All whisky is good whiskey, but some are better than others. There are a few factors that set apart extraordinary whisky from regular whisky, things such as flavor and complexity, age of the drink, the barrel in which the whisky is aged, the type of blend, and the exact type of whisky.
Wish to enjoy good whisky every time? Let’s dive into the top 5 factors every whisky connoisseur must keep in mind while choosing a drink.
The first factor to consider is the complexity of the whisky’s flavors. Depending on how light or complex the flavors are, you can determine whether you’d like to enjoy it solo or on the rocks, or maybe mix it with a cocktail. Whiskies that are rich in flavors are better relished on their own. And with lighter flavors, diluting the whisky in cocktails would be a good choice.
If you love flavors of different kinds, we have good news. Whisky is available in 8 flavor categories, including fruity, floral, woody, and sulphuric, to mention a few. In case you’re not sure which profile would feel like a treat to your taste buds, you have to try out all the different flavors to come to a solid decision.
Whisky gets a lot of its flavors from the barrel that it ages in. Generally, the whisky barrels are crafted from oak, infusing the drink with a distinct aroma.
Whisky can be aged in virgin barrels or in pre-used barrels. Virgin or new oak barrels are generally used for aging Bourbon, and once done, they can be used for aging other types of whiskies. You’ll find various types of such barrels, like ex-port barrels, ex-sherry barrels, and more.
Age is another determining factor in identifying good whisky. While some consider aged whiskey to be superior, it’s not necessarily the marker of quality. In general, whisky is kept within barrels for at least 3 years, to allow the flavors to mature.
During the aging process, the whisky soaks in some of the flavors of the wooden barrels. It also begins to evaporate through the pores, causing the flavor of the whisky to become more refined and mellow in nature. With time, the temperature inside the barrels changes, creating a difference in flavor in different types of whisky.
You can categorize whisky into two types of blends – single malt and blended. To find good whisky, you must understand the difference between the two. Single malt whisky is something that represents the signature flavor and style of a particular distillery. It’s made of water and malted barley.
Blended whiskey, as the name suggests, is the blend of multiple single malt whiskies produced in different distilleries. The blend creates a brand new flavor. Depending on your preference, you might choose between these two categories. Once you’ve tasted both, you’ll be able to choose a good whisky that works for you.
5. Pick Your Type
Last but not least, you have to know the different kinds of whisky available out there. For example, Irish whisky, Scotch whisky, Bourbon whisky, Canadian whisky, Japanese whisky, single malt whisky, blended whisky, etc. are some of the popular variants.
Each type has its own unique taste and flavor that distinguish them from the others. Irish whisky is known for its smooth flavors, something you can enjoy raw or with ice. Scotch, made in world-famous Scottish distilleries, is at least 3 years in age. Canadian whisky’s smooth and light flavor is due to the use of corn, and they are aged in barrels for at least 3 years.
The Bottom Line
So the next time you’re about to order yourself a bottle of good whisky, remember these points, and you’ll never go wrong.
At Whisky Liquor Store, we collaborate with the leading licensed retailers of the world to bring you a wide array of Scotch and Bourbon. Whether you want one for yourself, or you wish to gift one of these premium drinks to someone special, you’re at the right place. Check out our entire collection to place an order.