Scotland is seen as the home of whisky, and has been distilling beautiful drams for centuries but its not the only country with an impressive whisky pedigree. From Taiwan to Japan, USA to India, we’re going to take a little time to explore what the rest of the world can offer us and there is indeed something for everyone.
As in Scotland, the origins of whisky distilling came from our religious friends in the monasteries and this “water of life” has appeared throughout the ages and continents from eau de vie in France and acquavita in Italy. From these humble origins, its place in society and culture has been focussed on the sharing and pleasure it can bring to those that can enjoy it.
For each country we’ve explored some of the passions behind their own creations as well as some of the best bottles they have. We hope you enjoy the ride, bon voyage.
Triple-distilled from unsalted barley and blended with grain whiskey, Irish whiskey is well known for its unique smoothness. Single pot still is unique to Ireland, and can be found alongside more familiar bottles of single malt, blended and grain whiskies. Bottles of note come from Tullamore, Midleton and Spot Whiskey for single pot still.
Bourbon, rye, rye malt, single malt, straight malt, wheat, corn and Tennessee whiskey are just some of the types that the country is famous for. All made from mashes of different grains and combined , each type of whiskey comes with its own unique processes. From Bourbon casked in oak to Tennessee filtered through sugar-maple charcoal the varieties are astounding. New makers are experimenting in clearer spirits with the elegantly named White Dog but its not for the faint hearted. Our favourite bottles come from Woodford Reserve, Wild Turkey and not forgetting the original - Jack Daniel’s.
Its roots are based in the Scottish traditions with the first distillery, Yamazaki, opening over 150 years ago. Well known for its delicate and smooth flavours, it is still at small production levels so when you find a good bottle of Japanese whiskey grab it! Our favourite bottles come from Yamazaki and Hibiki.
Read more about Japanese Whisky and what makes it so special from our blog.
With currently only one distillery, Kavalan, this young entry to the whisky markets has taken it by storm. Fruiter in taste to its Japanese neighbours, it is also Scottish in its making traditions but with the added fruitiness it is a wonderful crossover spirit for those just getting started with whisky. They have been experimenting with multiple cask styles and have been beating some of the best and oldest distilleries for industry accolades. If you try one thing this year, make sure its from Kavalan.
India currently holds the record as the worlds largest consumer of whisky. This record was previously drunk from bottles of Scotch and Irish whisky but recent interest in the country and its drinking habits as seen a range of craft distilleries setting up shop, from Aurum to Paul John single malt whisky there is plenty to be found here. Our favourite bottles include Paul John Brilliance.
Whereas the Americans like to mash all the grains together, the Canadians take a more separate approach, best known for their 100% rye and grain blends. To be classed as Canadian it needs to be aged for a minimum of years in the land of the Mounties. Our favourite bottles come from Crown Royal and Pike Creek.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our whistle stop tour around the whisky world. Come back again soon.