How to choose a whisky? Three key factors

How to choose a whisky? Three key factors

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Here we have summarised for you some of the key steps on how to choose a whisky. There are some factors to consider, beginner or not, we show you how to choose it.


How to choose a whisky, three steps to follow :

Different types of whisky depending on the region

Not all whiskies are the same. They come from different parts of the world.

  • Scotch whisky: made from malted barley and barley. Most have a peaty aroma and a smoky taste. Some representatives are Macallan or Chivas Regal.
  • Irish Whiskey: Irish whiskey is made from rye, barley and malted barley. It has a medium, well-balanced taste and a persistent, multifaceted aroma. Representing: Bushmills, Jameson, Finnegan.
  • American Whisky: made from rye, corn and wheat. The composition of the drink is about 51% corn alcohol. A sweet taste characterises it. For example, Jim Beam, Jack Daniel’s.
  • Canadian whisky: all Canadian whisky is made from rye, and the bottles clearly express this.
  • Japanese whisky: it resembles Scotch whisky in flavour, colour and texture, but is used as a gourmet solution. A prominent representative is Nikka.


How to choose a whisky according to varieties

-Grain: In this type of whisky, grain predominates as the base.

-Malt: malt whiskies use pure barley. It should be noted that it is divided into different groups:

-Single Malt: the classic and most common choice of malted barley. It is often a mixture of spirits from different ageing periods, blended in different casks.
-Single Cask Malt: based on alcohol made in a single oak cask. Persistent aroma and flavour.

-Pure Malt: the purest blend of single malt whisky, combined in a unique blend. Ballantine’s whisky is an example.

-Blended: Blended whisky is a mixture of grain and malt, one of the most popular, but not the least, in quality.

-Bourbon: a type of American whisky made from corn grain, but with differences in production technology.


The ages and casks of whisky

Age is also an important factor that will help you on how to choose a whisky. Age is defined by the age of the youngest spirit in the blend. For example, any whisky labelled “18 years old” means that the youngest spirit in the blend has spent at least 18 years in the cask. The period after bottling is not taken into account.

-Whisky is aged in oak casks for 3 years.

-Bourbon, on the other hand, has a minimum ageing period of 2 years.

-Most producers prefer 5 to 12 year old drinks to be perfect for their flavour and aroma characteristics.

-It is necessary to be careful with the younger varieties as the short ageing period can negatively affect the quality of the product.

-Bottles of whisky over 20 years old are considered unique and a collector’s item.

Don’t Drink and Drive. Enjoy responsibly.


Join the community on Reddit

Spirits Hunters is a community dedicated to spirits and the world of mixology. Feel free to talk about the world of mixology and bartending here!