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What is it? Whiskey is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain.
"Whiskey" vs. "Whisky"...whats the deal? - Country of origin! If you're drinking American or Irish, it's "whiskey" - If it's Scottish, Canadian, or Japanese, you're drinking "whisky."
Bourbon, Scotch, Rye...what's the difference? Great question.
Scotch, for starters, must be produced in Scotland, in one of the five whisky producing regions: Speyside, Highlands, Lowlands, Campbeltown or Islay. Serious Eats has the scoop on the differences between single malt, single grain, and single barrel vs. blended varieties. Check it out here.
Bourbon is the most popular type of whiskey in America, and in order to be consider 'bourbon,' it must be "made in the U.S., aged in brand-new charred Ameircan oak barrels," and contain at least 51% corn. It's considered a "distinctive product of the United States," and it's a sweet, delicious thing.
(Info from the Women & Whiskies Tasting Journal.)
Rye was in high fashion in George Washington's time, and went out of style with prohibition. The modern cocktail revolution has brought it back into the limelight, and it has similar regulations to bourbon - at least 51% rye grain, made in the U.S., etc. It has a spicier, more complex flavor than bourbon and adds great depth to cocktails.
There's multiple sub-categories and a lot more to learn about the distillation processes and regulations behind this silky spirit - Eater's Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Whiskey has a lot of helpful info. (We're mulling it over with pours of Reiger Kansas City Whiskey and Mile High Spirit's Fireside Bourbon, if you were wondering.) Where should you drink whiskey? Anywhere, really, but Thrillist's American Whiskey Bar list is a great place to start. Cheers!
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