So, you’re done with your vodka and tequila phase. Now, you are interested in whiskeys and you want to enjoy this sophisticated drink in the comfort of your own home. But before you go on a shopping spree, you have to first understand how you can distinguish one whiskey from another, and know what it really takes to start your own collection. We’ve come up with this easy guide that has everything that you will need to know about creating a whiskey collection. Cheers and good luck!
Different types of whiskeys
One of the most popular whiskeys available on the market, bourbon is a sweet, flavorful, and smooth whiskey. It is usually a lot younger than Scotch because it matures faster. It’s one of the best ways to slowly get into whiskeys, especially if you’re not yet ready to commit to Scotch.
Irish whiskeys are flavor- and personality-forward. It’s a drink that’s perfect when you’re just chilling out and can be easily enjoyed with friends or by yourself. It’s smooth, relax, and rounded, with just the right amount of sweetness.
Scotch (single malt)
Created from barley and aged in oak barrels for at least three years, single-malt Scotch are some of the most recognizable in most whiskey collections. Some of the premium brands offer only whiskeys that are at least 10 years, selling only well-aged goodness to their patrons. Single-malt Scotch is produced in different regions, which often have distinct signature styles and flavors.
Rye whiskey production is quite similar to bourbon, thus it is usually thought of as bourbon’s spicier version. It usually has notes of caramel and vanilla, as well as strong oak notes due to the aging process. It’s spicier compared to other whiskeys but most producers try to balance it perfectly with the drink’s sweetness.
Japanese whiskeys have recently gained popularity with their fruity and unbelievably smooth flavors. They’re very drinkable and with a lot of character, which is perfect for people who find Scotch too complex or overwhelming.
Speyside is one of the classic, mass-enjoyed Scotch whiskeys. It has rich, fruity, and opulent flavors, making it easy to drink and appreciate. A lot of people may find themselves naming a Speyside when they think of Scotch as they are some of the most common ones available on the market.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can try exploring Indian whiskeys. Some Indian whiskeys are made with molasses, making them closer to rum, but they have a distinct flavor that’s definitely worth checking out.
Where to learn more about whiskeys
There’s no better way to learn about whiskeys than trying them out. Visit a local whiskey bar and test out different types to find out what suits your taste best. You can also read online reviews and go through books that really dig deep into the production and flavor profiles of different whiskeys.
Where to buy whiskeys
Explore local distilleries and start within your own neighborhood. Once you are more confident in your choices, you can slowly explore options abroad and buy the more expensive stuff.
How to store your whiskey
When you already have your bottles, you must store them in the right place so they don’t go bad and lose their flavor. Below are some tips that can help you out in finding that perfect spot.
Avoid direct sunlight
UV light tends to dull the color of your drink and break down the compounds within it, ruining its overall taste.
Don’t put it in the freezer
Putting it in a freezer will dull your whiskey’s flavor, making it less enjoyable.
Don’t store it horizontally
Due to whiskey’s higher proof, storing it horizontally can degrade the cork as time goes by.
Transfer leftovers to another bottle
Oxygen can ruin the flavor profiles of a whiskey, that’s why it’s best to transfer leftovers to a smaller container that can keep oxygenation at bay. Or you can also drink it all with friends.