What is Whiskey

Whisky or whiskey is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. Various grains (which may be malted) are used for different varieties, including barley, corn, rye, and wheat. Whisky is typically aged in wooden casks, generally made of charred white oak. Simply put it is a stronger liquor, distilled from grains and matured in oak casks for a number of year before being bottled. The base ingredients are grain, water and yeast but this only gives us part of the picture. One has also has to look at the country of origin and the type of whisky

How it’s Made

Whisky production varies depending on the style being made, the country where it originates, and other factors, but the general process remains the same in most cases.

MALTING – All whisky starts as raw grain—in the case of malt whisky, barley, which has to be specially treated to access its sugars. The barley is moistened and allowed to partially sprout, or germinate, a process called malting which secretes an enzyme that converts the barley’s starches to sugars. Germination is cut off when the barley is dried by heating.

MASHING – The sugars contained in the grain must be extracted before fermentation, and this is done through mashing. The grains that are being used—like corn, wheat, or rye—are ground up, put in a large tank (called a mash tun or tub) with hot water, and agitated. Even if the distiller isn’t making malt whisky, some ground malted barley is typically added to help catalyze the conversion of starches to sugars. The resulting mixture resembles porridge. Once as much sugar as possible has been extracted, the mixture—now known as mash or wort (if strained of solids)—moves on to the fermentation stage.

Whiskey, Whisky, Scotch and Bourbon

Whisky or whiskey – The “e” or lack thereof in the word’s spelling is purely orthographical. Whisky is whiskey is whisky. Certain countries favor one spelling over the other—for example, Scotland and Canada always use “whisky,” while Ireland and the United States tend to favor “whiskey.”

Scotch -Is malt whisky or grain whisky made in Scotland. Scotch whisky must be made in a manner specified by law. All Scotch whisky was originally made from malted barley. Commercial distilleries began introducing whisky made from wheat and rye in the late 18th century.[2] Scotch whisky is divided into five distinct categories: single malt Scotch whisky, single grain Scotch whisky, blended malt Scotch whisky (formerly called “vatted malt” or “pure malt”), blended grain Scotch whisky, and blended Scotch whisky All Scotch whisky must be aged in oak barrels for at least three years.[1][3] Any age statement on a bottle of Scotch whisky, expressed in numerical form, must reflect the age of the youngest whisky used to produce that product. A whisky with an age statement is known as guaranteed-age whisky. A whisky without an age statement is known as a no age statement (NAS) whisky, the only guarantee being that all whisky contained in that bottle is at least three years old. The first written mention of Scotch whisky is in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, 1495. A friar named John Cor was the distiller at Lindores Abbey in Newburgh, Fife,where, in October 2017, malt whisky production restarted for the first time in 522 years.

Bourbon -Is a type of American whiskey, a barrel-aged distilled spirit made primarily from corn. The name ultimately derives from the French Bourbon dynasty, although the precise inspiration for the whiskey’s name is uncertain; contenders include Bourbon County in Kentucky and Bourbon Street in New Orleans, both of which are named after the dynasty. Bourbon has been distilled since the 18th century. The use of the term “bourbon” for the whiskey has been traced to the 1820s, with consistent use beginning in Kentucky in the 1870s. Although bourbon may be made anywhere in the United States, it is strongly associated with the American South and with Kentucky in particular. As of 2014, distillers’ wholesale market revenue for bourbon sold within the U.S. was about $2.7 billion, and bourbon made up about two-thirds of the $1.6 billion of U.S. exports of distilled spirits


Rocks Glass – also called an “Old Fashioned Glass”. Wide brim and thick base, so that non liquid ingredients can be mashed and muddled. Wide open brim diffuses and flattens out whisky’s complex aromatics. This is your most basic whiskey glass and our overall favorite. For higher proof whiskies this might be a better choice as it gives your whiskey room to breathe.

Glencairn Whisky Glass – developed by Glencairn Crystal Ltd, Scotland for drinking whisky. Originally designed by Raymond Davidson. The glass is derived from the traditional nosing Copitas used in whisky labs around Scotland. The glass is made for “nosing,” wherein the aromatic molecules coming off the liquid are funneled into a tighter bouquet at the top, allowing the sipper to maximize the nose and further enhance the experience. – Started production 2001. Master blenders from five of the largest whisky companies in Scotland aided in the glass design. The Glencairn is the first style to be endorsed by the Scotch Whisky Association, and it is used by every whisky company in Scotland and Ireland.

Norlan Whiskey Glass – Norlan was created by Icelandic designer Sruli Recht 2016. The rate of ethanol oxidation to surface volume which led to the incorporation of fluid dynamics modeling into the design of the glass. To agitate and test the fluids in such a way that the ethanol could escape, reducing the volatility of the spirit, thus allowing the more flavorful aromatics to surface. Providing a glass with a scientific performing inside that has a wide enough aperture to allow you to drink while having your nose in the glass, thus preventing one from having to tilt the head up and back.

Riedel Vinum Single Malt Whisky – an elongated thistle shaped body on a squat stem. The slightly out-turned lip is to direct the spirit onto the tip of the tongue, where sweetness is perceived. -We have no idea if this works and if single malt is all that it’s good at. One day we’ll get our hands on a set and find out.

Copita Nosing Glass – originally made for nosing sherry, it has now been optimized for whisky. Basically the same way the Glencairn works with the bell shaped bulbous bottom and narrowing at the top to funnel all of those great smells right to your nose. Generally comes with a tasting cap to trap all the alcohol fumes as to not dilute your tasting pleasure.


If you don’t want to water your drink then chillers are the answer and there are 2 basic types, stone and metal.


Storing whiskey is easy, make sure the top is on and keep it out of sunlight. That’s pretty much it. You can keep it that way for years and years and years…