Whiskey

Irish Whiskey

All whisky is made from grain, primarily Barley.  This is the ideal grain, it contains a large quantity of starch is easy to germinate and therefore easily produces lots of fermentable sugars.  There are many factors that affect the taste of the whisky and the most important is the treatment of the raw material.  

The malting process is where the seeds are fooled into germination and is halted when the sprout first appears.  Irish whiskies kiln the malt in a sealed oven

The grain is the soaked and yeast is added.  The performance of the yeast is also important to the finished whisky.  Samples are cultured and the exact strain will be a closely protected secret.  Theoretically, the yeast should respire perfectly, converting the sugar into alcohol but it doesn’t quite work that way and other alcohols and by-products are created here

It is then distilled, traditionally for malt whisky in copper pot stills. The shape of which determines the style of spirit that is obtained.  Tall narrow headed stills produce a lighter whisky, as the heavier molecules can never get enough energy to exit the still. The short squat still will produce a much meatier and oilier whisky.  It is apparently dependent on microclimates of reaction occurring in the dents of the still and they have to be copied in when reproducing a still.  The copper provides a catalyst for reactions inside the still.

Irish whisky is normally distilled three times. This further contributes to the smooth gentle character of Irish whiskies

The distillate is then aged in oak barrels that may have been used many times before, most coming from Bourbon County.  The climate dictates a long aging time and it is here in the barrel that the whiskies truly differentiate.  

Scotch

A single malt whiskey is a malt whiskey which is produced in one distillery. A blended Scotch whiskey is a whiskey made with a blend of malt and grain whiskey. Scotch is produced in a similar fashion to Irish Whiskey yet differs primarily in the malting process and distillation. In Scotch whiskies, the malt scotches though use an open fire and the roasting of the malt adds a characteristic flavour.  This is often compounded by the use of peat as the source of the fire.  This pungent smoke is also imparted on the malt bringing smoky flavours all the way through distillation. Scotch whiskies are distilled twice.

American Whiskey

There are four main types of American whiskey:
1.    Bourbon
2.    Rye
3.    Tennessee
4.    Canadian

Bourban is produced using a mixture of grains, however, maize is the most present. It is produced in column and pot stills. The ageing process in charred American oak barrels, has a huge influence in the development of bourbon.

Tennessee is produced similar to bourbon. It differs in its filtration method which involves filtering through maple wood charcoal.