whiskey is not, and is normally used in a mixer, a lovely cocktail, or on the rocks.
Is whiskey stronger than vodka?
Whiskey and vodka tend to be sold at around the same strength. Both spirits are around 80 proof on average, though some brands might be slightly stronger or weaker. Both spirits definitely have the potential to be a lot stronger, with some spirits going up to 160 proof.
Whiskey is definitely a stronger taste. Vodka is intentionally less flavorful than whiskey, with less smokiness, spice, sweetness, and aromas. Vodka is designed to be clean and able to be used for multiple purposes including shots, mixers, and cocktails. People will often say whiskey is stronger because it does not appeal to the palate of everyone, and the aroma can be overwhelming.
Is Whiskey good with soda or water?
It is, once again, a conversation on personal preference. Some whiskey varieties are quite intense, with powerful aromas that can blind a person's taste buds. It can work well to dilute this with some water, as it mellows out the intensity with great effect.
Irish and American whiskey in particular benefits from this. These varieties are not regularly aged, so their flavors are sharper and more intense. The water allows some mellowing out of the experience. Soda shakes up the drink, the bubbles invigorate the drink to loosen up the flavors. Any kind of water tends to make whiskey more palatable for those who do not regularly enjoy it, so we can say this means it is good with soda or water!
What mixes well with whiskey?
When doing your whiskey online ordering, you never think about what to mix with whiskey. We often consider whiskey to be drunk all on its own, or with ice or water. When we think of where to buy whiskey online, we often never do it thinking about what the site sells to mix with it.
Believe it or not, combining a nice blended scotch or bourbon with Amaretto creates one of the greatest cocktails, the Godfather. A favorite in so many countries for the wintertime is also combining whiskey with hot water, lemon, honey, and cinnamon to create a hot toddy.
Is Jack Daniels a whiskey?
Despite being marketed as a whiskey, there is still some debate as to whether Jack Daniels is whiskey, bourbon, or something completely different! Different sources claim different definitions of the most famous whiskey brand in the world, but we have figured it out.
Jack Daniels is technically a bourbon. This doesn’t mean that it is not a whiskey, as bourbon is simply a subcategory of it. So technically, they can market it either way. Most producers would choose to market it as a bourbon, due to the more intricate production process and artisanal characteristics associated with this liquor over whiskey.
Why whiskey is not kept in the fridge?
Whiskey is not usually kept in the fridge for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, the high alcohol content prevents any bacteria, mold, or living organisms from growing in it that might harm someone. Secondly, there is nothing in it that can spoil or rot. It is also not carbonated, so it does not need to be refrigerated to maintain carbonation.
Furthermore, whiskey has a complex flavor profile. Many of these flavors are only able to be tasted in full when at room temperature. Cooling the liquid makes some of those more subtle flavors harder to taste. Vodka, gin, and other spirits are often kept in the fridge because they do not have the same amount of flavor.