There are really only two counties that produce whiskey. These counties are the United States and Ireland. Then there are quite a few counties that produce whisky (without the “e” – an important distinction). For the sake of compiling the most complete list possible, you’ll find both lists of the types of whiskey and whisky on the homepage of this website. Beyond that, you can explore deeper into each specific type of whiskey, each of which will eventually have its own page devoted to it.
Generic Types of Whiskey
First thing’s first; let’s cover the basic whiskey types. These types of whiskey are common amongst everyone, whether they call it “whiskey” or “whiskey.” By definition, whiskey is a distilled liquor made from grain mash and aged in oak barrels.
While these whiskeys might contain malted barely, they primarily consist of unmalted grains.
- Corn (Maize) Whiskey
- Wheat Whiskey
- Rye Whiskey
This usually implies that the whiskey is made from malted barely, while those made from rye are specifically called rye malt whiskey.
Bourbon Whiskey – Bourbon was born in and is recognized as a strict product of the United States. It must be primarily a corn mash (51+% ) whiskey aged in new charred-oak barrels to 80 or more proof. Sometimes these whiskeys are charcoal filtered. Examples include:
- Jim Beam
- Wild Turkey
- Maker’s Mark
- Evan Williams
- Knob Creek
Tennessee Whiskey – This is a specific type of Bourbon whiskey produced in Tennessee. Examples include:
- Jack Daniels
- George Dickel
- Benjamin Prichard’s
There are other more generic types of whiskey produced in the United States but Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey are true American whiskey.
[Read More: Types of American Whiskey]
The rules placed on Irish whiskey are a bit looser than those for American whiskey. They must be made in Ireland, be less than 94.8% a.b.v., aged for a minimum of three years in wooden casks, and if the whiskey consists of two or more distillates, it is considered a blended whiskey. Beyond that, Irish whiskeys are typed by their distillation method and/or whether or not they are blended.
Blended Irish Whiskey – These whiskeys consist of a blend of two or more distillates
- Bushmills Original
- Tullamore Dew
Irish Pot Still Whiskey – This is a whiskey that combines malted and unmalted barley that is fully distilled in single still
Irish Single Malt Whiskey – A pot-stilled whiskey made entirely of malted barley
Single Grain Irish Whiskey – A fine Irish whiskey made at a single distilery
That about does it for the types of whiskey. If I’ve forgotten anything, let me know in the comments below.