Last week, as we drank in round one of whiskey school, we were introduced to the kind of whiskeys made in Ireland, Scotland, and Japan. After the lesson, hopefully you all did your homework by checking out one of them. I know, I know, this is the kind of curriculum you wish you had in college.
In round two we are going to look at Canadian, Welsh, and Indian Whiskeys. Get out your glasses and your taste buds, class is now in session!
From the country that brought us Ice Wine, Michael J. Fox, and a desire to say "eh?" after every word comes Canadian Whiskey. By law, and similar to many other countries, Canadian Whiskey must be aged in wooden barrels for a minimum of three years.
Canadian Whiskies are typically lighter in color than other whiskies and are known as a smooth whiskey to drink . Canadian whskies are usually in a style called "blended." It is made with a variety of grains and often called "Rye Whiskey" in Canada.
Canada is also known for making Maple Whiskey. Some of these drinks are made by distilling maple wine while others are a blend of Canadian Whiskey and maple syrup. Though these products are not technically whiskies in the legal sense of the term, they are often called "whiskey" by the public.
Welsh Whisky is a drink with a very long history. It is believed the drink reaches all the way back to around 300 A.D. It was successful until the temperance movement came about in the 19th century.
Since the turn of the century, however, the Welsh have attempted to bring whisky back in their country. In 2000, a distillery in South Wales called Penderyn began to distill its own whisky and the first bottle went on sale four years later. The Penderyn Single Malt Whisky is the distillery's favorite and most popular blend. The Single Malt is made up of barley, it's aged in bourbon casks, and finished in Madeira barrels. Thus far the whisky has been well received by both critics and consumers.
Indian Whisky is a bit of an oxymoron: it wouldn't be considered whisky outside of India. This is because Indian whisky is mainly molasses based. Just as they might say "potato" while we say "potaughto," they might say "whisky" while we say "rum."
Though about ninety percent of Indian Whisky is what most people outside India would equate with Bacardi or Captain Morgan, some true whisky is produced there. As distillers in India have begun to use malt, barley and grains, they have started to make a product that would be considered whisky outside the Taj Majal. Still, until they begin to get their bearings, it may be a while before true Indian Whisky starts to fill glasses everywhere.
Have you noticed that the spelling of whisky is different depending on the type? You see, the spelling whisky (plural whiskies) shows that the product was made in either Scotland, Wales, Canada or Japan, whereas whiskey (plural whiskeys) shows that it was made in either Ireland or America.