Enjoying fine whiskey

Good whiskey or the best whiskey, would you know the difference? Exceptional whiskey comes in many different flavors and there are several elements that are involved with what makes a whiskey truly exceptional. The ability to decipher differences between a good whiskey and the best whiskey takes a refined palate along with a base of whiskey knowledge.

Much like any liquor or drink part of what makes a whiskey “top shelf” is personal preference and varies from individual to individual. However, beyond personal preference, several core elements of producing this magical elixir determine the level of quality.

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A Little Whiskey know how

Whiskey Fun Fact:  "To distill whiskey you first have to make beer. Beer is a technical term for whiskey wash, regardless of the type of raw ingredients used." - The American Distilling Institute The Whiskey Matrix There are several categories of whiskey and to understand what makes a particular brand or type a cut above the rest, you need to first understand the different varieties available. First, there are actually two different spellings of whiskey used, “whiskey” and “whisky”. You will find the “ey” version used with American brands as well several other countries while the “y” only version is used by Canadian and Scottish brands.

The many different types, categories and variations include Whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch and Rye. How a particular whiskey is identified depends on where it is produced, how it is produced and if it is a grain or malt-based whiskey. The major production markets for most of the popular brands are America, Canada, Ireland, Japan and Scotland. American Whiskey includes a wide range of variety such as blended whiskey, bourbon, corn whiskey, rye, rye malt and wheat, along with a few others like light or spirit. Canadian Whiskey  is predominantly either rye whiskey or a blended variety, although it can include other types as well. Irish Whisky typically produces blended styles, single grain as well as pure pot still whiskey. Scottish Whisky most often fits the textbook definition of scotch, but they produce variations that are mentioned above as well.

Whiskey Fun Fact:  Whiskey means "water of life" The Aging Process and Casks for the Best Whiskey Oak Barrels are used to mature whiskey to its final state making it ready for consumption. Using Oak barrels to age whiskey offers important elements that affect the final flavor and aroma which gives each type and brand of whiskey a unique taste. The Oak barrels help remove negative elements present at the beginning of the aging process such as sulfur compounds and an immature flavor that is not as robust as a good whiskey should taste. Additionally, the Oak barrels act as an additive by transferring elements of flavor from the cask such as toastiness, woody notes and fruity flavor undertones. We have barely scratched the surface of explaining all the variations of whiskey and what goes into making it. Stay tuned for updates as we share more and help you become a true whiskey aficionado.

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Tasting your whiskey can give you a good indicator about its quality. Make sure your tongue has been wholly covered with the blend and allow it to remain on your palate for some time before swallowing. This will give you a lot of insights such as the flavours in the drink and whether the distilled spirit’s taste and aroma are the same. In case getting all these insights is hard due to the intensity of the alcohol, add a little water, taste and nose it again. You can add some water until you are comfortable with the drink, which also gives out the aroma of the bottle and lowers the alcoholic content.


Location is critical in whiskies, considering different regions of the world have always produced most of the most expensive and quality whiskey. For instance Scotch whisky, commonly known as Scotch is Scottish made in a manner that has been laid down by the Scottish law. Bourbon is another type of whiskey from America, aged in a barrel and made mostly from corn. There are so many types of whiskies from around the world but some are more elegant, high quality and worth their price. Whiskey variations can be seen and experienced specifically based on the region in which they are crated.


The most expensive whiskies are either from a specific brand, region or have been in storage for years. Age, region and type in most cases determine the cost of a single bottle. For instance, the 1946 Macallan was sold for $460,000 in 2010. Scotch has to be aged a minimum of three years while the average maturation age is between 8 and 20 years. The longer the aging process the flavourful and smooth it is. Old whiskies are excellent and competitively priced, such as the praiseworthy Highland Park 18 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky sold at around £105. A quality whiskey is entirely in harmony with everything melded vividly as one and unfailingly excellent, particularly after downing an excellent dinner.

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