WHISKEY TASTE Like all alcohol, it’s going to taste like burning shit until you get acclimated to the taste, in which, it’s burning spicy sweet taste Whiskey is still one of the most loved alcoholic beverages in the world. Its unique flavour and aroma are great when mixed with other spirits.

There are many types of whiskey available, including sweet Tennessee Bourbon whiskeys and robust Scotch whiskies.

There are many whiskey brands that produce whiskies with different aromas and flavours.

This article is for those who are just starting to learn about whiskey.

We’ll explain the main differences between whiskey types and their common flavour characteristics.

Let’s start by stating the bad news. It is impossible to say how whiskey tastes due to the vast diversity of whiskey. There are many types of whiskey available, each offering a different sensory experience.

It doesn’t mean you have to believe everything we say. Try two Barrell Craft Spirits award-winning whiskeys, one each. You’ll be amazed at the difference in these two whiskeys, regardless of which one you choose.

How could two whiskey bottles taste so different? Because there are so many variables involved in whiskey’s production, whisky offers one of the most diverse flavor ranges. It can be made with any grain and any type of still. You can smoke or unsmoked the grains. Distillers can use any type of yeast and many different barrels.

There are some similarities between the different styles. Because many aspects of whiskey’s flavor can be traced back one of these three common factors, all whiskeys share them:

* The grain

* Distillation and fermentation

* The casks

Let’s take a closer look at each.


All whiskey is made from grain. Any grain can be used in whiskey making, including traditional options like corn, rye or malted barley, as well as heirloom grains such triticale, spelt and millet.

Different styles require different grain recipes, often called a “mashbill”. Famously, Bourbon must contain at least 51% corn. However, the rest can be made up from any other grain. Single malt Scotch whisky must contain only malted barley. However, Scottish blended whisky may use any other grain.

Like cornbread tasting different from a pumpernickel bagel; different grains give whiskey various flavors. Rye whiskey is sometimes described as spicy. It has flavors that range from cinnamon and black pepper to cut grass and the dill. Corn whiskey is sweet, vegetal, and fruity.

Wheat has a soft, sweet taste that gives spirits a round, gentle mouthfeel. Malted barley is a widely used ingredient in Scotch whisky as well as Irish whiskey. It makes a rich, oily spirit that has toasty, cereal flavours. To taste that richness for yourself, try a pour of Barrell American Vatted Malt, a blend of American single malt whiskeys. It is rich, complex, and smoky.

The flavors of the grain make up only a small part of the final flavor of a whiskey. The way these grains are fermented and distilled will change their primary flavors into a complex sensory experience that is far beyond your breakfast sandwich.


Distillation and fermentation are more than just a method to make alcohol. They are also essential flavor-making steps.

Tripp Stimson is Barrell Craft Spirits’ chief whiskey scientist and director of distillery operations. “Yeast is one of my favorite pieces of the puzzle when making whisky,” he says. Different yeasts and fermentation methods can create different flavors in final whiskey. These range from dry and spicy to richly fruity and fragrant.

Although it may seem simple, the size, shape and type of still used–pot, hybrid, or column–all have a significant impact on flavor. Many people believe that pot stills produce rich, complex spirits while column stills make lighter, more delicate spirits. This is sometimes true, but there are exceptions.

Bourbon is a great example of a whiskey that’s rich in flavor, but it’s usually made on a column still. Other fine distinctions such as how the still’s plumbing is set up and how hot it gets are also crucial.

You want to experience the big taste of bourbon? Check out Barrell’s award-winning series of blended straight bourbon whiskeys. Each batch is carefully crafted to highlight the best qualities of each component. There are no two batches exactly the same.


Distillers around the globe agree that oak is the best choice for aging whiskey. Why? Flavor. Oak contains many compounds that can evoke the classic whiskey flavor such as caramel, vanilla and toasted almond.

Tripp says barrels contribute a lot to the flavor and aroma. However, not all barrels are the same. The origin of the oak has a significant impact on its flavor.

American oak is sweeter and more spicy than European oak, which gives whiskey flavors such as caramel, vanilla and cinnamon. European oak can be dryer, so think toasted almonds or nutmeg with vanilla and toffee.

It also matters whether the barrel’s interior has been toasted or charred. Charred oak barrels like those used to make bourbon can add roasty and smoky flavors while toasted barrels bring out sweetness.

Another variable that could be affected is the previous cask. The barrel staves absorb liquid and impart its flavor to the next cask. Barrell Craft Spirits has been inspired by the possibilities of barrels that have previously held other liquids like Islay whisky casks and rum casks. Barrell’s Dovetail, for instance, showcases the influence of rum, Port, and Cabernet wine casks. Armida takes a different tack, turning to pear brandy, rum, and Sicilian amaro barrels for some of its character.

Tripp explains, “It’s about capitalizing upon the unique flavors and characteristics of the various casks and how these interact together. So one doesn’t outweigh the other, but they complement each others.” Tripp says, “The whole is better than its parts.”

The parts can also be quite good. When we find an exceptionally good cask, we bottle it as part of our single barrel program, which includes bourbons, ryes, and whiskeys. It’s amazing how many different flavors can be found in single barrels from the same producer. Some casks have extra-spicy characteristics, while others are richly fruity and elevate oak characteristics to a whole new level. We continue to discover new flavors and nuances of whiskey even after so many decades.

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What does whiskey taste like? These are some of the most popular flavours in whiskey.


Scotch whisky can be made using water and masted barreley in Scotland. However, they can also include other grains. A malt Scotch whisky will be one that contains 100% water and malted barsley.

The mash may contain additional grains such as wheat or corn, and it will be called grain Scotch whisky.

Scotch whiskies are also available in:

Single malt — A 100% malt whisky made with malt from a single distillery

Blended Malt — 100% malt whisky that has malt from multiple distilleries

Blended — A blend of malt and grains whiskies

Cask strength — undiluted and bottled at a very high level from the cask

One cask — The bottle was filled from one cask


Scotch whisky is made by drying barley grains to smoke. The whisky will have distinct aromas and flavours due to this process as well as the time it spent maturing in an oak barrel.

These flavors include:













Each flavour’s presence will vary depending on the methods used at the distillery, the grain mix and the type of Scotch (eg. Single malt or grain Scotch?


What is it?

Irish whiskey must be made in Ireland, as the name implies.

Irish whiskey is made from kiln-dried barley, which doesn’t contain peat. It has a milder flavour than Scotch whisky.

It is also triple-distilled using column stills. This gives it a cleaner taste, making it a popular choice for cocktails.


Alcohol, malt and vanilla cream are the dominant flavours.


What is it?

Bourbon whiskey is made with a mash of at least 51% corn, aged in new charred oak barrels and distilled from it.

Barley, wheat, and rye are also used in the mash. Some types of whiskey must only be made in certain areas.

Kentucky whiskey, for example, must be made in Kentucky and aged there. Some bourbons may also filter their whiskey through pieces of maple charcoal before it is aged (the Lincoln Country Process).


Bourbon is a sweet whiskey that has hints of honey, vanilla, caramel and oak. Bourbon might have a smokey flavor due to the charcoal and charred oak barrels.


What is it?

A malt whiskey must have a mash bill containing at least 51% malted barsley. This is the same requirement for Scotch whisky. However, malt whisky can use other types barrels, may not have peat and may be distilled in a different way.


Malt whisky’s most popular flavours include tobacco, alcohol, leather, vanilla and wood/oak.

What is it?

A rye whiskey’s mash bill must contain at least 51% of rye. Canadian rye whiskeys are sometimes called “rye whiskey”, but they actually contain less than 51% of rye.


Rye whiskey is a sweeter version of bourbon. Rye whiskey is spicier than bourbon and has a lower body. It can be flavored with oak, spices and caramel, vanilla, charcoal, alcohol, and other flavors.


What is it?

A wheat whiskey must have at least 51% wheat in its mash bill.


Wheat whiskey’s dominant flavours include honey, wheat bread and cedar. Cherry, oak, and cedar are also prominent. It’s a lighter whiskey than Bourbon whiskey and is less sweet.


There are many other unique single and blended whiskies that can be produced in Japan, Australia, England, and other countries, as well as the whiskeys already mentioned.

These whiskies are made using a variety of whiskey production methods, which results in many delicious and interesting whiskies that are worth trying.

The best way to discover the taste of whiskey is to have more whiskey.

It can be either smokey or not, depending on how it was made.

Whiskey/whisky can be used to refer to a variety of alcoholic beverages made from fermented grains.

Barley, malted barley and wheat are the most commonly used grains to make whiskey.

Whiskies made only with water and malted barley, are called Malt Whiskies. Whiskies made from a mixture of grains are called Grain Whiskies.

Blended whiskey is a mix of different whiskeys that adds flavour to the spirit.

Whiskies can be further classified based on where and how they were made.

Different types of whiskey can have dramatically different flavours and aromas, which is why sampling whiskey has become such a popular hobby.