Whiskey Grains 101: How different grains affect whiskey’s taste
I was working a booth at a spirits and bar trade show, and someone new to spirits asked what the difference between brandy and whiskey was. I explained that there are many differences, but the most important one is that brandy is made from fruit while whiskey is made from grain.
Whiskey grains 101: Barley
Traditional single malts are the best place to start; they’re made in Scotland and Ireland, but also in Japan and Australia, and they all have a roasty, toffee-flavored cereal quality to them, with other flavors and textures coming through as their methodologies and environmental factors come into play.
CORN: BOURBON AND CORN WHISKEY
All bourbon is made with at least 51% corn, and whiskeys labeled as “corn whiskey” are either unaged or aged in used barrels, with the rich, syrupy corn sugars shining through in bottlings like Georgia Moon and Mellow Corn.
The higher the rye content, the spicier the whiskey; rye whiskey must contain at least 51% rye and usually shares the mashbill with malted barley and other grains. Old Overholt, Pikesville, and Wild Turkey all have classic rye flavors.
Wheat: Wheated bourbons & wheat whiskeys
Wheated Whiskey has a flavor similar to whole wheat bread with honey, and both Haig Club Single Grain and Bernheim Original Wheat are made entirely of wheat.
Non-traditional whiskey grains
Jim Beam’s Signature Craft bourbon series uses triticale and brown rice instead of corn for its grains, and Koval makes a limited edition millet and a single-barrel spelt expression.
Four grain whiskey
The spiciness of the rye plays off the sweetness of the corn and the mellowness of the barley in Hudson from Tuthilltown and A.D. Laws’ four-grain whiskey blends. Each grain is highlighted by those with which it shares the mash bill.
Do Wheated bourbons have rye?
A mash bill containing 20 to 35 percent rye is considered a high-rye bourbon; however, all bourbons, regardless of high-wheat or high-rye, are distilled to no more than 80 percent ABV and bottled to be at least 40 percent ABV.
Is Jim Beam wheat or rye?
Jim Beam, Booker’s, Old Grand-Dad, Heaven Hill, Very Old Barton, and Four Roses are all well-known rye bourbons.
Is Maker’s Mark Wheated or rye?
Maker’s Mark Bourbon is a wheated bourbon made from 70% locally grown corn, 16% red winter wheat, and 14% malted barley in a mash bill recipe.
Does Jameson whiskey have rye?
Need to know: This single barrel whiskey was made with 100% rye (including 10% malted rye) and aged for about 3 years in 53-gallon charred oak barrels by Pennington’s Distilling Company (formerly Speakeasy Spirits Distillery). The distillery is bottling 23 barrels for its first release.
What are the hardest to find bourbons?
10 Hard-to-Come-By Bourbons
- Russell’s Reserve 1998 Bourbon.
- Elijah Craig 23 Year Old Single Barrel Bourbon.
- Old Forester 2008 Birthday Bourbon.
- Four Roses Al Young 50th Anniversary Small Batch Bourbon.
- Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 23 Year.
Is rye a bourbon or whiskey?
Rye whiskey is similar to bourbon, but it’s made with at least 51% rye instead of barley or corn, and it’s not uncommon to find rye whiskey that’s 95-100% rye. In the United States, rye production regulations are nearly identical to bourbon’s.
Is Jim Beam made with rye?
Jim Beam Rye is a pre-Prohibition rye whiskey that pays homage to one of our family’s oldest recipes and is distilled to the same exacting standards that have guided Jim Beam for over 200 years.
What’s the difference between rye and corn whiskey?
The Main Differences Between Rye and Bourbon The rye mash used in rye whiskey has a spicy tone and a dry taste, whereas the corn mash used in bourbon has a sweeter taste and a fuller body. Rye whiskey is more intense, whereas bourbon is sweeter and easier to tolerate.
What’s the difference between bourbon and whiskey?
Bourbon Must Contain At Least 51 Percent Corn According to the American Bourbon Association, a whiskey must be distilled from a mixture of grains, or mash, that contains at least 51 percent corn in order to be classified as bourbon.
Why Jack Daniels is not a bourbon?
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey is not a bourbon; it is a Tennessee Whiskey that is dripped slowly, drop by drop, through ten feet of firmly packed charcoal (made from hard sugar maple) before being aged in new charred oak barrels. This unique process gives Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey its rare smoothness.
Does Maker’s Mark have rye?
Maker’s Mark is unique in that it does not use rye in its mash bill; instead, red winter wheat (16%), corn (70%), and malted barley (14%) are used. During the planning phase of Maker’s Mark, Samuels allegedly developed seven candidate mash bills for the new bourbon.
What bourbon tastes closest to Pappy?
u201cConsidering it has the same build as Pappy and is made by the same parent company, Buffalo Trace,u201d Torres says, u201cWeller Special Reserve is absolutely the closest thing to Pappy that you can find.u201d
What is the difference between rye whiskey and scotch?
So it appears that the flavor difference between a rye whiskey, which can come from either the United States or Canada, and a Scotch, which must be aged for at least three years and is made from malt or grain (or a blend), is that ryes are a little spicy, while Scotches have a bit more of a honey flavor.
Is Bourbon sweeter than rye?
Bourbon whiskey has a sweeter, more mellow flavor than rye, with notes of vanilla, oak, and caramel. Rye whiskey is generally spicier and has a more aggressive flavor than bourbon.