Responsible for the aroma of a good whiskey is the high-quality raw materials, a meticulous manufacturing process and not least the tedious Fassreifung. Not only every type of whiskey but also the content of each barrel tastes different. An important role for the water quality of the whiskey plays the used water. The hardness, microorganisms and the peat and mineral content of the water determine its later goodness.
The quality of the most important raw material, namely barley, is divided into nine stages, with only the first three steps being suitable for malting. Decisive for this quality classification is a low nitrogen and protein content, but a high starch content and a high probability of germination. It is also essential that the barley is ripe and very dry. After the quite elaborate manufacturing process, which we would not go into here because he would blow up the subject, the whiskey is stored in oak barrels. For the taste of whiskey, the years of maturity in these barrels is responsible.
How do you differentiate the different types of whiskey?
The various names of the whiskey come from the different cereals from which it was made.
- Grain = distillates of unmalted barley, wheat, and oats, rye, or corn (depending on continent)
- Blended whiskeys = mixtures of different distillates and whiskeys
- Rye = mostly made from rye (at least 51%)
- Bourbon = mostly made from corn (mind.51%)
- Corn = mostly made from corn (at least 80%)
- Malt = exclusively made from barley malt, malted (mainly from Scotland)
Due to different factors, these whiskeys are divided once again into
- New Spirit = distillates that meet the minimum requirements for whiskey
- Cask strength = during bottling no more water was added, different alcohol content
- Vintage (vintage whiskey) = comes from the designated vintage
- Single cask = comes from a single barrel (mostly Scottish whiskey)
- Single barrel = comes from a single barrel (mostly American whiskey)
- Blended Malt (also Vatted or Pure Malt) = comes from barrels of different distilleries, made entirely from malted barley
- Finish = indication of the origin of the used barrels, e.g., “Arran Sauternes Finish” – stored in disused Sauternes sweet wine barrels
- Scotch, Irish, American = reference to the country of origin
Scotch whiskey, made in Scotland, breaks down into blended whiskey (branded product that keeps its flavor the same) and malt whiskey (100% pure product, not mixed)