Whisky – What You Need to Know
“Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the Bible says love your enemy.” – Frank Sinatra
If you really want to get the best out of your experience at The Overpour, we encourage you to take a dive into our whisky guide. We offer this guide, to give you a better understanding of one of our favorite spirits. Whisky is a sophisticated drink that can best be enjoyed over an intriguing conversation among your companions or after a long day of hard work. Some of our most iconic influencers like Mark Twain and Frank Sinatra relished in ending their days with a nice glass of whisky.
To fully appreciate anything, it’s always best to know more about that “anything”. We are going to give you a better understanding of the different types of whisky, how they are made, what makes it special and how it’s best consumed.
Bourbon, legally, must consist of 51% corn and be aged in virgin barrels at least 2 years. Bourbon usually lingers between 80 and 101 proof. This all American Spirit’s distinguishing qualities usually consist of an oakiness from the barrel and notes of vanilla.
In 1964, congress declared bourbon “America’s Native Spirit”. This means, to be called bourbon, it must be made in the U.S. In fact, 95% of the world’s bourbon comes from Kentucky.
Bourbon can be served neat or on the rocks, but at The Overpour, Bourbon is best served in our Famous Bourbon Margarita. This Margarita reinvented is guaranteed to satisfy even the biggest of critics.
Tennessee Whisky is similar to Bourbon, in that it must consist of at least 51% corn. Where this whisky differs is, it must undergo a process called Lincoln County process (this entails filtering the spirit through layers of charcoal before barreling).
Great examples of Tennessee Whisky include Jack Daniel’s and his classy brother, Gentlemen Jack. Tennessee Whisky has toasted oak, caramel and vanilla notes found in other whisky’s, plus, a hint of charcoal or burnt wood.
Tennessee Whisky is best served neat or on the rocks. If you’re feeling up for it try a Jack & Coke.
Rye Whisky is made from… well you guessed it, Rye! In fact, the mash (the mixture of grain, water, and yeast that is initially fermented to produce alcohol), has to be more than half made up of rye. Like bourbon, Rye Whisky mostly comes from Kentucky. Most of your bourbon distillers also produce Rye Whisky.
Rye Whisky has a grassy and peppery note with a spicy finish. If you trade the bourbon for rye on classics like the Manhattan or the Sazerac, you’re in for a special treat!
Scotch is the classiest of the whisky’s and at some point every man feels the need to develop a taste for it. Scotch is a malt whisky that goes through a four step process of malting, mashing, fermentation, and distillation. Scotch has to be barreled at least three years. But, the longer it sits there, the better the taste.
When talking about scotch, you should also know the difference between single malt and blended. Single Malt means a blend of whiskies that are all from the same distillery. Blended means a blend of whiskies from multiple distilleries.
Scotch is often said to have that “smoky” flavor, which can be attributed to the peat, wood and floral notes in the barrel. Scotch can only be truly appreciated neat or on the rocks, we recommend not trying to mix this one up.
Irish Whisky, known to be extra smooth, is usually triple-distilled and will sit in a cask for an additional 3 years. Irish whisky is one of the most popular whiskies in the world, which can be attributed to its smooth quality and note of sweetness.
Irish Whisky is famously consumed as a car-bomb, Irish coffee, and a sour.
Canadian whisky is best described as a blend of liquors based on corn and other grains. This attributes to its lightness. Canadian whisky must be aged a minimum of three years in its native country in wooden barrels. To be considered Canadian whisky, it must also be mashed and distilled in… that’s right, you guessed it again… Canada!
Canadian Whisky has notes of rye and caramel. This one is best consumed with ginger ale.
Japanese Whisky is very similar to scotch in the way it’s made. Japanese whisky is made from malted barley and often peated (Peated whisky is given a smoky flavor by compounds which are released by the peat fires.) and aged in wood barrels. This whisky is usually described as having a crispness and delicate sweetness. This is best served on the rocks. Distillers use various wood barrels such as wine casks, sherry casks, Spanish oak casks, and even bourbon barrels.
We hope this guide gives you a better understanding and further appreciation for our favorite spirit. At The Overpour, we carry a wide variety of whiskies for you to choose from and we can serve it any way you like. You can view our full selection here.