Whiskey is a complex category of alcohol made from fermentation of grains and then aged in oak casks. There are different methods involved, different grains used and different aging period which give rise to different types of whisky in Kenya. In Ireland and United States they spell it as “whiskey” while in any other country apart from two named countries above it is called "whisky". In other words, the "e" explains the country from which the whisky is produced.
The following are the major categories of whiskies which are derived from the country where the whisky is produced, the grains used in the production and the method of production utilized
The biggest whisky production country is Scotland though Ireland claims to be the first one to produce whiskey. They actually called it “holy water” to show how important the drink was to them. Scotland is divided into six whisky producing regions and each region produces whisky with a unique taste and aroma depending on the region. The six regions are Islay, Lowlands, Speyside, Highlands, Campbeltown and Islands. There are two schools of thoughts when it comes to whisky production;
Most of the famous distilleries like Chivas are on the side that age matters. They classify their drinks according to age by labeling the bottle with the number of years of the youngest whisky in the blend. They actually claim you should check the age of the bottle to judge on the quality. Other distilleries like Macallan are on the other side of age doesn’t matter and they have even gone to the extent of labeling their youngest whiskies with different names instead of years to cater for the market of those people who are not interested on the age but the whisky itself. The truth of the matter is, the older the whisky ages in the cask before bottling the more the water evaporates leaving the dark-colored concentrated whisky behind. At the same time, the more time the whisky spends in the oak casks the more it gains flavors from that particular cask. To spice up the flavors, some whiskies are aged in different casks. Old whiskies which are above 25 years are very rare and very expensive at the same time. The high prices are justified by the patience during maturity, the expertise required in the production and the reduction in volume due to evaporation.
All scotch whisky must have been distilled and mature in oak barrels for a period not less than 3 years in Scotland. The whisky must be made of yeast, water and barley or other grains like maize and wheat. The barley could be malted or not. If a whisky is made from unmalted barley or other grain it is called grain whisky. This type of whisky is rarely sold by its own, rather it used to blend other scotch whisky so as to standardize the quality and the flavours. Scotch whiskies are sold as two main categories: blended scotch whisky and single malt whisky.
There happens to be two types of blending that happens with this scotch whisky. First you can blend a grain whisky with a malt whisky to improves its taste and flavours because grain whiskies are known to be of low quality taste. The second blending is the happens between malt whiskies of different distilleries of which are of different ages. Blending was introduced in the 19th century when it was realised that the flavours of whisky were too strong to be enjoyed on daily drinking.
The blending was mainly aimed at achieving a mild flavour and improving the quality of the whisky to be more constant because the quality of the whisky was questionable. After blending the whiskies, the bottle is labelled with the age of the youngest whisky in the blend. A very old whisky must be included in the blend to ensure that the taste of the whisky is appreciated. For example Johnnie Walker Black Label is labelled as 12 years old but in the blend which comprises of 40 different malt whiskies the oldest one is 50 years old. This has significantly contributed to the superior taste of the drink. There are several famous whisky brands categorised as blended scotch whisky like Chivas Regal, Johnnie Walker, Famous Grouse etc.
This is a whisky that is made out of malted barley and is produced from a single distillery without being blended with whiskies from other distilleries. The whisky bears the specific and unique taste which is the trademark of the distillery. To increase the flavours and also improve the taste, some of the single malt whiskies are blended with other single malt whiskies from the same distillery. The single malt whisky have a unique taste because they are particular to the six Scotland’s regions from which they are produced in. The youngest single malt whiskies must be 8 or 10 years and they go all the way to 60 years. The older the single malt whisky, the stronger the smell and taste but at the same time, the more the price. Actually, you will notice the age of the whiskies depending on it’s smoothness. Single malt whiskies are regarded as the best whiskies, however, a quality blended whisky can be more richer in flavours and taste than a young single malt. Famous brands that fall under this category include Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie, Glenlivet, Jura, Singleton, Talisker, Oban, Macallan, Aberlour etc.
These whiskies are produced in America and the rules are that they must be made of at least 51% corn and then aged for at least six years. In their maturation, they utilise new charred oak barrels. This gives the drink a sweet full bodied taste. American whiskeys are categorised as Bourbon whiskey and Tennessee whiskey. The difference between the two is only that Tennessee whiskeys must be filtered through charcoal plus their maturation is gauged through taste, smell and the color. This method was the one that was use by the founder of the distiller Jack Daniel himself and up to today it is still utilized as his legacy. Someone asked me if Tennessee whiskeys are bourbon whiskeys and yes they are bourbon whiskeys because they meet all the conditions required for bourbon whiskeys. Famous brands under this category include Jack Daniel’s, Jim Beam, Monkey Shoulder, Woodford Reserve, Maker’s Mark, Bulleit Bourbon, Wild Turkey and Virginia Black.
These category of whiskeys is produced in Ireland. Ireland claims to be the first one to produce whiskey. They have actually baptized it as "holy water" to mean it was very important to them. It is made from malted whiskeys which is half barley and half oats. These whiskeys are neither smoky nor sweet but they have a flavour of their own. This is because the grains are after germination they are dried on peat fires but the smoke is not let to come into contact with the grains. Famous brands in this category include Jameson, Tullamore Dew, The powers, Bushmills and Teeling whiskeys.
Some other category of whisky worth mentioning are Canadian Whisky, Japanese whisky and Indian Whisky. Categories of whiskeys are so many when you do the sub-division according to the production process, country of production and the grain used in production. However, there is something to smile because Nairobi Drinks stocks all these types of whiskeys. Nairobi Drinks is the leading online whiskey store in Kenya. The following are the main reasons you should consider online liquor store for all your alcohol needs ;
Visit our websites to enjoy wide variety whiskeys. To place an order or to make an inquiry call 0714798820. Keep it #NairobiDrinks. Cheers!