Whisk(e)y 101

A Guide For Beginners

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This guide will teach you all the whiskey 101 basics! Beginners who are new to drinking whiskey will learn the factors that effect the flavors of whiskey, five popular types of whiskey, and how to pick out a bottle you'll love.

The Basics:

One of the most important things you need to know, is the differences between all whiskeys rely upon these three factors: 1. Where it's made. 2. What it's made from. 3. What it tastes like.

The Basics:

When we talk about what whiskey is made from, we're talking about its mash bill. The mash bill is the mix of grains used to make whiskey - like corn, rye, barley, and wheat.

The Basics:

Depending on the type of whiskey, there are certain requirements for the mash bill. For example, a rye whiskey's mash bill must, by law, consist of a minimum of 51% rye grains.

The Basics:

You'll notice whiskey/whisky can be spelled differently. If the spirit is made in Scotland, Canada, or Japan, we spell whisky without the 'e.' If it's made in the U.S. or Ireland, whiskey uses the 'e.'

Types of Whisk(e)y

By law, bourbon must be made in the United States. Bourbon is made from a mash bill of at least 51% corn. There are no requirements on how long it has to be aged, just that it must be aged in a new, never before used, charred oak barrel.


Rye whiskey is mainly made in the United States and Canada. Rye whiskey is made from a mash of at least 51% rye grains. Aside from the mash bill, the requirements for rye whiskey are the same as bourbon.


Scotch is made in Scotland. Scotch is made from a mash of malted barley or grain typically, and caramel coloring. It is required to age for at least three years.



There are types of scotch like malt whisky (made entirely from malted barley), grain whisky (made from wheat, corn, and barley), and blended whisky (various combinations of malted barley and grain whiskies).


Irish whiskey is made in the country of Ireland. Irish whiskey is made from malted barley, as well as other unmalted grains. Irish whiskey varies from scotch as it tends to more often use unmalted barley.


Although the name implies that this whisky is made in Japan, this is not actually a requirement for Japanese whisky.


The restrictions are a lot less restrictive than other types. In fact, oftentimes Japanese whisky is made from or mixed with imported whisky from other countries, usually made with a malted barley mash.

Swipe up to learn more about whisk(e)y and how to choose a bottle you'll love!