When you think whiskey, you typically think of countries like Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and the U.S., but there are actually over 25 whiskey-producing nations around the world.
These different regions of the world have different spellings – whiskey or whisky, and neither is technically wrong. Whiskey is generally used in the US and Ireland, while whisky is used in Scotland, Canada, and Japan.
Whiskey is made by distilling fermented grains and evidence of this process can be traced as far back as ancient Mesopotamia. This style of creating alcohol eventually found its way into European monasteries. It arrived in Scotland and Ireland sometime between the 11th and 13th century and was beloved by the royals ruling the British Isles.
Whiskeys can be straight or blended: the former are not mixed with anything or are mixed only with other whiskey from the same distiller and distillation period; the latter can include various combinations of whiskey products from different distillers and different distillation periods as well as other flavorings, such as fruit juice. Blended whiskeys generally have a lighter flavor than straight whiskeys.
Neat – Most whiskey connoisseurs will recommend taking your first sip neat, meaning served alone, unmixed and not chilled.
On the rocks – Since whiskey is a potent, high alcohol content liquor, many prefer to dilute it a bit to lower the alcohol by volume (ABV). Those drinkers order on the rocks, meaning over ice.
Experts recommend enjoying whiskey at room temperature as cooling it numbs the flavors slightly. To avoid taking too much of the edge off, try whiskey stones to get to the preferred drinking temperature without diluting.
Proper No. 12 Irish Whiskey – 80 proof, Ireland
Founded by Conor McGregor, Proper No. Twelve’s Triple Distilled Irish Whiskey is an ultra-smooth blend of golden grain and single malt with hints of vanilla, honey, and toasted wood for a rich complexity.
Suntory Whisky ‘Toki’ Japanese Whisky – 86 proof, Japan
Suntory Whisky Toki brings together the House of Suntory’s proud heritage and its innovative spirit to create blended Japanese whisky that is both groundbreaking and timeless. Subtly sweet and spicy finish with a hint of vanilla oak, white pepper and ginger.
Crown Royal Whisky – 80 proof, Canada
Crown Royal Deluxe is the standard of excellence for Canadian whisky. It is an extraordinary blend of their finest whiskies, matured to perfection. On the palate it’s delicately smooth and creamy, with hints of oak and the sweet flavor of vanilla.
Makers Mark Bourbon – 84 proof, USA
Never bitter or sharp, Maker’s Mark is made with soft red winter wheat, instead of the usual rye, for a one-of-a-kind, full-flavored bourbon that’s easy to drink. Featuring a sweet and balanced profile with caramel, vanilla, and fruity essences.