Ah...whiskey. It's mostly just grains, mashed up and fermented, then distilled and aged a bit.
But, when you think of all the different grains - barley, rye, malted barley, malted rye, wheat, corn - plus all these distinct flavors that occur during the fermenting proces and, particularly, the aging process, which results in the various kinds of whiskey - like bourbon, Canadian whiskey, single malt Scotch, blended Scotch, Tennessee whiskey, Irish whiskey, Japanese whiskey...it's a lot to get your mind around. Enter this new series by our pals at Serious Eats. They break down various whiskeys by grain type (eg. malted barley), country of origin (eg. Scotland), maturation length and type (eg. oak casks, three years), and all the other factors that go into making what the Gaelics called uisge beatha, the water of life.
So far, they've covered:
And there's likely to be plenty more. For a complete guide to tasting and appreciating a fine whiskey, check out the ManMade guide here!