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The Whiskey Drinker’s Guide to Types of Whiskey: Find a Whiskey You’ll Love
Discover our whiskey drinker’s guide to finding a whiskey you’ll love. From types to flavors, find your new favorite whiskey.
There is a whiskey out there for everyone. Whether you prefer a smoky taste or a more floral finish, finding the type of whiskey that suits you can be tricky, but our guide will give you the lowdown of the qualities to look out for as well as tips when purchasing your next bottle of whiskey.
Tips for Discovering New Whiskies
If you are a whiskey drinker but looking for some new flavors to try, here are some tips for discovering new whiskies that you’ll enjoy.
1. Order Whiskey Samples
The best way to try a variety of different whiskies at once is to order samples. You can then compare and make notes of the elements you liked and the ones you did not to make an informed decision before purchasing your next full bottle.
2. Attend Whiskey Events
Look out for events in the area and meet fellow whiskey drinkers. A whiskey event is the perfect place to sample lots of different whiskies, ask the experts questions and potentially find your new favorite whiskey.
3. Ask the Experts
Whether you head to your local liquor store or simply find help online, asking questions is the best way to determine what type of whiskey you will enjoy.
Different Types of Whiskey
There are lots of different types of whiskies from locations all over the world, each having distinctive features. With so many types of whiskey to choose from, it can be slightly overwhelming for whiskey drinkers and novices alike. Our brief guide will highlight the main types of whiskey so that you can find the perfect sort for your taste.
Bourbon is perhaps the most quintessential American whiskey, smoother and less intimidating than its counterparts, bourbon denotes flavors of vanilla, oak, fruit, honey and spice. Bourbon matures more quickly than Scotch, for example, and has a sweetness that makes it easy to enjoy. It is a great choice for new whiskey drinkers as its subtle flavor is not overwhelming, however it is a classic type of whiskey that even the most avid drinkers find themselves returning to now and then.
Irish whiskey has grown in popularity over recent years and is known for its smooth flavor. It is light, fruity and with notes of cereal grain due to the combination of malted and unmalted barley. The aging process provides the signature whiskey undertone of oakiness and caramel. This is the perfect whiskey to enjoy when you’re winding down for a relaxing evening.
Canadian whiskey must be aged for three years minimum in a wooden barrel in its native country of Canada, where it also must be mashed and distilled. It is commonly made from a blend of wheat, corn, barley and rye. This whiskey is perfect for whiskey drinkers who like to experiment with their flavors and try new things.
Arguably the most well-know and renowned whiskey, Scotch is malt or grain whiskey and is made in Scotland. The most popular type of Scotch you’re likely to have heard of is Single Malt Scotch, which means it is from one distillery and made from a mash of malted barley.
There are five Scotch Whiskey regions: Highland, Islay, Speyside, Lowland and Campbeltown, with each providing a different perspective on Scotch. Whilst Scotch from Speyside has flavors of apple, honey, pear, vanilla and spice, characteristically Scotch from the Lowland is soft and smooth, with flavors reminiscent of grass, cream, toffee, ginger, honeysuckle, cinnamon and toast which creates an overall lighter taste. Scotch cannot be simplified into one category because there are so many variations of flavour and texture, however part of the fun is discovering the different types and trying until you find your favorite!
8 Most Common Whiskey Flavors
If you’re unsure which type of whiskey you like based on the type, then it is beneficial to look at what flavors appeal to you most to decide.
1. Elegant and Floral
Elegant and floral whiskey offers a subtle, light taste. These types of whiskies are perfect for an afternoon tipple of as an aperitif.
2. Fresh Fruit and Vanilla
These whiskies are packed full of flavour thanks to the fresh fruit. Another great choice for an aperitif, especially in the summer months.
3. Dried Fruit and Nut
A great place to start, whiskies that denote flavors of dried fruit and nut are the perfect way to dip your toes into the world of whiskey. The dried fruit and nut offers a savoury edge for a delicious, well-balanced whiskey.
4. Malt and Honey
Rich and full-bodied, for some this is the ultimate whiskey flavor. This flavor of whiskey has a touch of sweetness thanks to the honey and is a delicious choice for an after-dinner night cap.
5. Rich Fruit and Spice
Full flavored but super easy to drink. The notes include dried fruits, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and nut flavours – this is the perfect beverage to enjoy after dinner.
6. Peat and Fruit
The smoky flavor of peat is beautifully balance by the fresh fruity notes. If you enjoy a subtle dose of peatiness in your whiskey, then this might be the flavor for you.
7. Maritime and Smoky
This flavor of whiskey has the smoky taste from the peat combined with the subtle taste of the sea. Scotch whiskies from the Islay region often fall into this category – this flavor of whiskey is truly one of a kind.
8. Rich and Peaty
The ultimate rich, full bodied flavor provided by the smoky peat, whiskies in this category are completely distinctive and not for the faint hearted. A favorite among seasoned whiskey drinkers.
Finding a whiskey you’ll love may seem like a minefield, but keep these tips in mind and you’ll become a whiskey connoisseur in no time. Whether you prefer a rich smoky taste or a subtle, smooth whiskey, there is a type of whiskey to suit everyone – all it takes is a little patience and lots of whiskey drinking, what’s not to love?
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