Whiskey

Whiskey is a spirit produced from the distillation of grain. Debate still rages about whether the Irish Celts or Scots were the first to produce the “water of life,” but the first written recording of whiskey’s creation dates to 15th century Scotland. Origin isn’t the only debate concerning whiskey. Spelling is contentious, too. When distilled in Scotland, Canada, and Japan, it is spelled whisky without the e, while whiskey distilled in Ireland and the United States is most often, but not always, spelled with the e. Technically, whiskey is a distilled spirit produced from a fermented grain mash, distilled to no more than 190 proof, and bottled at no less than 80 proof. All whiskey, with the exception of corn whiskey and “white” whiskey, must be aged for some period of time in oak containers. Whiskey is classified by country of origin (i.e. Canadian whisky) and may be further defined by the type of grain used (i.e. rye whiskey) or the way it is produced (i.e. single malt).

Top Whiskey Posts:

The Top 10 Whiskeys of 2018
The Top 10 Whiskeys of 2017
All About Dusties: 1970s vs. 2018 Bourbon Tasted Side by Side
Top 10 Bourbons Under $20
What Grains are Used to Make Whiskey (And Why?)
From Barrel To Bottle: How Wood Aging Impacts Whiskey

Review: (ri)1 Rye Whiskey

By Christopher Null | November 10, 2008 |

Just so I can get it down, officially, the full, official name of this product is (rî)¹. Actually, that’s a cheat, because there’s no symbol for a “long lowercase I” — an i with a horizontal bar instead of a dot — that the web can render, at least not that I know of. So…

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Review: Bunnahabhain 18 Years Old

By Christopher Null | November 7, 2008 |

One of the most-fun-to-say spirits names in the business, Bunnahabhain is situated on the north end of Islay. This 18-year Scotch is a moderately smoky spirit, heavy on salty, seaweed-infused phenol and light on the sweets (a caramel note is there somewhere in the finish, but it’s just a hint, really). Flowery notes are more…

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Review: The Glenlivet 12, 15, 18, and 21 Years Old, Nadurra 16 Years Old, and XXV (2008)

By Christopher Null | November 3, 2008 |

After digging Glenlivet’s 25 year old Scotch, the company was kind enough to send samples of the rest of the “core” lineup — the bottles that are available worldwide, year-round, all the time — for comparison. This Speyside giant produces quite a range of whiskys. Some thoughts follow. Glenlivet 12 Years Old (2008) – Your…

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The Best Whiskey for Irish Coffee

By Christopher Null | November 1, 2008 |

Alex writes: What’s the best whiskey for Irish Coffee? Good question. I sampled all the Irish I had on hand in coffee and it was a tossup between the standard bottlings of Bushmills and Jameson. The only Irish that didn’t work well was Black Bush, which just didn’t play right with the bitterness of the…

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World’s Largest Irish Coffee To Be Mixed on November 10

By Christopher Null | October 27, 2008 |

The world’s largest Irish coffee is set to be a mere 15 gallons in size when San Francisco’s Buena Vista Cafe goes for a Guinness World Record on November 10, 2008. That’s big, to be sure, but that sounds like a record that’ll be pretty easy to break. Heck, with a big enough mug I…

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Review: Crown Royal Reserve

By Christopher Null | October 23, 2008 |

Crown Royal is no Johnny Come Lately in the whisky world — though I’ve had a vague grudge against the brand since my family was mistakenly and bizarrely charged for 11 glasses of said whisky at Tony’s in Houston, Texas. But who doesn’t love that little purple bag? Crown Royal Reserve is, obviously, the reserve…

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Review: Canadian Club Classic 12

By Christopher Null | October 22, 2008 |

In case you haven’t been reading your glossy magazines, the venerable Canadian Club is working on a comeback, with retro ads touting the whiskey as what “your dad drank” in a broad appeal to both your machismo and your father complex. Sure enough, though, if you check Dad’s liquor cabinet, he’s probably got a half-consumed…

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Eades Whisky Breaks Ground on Virginia Distillery

By Christopher Null | October 22, 2008 |

Eades, makers of the Double Malt series of whiskys (which I’ve not yet tried), has broken ground on its bold new whisky distillery project to be located in… Virginia, USA. The Virginia Distillery Company will grow its own barley, malt it, and use local water to make whisky in the style of traditional Scotch. The…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2008 Edition

By Christopher Null | October 20, 2008 |

Each year the distilling masters at Buffalo Trace release limited-release whiskeys that connoisseurs will want to seek out. This year’s five whiskeys, rarities that may not see store shelves come 2009, are all worth exploring in depth. Some notes on each of the five (all officially 2008 releases) follow. (They are pictured in the order…

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Angels: DENIED

By Christopher Null | October 16, 2008 |

A fascinating piece in the latest Malt Advocate (Q4 2008, page 18) still has me reeling and thunderstruck. It concerns efforts to thwart evaporation of whiskey, a natural part of the aging process. Evaporation is a huge expense for distillers: Conventional wisdom holds that 2 percent of a cask vanishes each year as it evaporates.…

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