The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Behind the bar

Distilled from the mash grains of corn, rye, barley or wheat, whisky can be classified into six major types. The variations depend on the blends and origin from either Canada, Ireland, Scotland or the United States. Blended whisky is the result of two or more different distillers blending their brews together. The six varieties are as follows:


This is distilled from at least 51 per cent corn grain mash and aged for more than four years. Straight Bourbon has a fuller flavour and body than the blended variety. It gets its name from Bourbon county in the US state of Kentucky, where it originated.

Canadian whisky

This particular variety is distilled from rye, corn and barley. Canadian whisky is always blended under the regulation of the Canadian government. A lighter and smoother whisky than Bourbon.

Irish whiskey

A combination of grain and barley malt whiskys. This has a smooth barley flavour and a sharp after-taste. Itís heavier than Scotch.

Rye whisky

This is distilled from at least 80 per cent of corn grain mash.

Scotch whisky

These are either single malts or a combination of blended grain and barley whiskies. The smooth and smokey flavour comes from drying malted barley over peat fires. Exports are at least four years old, but the older the better.

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