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OTHER ITA SITES:
The Types of Whiskey: Round Two
Last week, as we drank in round one of the types of whiskeys, we were introduced to those made in Ireland, Scotland, and Japan. After the lesson, hopefully you all did your homework by consuming some of the material. I know, I know, this is the kind of curriculum you wish high school was made of.
Moving on to round two, this article will discuss Canadian, Welsh, and Indian Whiskeys. Get out your glasses and your taste buds, class is now in session.
Canadian Whiskey: 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 than other whiskies and known as smooth drinks (and drinks that don’t like to get involved in any kind of war). Those produced are usually blended whiskies made with a variety of grains and often called “Rye Whiskey" in Canada. By American standards, however, the term “Rye Whiskey" might not apply: rye is used in Canadian Whiskey, but its use does not have to adhere to any laws or standards.
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: Welsh Whisky is a drink with a wheat field of history: it is believed to go all the way back to around 300 A.D. However, modern Welsh Whisky has had its up and downs. After a whisky absence among the Welsh, some distillers began passing off Scotch as whisky made in Wales. This was discovered and the Welsh Whisky industry was dealt a blow, seemingly watching its hopes and dreams go down the drain
Since the turn of the century, however, the Welsh have attempted to bring whisky back to 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 child. Made up of barley, aged in bourbon casks, and finished in Madeira barrels, it has - thus far - been well received by both critics and consumers.
Indian Whisky: 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.
So, you have survived round two. Stay tuned for the final round next week when we discuss American whiskeys. From Jim Beam to Jack Daniels, you just might find a lesson filled with old friends.
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