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.
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.'
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.
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.
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.