Here at the bird in hand we have done a couple blogs on gin, but we are passionate about all alcohol including whiskey. On our back bar we have 15 different whiskies but for some of you that means nothing. So here’s a little description to help you out.
Whiskey is like marmite; you either love it or hate it.
So what is whiskey? Whiskey is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. Different grains are used for different varieties and are normally aged in wooden casks made of white oak. A still for making whiskey is normally made of copper as it removes sulphur-based compounds from the alcohol that wouldn’t be nice to drink. As time has gone on modern stills are now made of stainless steel with copper innards. Whisky can be aged, but can only be aged in casks and not in the bottle. The longer the whiskey is in the cask the more integrated the two become, changing the chemical makeup, taste, and colour.
This is a brief introduction into the making of whiskey but if I was to go deeper I would be writing all day.
So what types of whiskey are out there?
The main types of whiskey are malt whiskies which are made from malted barley and grain whiskey which is made from grain. These are combined in several ways:
Single malt whiskey is made just from malted grain, originally barley.
Blended malt whiskey is a mixture of malts from different stills
Blended whiskey is a mixture of different types of whiskey. A blend may contain different stills so that the blender can produce a flavour consistent with the brand.
Cask strength whiskies are very rare and only the best are bottled this way. Single cask whiskies are bottle from each individual cask, the taste of these may vary from cask to cask within the brand.
Here at the bird we stock 15 whiskies that all vary in taste and strength couple of examples for you are:
Dalwhinnie 15 years: An highland single malt scotch whisky, elegant, smooth and medium-bodied, with a light and fruity palate.
Macallan gold: A highland single malt again, Citrus and boiled sweets rule the palate, along with hints of ginger and cinnamon, while softmoak tones reveal toasted apples. A light whisky, easy to drink and perfect for creating whisky cocktails.
The Balvenie 12 years: A single malt, smooth and mellow with beautifully combined flavours ~ nutty sweetness, cinnamon spiciness and a delicately proportioned layer of sherry.
Hope this helps with your whiskey knowledge because I know its helped us
Bird in hand