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Whiskey for Beginners : Types of Whiskey to Know

Whiskey for Beginners: Types of Whiskey You Should Know

While helping yourself to a glass (or bottle) of whiskey, have you ever wondered what sets scotch apart from bourbon? If the answer to that question is yes, you’ve come to the right place! We’ll give you the basics. Whether you want to learn more about whiskey or expand your existing knowledge, you can refer to this simple guide.

Before you head down to the spirit and spirit and wine store for a bottle of whiskey, these are the essential whiskey types to know.

First, is it spelt as whiskey or whisky?

Well, it depends on the country or region of origin. Either way, both spellings are correct based on different contexts. Scotland, Canada, and Japan spell it as whisky. In Ireland and the U.S., whiskey with an e is the standard spelling.

Types of Whiskey Every Whiskey Drinker Should Know

The primary whiskey components are corn, barley, wheat, and rye. Distilleries can create with either one or a combination of the four ingredients. ‘Whiskey’ is a catch-all that refers to all of them, though there are different types you can try. A whiskey type is also highly dependent on its country of origin and the percentage of ingredients used.


For anyone to be able to call bourbon, well, bourbon, it must be produced in the United States. Bourbon should be made from 51% corn and have no additives besides water. The ageing process involves charred new oak vessels. The finished product should be bottled at 80 proof and beyond. Bourbon has that bold yet succulent flavour that leaves a sweet impression.


This one should be clear since scotch derives from its originating country’s name, Scotland. Scotch hails from Scotland. Its main component is malted barley and other corns and grains. Scotch should also be aged for at least three years to get the best flavour profile. The scotch’s taste will vary from region to region.


Hailing from Ireland is the prolific Irish whiskey. It is quite like scotch but also has defining characteristics. Irish whiskey is also easier to drink than scotch since it’s smoother. Although this type has a more flexible grain bill, it should be made of malted barley mash and distilled with water. There are four main types of Irish whiskey: malt, pot still, grain, and blended. Single pot still whiskey is a type unique to Ireland.


Yes, Japanese whisky comes from the land of the rising sun, Japan. Japanese whisky can be considered new among the other whiskey types mentioned here. Japanese whisky is like the distilling process of scotch. Many describe the taste of Japanese whisky as refined and well-balanced. It’s also a thriving whisky type and considered one of the best that the world has to offer today.

Canadian Whisky

Coming from Canada is the Canadian whisky, also known as rye whisky. Like scotch, Canadian whisky is also barrel-aged for at least three years. It’s also a given that Canadian whisky should be mashed and distilled in Canada. It should also contain caramel and flavouring. Canadian whisky is known to have a light and sweet taste while still holding a bold flavour.

Conquer the world of whiskey with this newfound knowledge. You might be surprised at the fascinating conversations you can have over drinks with friends about these different types. Now, you can be confident your palette will be ready the next time you order a whiskey and wine delivery!

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