FROM SCOTCH TO BOURBON TO RYE: KNOW YOUR WHISKIES

The perfect winter drink, the right whisky can be smooth, warm and comforting, enjoyed at the end of the day or as a quiet nightcap at the end of the evening with friends.

Whiskey, whisky, bourbon and rye

Depending on personal taste you may choose to pour yourself a smooth single malt scotch whiskey, a blended Irish whiskey or a fuller tasting bourbon or rye. What is the difference really?

While whiskey with an e comes from Ireland and the USA, whisky can come from Scotland, Japan, Canada or anywhere else in the world. Besides the spelling, there are a few differences between Scotch whisky and others. To qualify as a Scotch, the spirit must be made from malted barley with many scotches using nothing more than barley, water and yeast. No fermentation additives or short cuts are permitted. Scotch whisky is also aged in oak casks for no less than 3 years.

Bourbon is made from a grain mixture, which is at least 51% corn. Bourbon whiskey has to be matured in American oak casks and tends to have lots of woody flavours.

Rye whiskey, which is generally from Canada, tends to be lighter, and has less woodiness. There is only one Rye producer in the world – Alberta Premiun from Canada, which is made from 100% rye mash.

Popular Irish whiskeys tend to be blended whiskeys made from a blend of many malts of different ages while many Scotch whiskies are single malts – made in one distillery.

Choosing a whisky glass

Whether you enjoy your single malt poured neat or a blended scotch and soda, having a favourite set of whisky glasses is all part of the experience.

Think cut crystal like the Callie whisky glass for your premium label whiskies or a decent, solid high quality short glass for your bourbons, ryes and blended whiskeys. A tulip shape glass can bring out the full flavour of your malt whiskies.

Popular Whiskey cocktails

Top whisky winter cocktails include the favourite Old Fashioned, the whisky sour and the Manhattan. For something a bit warmer think hot toddy or an after dinner Irish coffee.

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