What's the difference between a Single Malt Scotch Whisky and a Blended Scotch Whisky? Or between a whisky, a whiskey, a bourbon, a Tennessee whiskey and a rye? Let’s start by what they have in common. In its widest definition, whisky is a drink distilled from the fermentation of malt – that’s any grain that has been allowed to germinate, particularly barley or rye, then dried.
Whether it’s spelled 'whisky' or 'whiskey' usually depends on where it’s made. In Scotland, Canada, Japan and other parts of the world, it’s without the 'e', while in the US and Ireland it’s normally spelled with an 'e'. The key differences between the main types of whisky are down to four things: the grain used, how it’s made, where it’s made and how long it’s matured for.
Different Scotch Whiskies
This is a whisky from a single distillery made using only malted barley, water and yeast. Single Malt Scotch Whiskies come from four regions across Scotland: Lowlands, Highlands, Speyside and Islay. The different areas are known for their unique characteristics like fruitiness, freshness, maltiness and smokiness.
The main ingredient of these whiskies is maize, wheat, or both, rather than barley. They can come from a single distillery or be blended from different distilleries across Scotland. Grain whiskies have a lighter, creamy flavor, which make them ideal in whisky blends, where they bring together the flavors of single malts.
A Blended Scotch Whisky is made by mixing together Single Malt Whiskies and Single Grain Whiskies. This creates a broader depth of flavor and allows the flavor and quality of the whisky to stay the same time after time. When a Blended Whisky states its age, this refers to the youngest whisky used in the blend.
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