All About Whiskey

There's something appealing about a glass of whiskey to warm you up once the weather gets cold. Equally as taste-tempting is a good bourbon or scotch, which technically are both still a type of whiskey. Whiskey comes in many forms and is even sometimes spelled without the "e" for regional reasons that some people are very particular about. Confused? No need to be. Savage Scorpions is here to point out a few of the differences for you.

Whiskey is made from fermented grain mash. Different types of grains may be used, and some of those may be malted. These include barley, corn, rye, and wheat. It is typically aged in wooden casks. 

It is generally placed in different classes by the types of fermentation, distillation, and aging. Whiskey does not mature in the bottle, only in the cask. Each country has its own regulations for classifying the different types of whiskey. 

Here in the United States, some types include:

  • Bourbon Whiskey (more below)
  • Corn Whiskey
    A mash of at least 80% corn and not aged, or if aged, in uncharred or used barrels
  • Malt Whiskey
    A mash of at least 51% malted barley.
  • Rye Whiskey
    A mash of at least 51% rye.
  • Rye Malt Whiskey
    A mash of at least 51% malted rye.
  • Wheat Whiskey  
    A mash of at least 51% wheat. 
All of the types listed above must be distilled at no more than 80% alcohol by volume and barrelled at no more than 125 proof. The addition of coloring is not allowed, and only water may be added to the finished product. American whiskey must be aged in new charred-oak barrels, with the exception of corn whiskey which does not require aging.

Bourbon can be produced anywhere, but it is most often associated with the southern United States, specifically Kentucky. Standards for U.S. bourbon state that it be made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn and be aged in new, charred oak containers. It can be distilled to no more than 160 proof and entered into the barrel for aging at no more than 125 proof.   

Scotch Whisky is the one that leaves the "e" out of the title, most likely just because that's how they prefer to spell it! Most other countries choose to end the word with "ey." The most important characteristic of a true Scotch is that it must be distilled in Scotland and matured for a minimum of 3 years. It is distilled at least twice, but some may be distilled up to 20 times. Originally, all Scotch was made from malted barley, but in the late 18th century commercial distilleries began introducing versions made from wheat and rye.    

No matter which type of whiskey you prefer, they can all be made a little more savage to enjoy with the addition of a Savage Scorpion! Anyone can order a plain glass of whiskey to sip on or shoot, but you're really going to stand out from the crowd when our creative cocktail garnish is perched prominently on, or in, the glass! 

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