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American Whiskey

Overview

Published: 03/07/2011

by Whiskey.com

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American Whiskey

Whiskey is popular all around the world, but American whiskey is made and consumed more than any other type. American whiskey is not a single type of whiskey because there are many types. In the United States, the consumer understands American whiskey to be in six basic common divisions. These categories of American whiskey are motivated mainly by differences in the type and amount of grains and fluctuations in the production process.

Bourbon Whiskey

The most popular form of American whiskey is bourbon. Bourbon is mandated by the United States government to be distinct to this country. Regulations allow only a precise method and content to be used to produce this type of American whiskey. Bourbon must contain no less than 51 percent corn in the mash mixture and must be stored for at least two years in new, charred oak barrels to no more than 80 percent alcohol by volume.

Tennessee Whiskey

Another popular American whiskey type is Tennessee whiskey. This type of American whiskey is closely related to Bourbon, but there are distinct differences. Tennessee whiskey was officially recognized in 1941 as a separate style by the United States government. To be accepted as Tennessee whiskey, it must be produced in the state of Tennessee and should be filtered through special charcoal. The typical filtering process takes about ten days.

Wheat Whiskey

The most uncommon type of American whiskey since the repeal of Prohibition is wheat whiskey. The wheat whiskey must be produced from a mash makeup of no less than 51 percent wheat, with the difference usually being made up of corn and barley. Except for the mash recipe, wheat whiskey is crafted to the exact same standards as bourbon.

Rye Whiskey

American whiskey known as rye whiskey is bottled in smaller overall quantity amounts as Straight Rye whiskey because the majority of rye whiskey is used for blending to add character to other types of American whiskey. To be labeled a Rye whiskey, this American whiskey must be made from at least 51 percent rye, distilled to no more than 80 percent and stored in charred oak barrels that are new for a span of two years. Rye whiskey is credited with being more powerful and bitter than bourbon, and most brands are currently made in Indiana and Kentucky.

Corn Whiskey

Corn whiskey is a type of American whiskey that was developed because of the abundant supply of corn in the U.S. It is a predecessor to Bourbon. Corn is the main ingredient, to a consistency of at least 80 percent. It does not have to be aged in wood, but if it is aged, the maturation should be in barrels that are not charred or in used Bourbon barrels.

Blended Whiskey

Blended American Whiskey is known for being inexpensive and lighter than other types of whiskey. It typically contains 20 percent of Rye or Bourbon whiskey and the remaining 80 percent is made up of some neutral grain spirits. These American Whiskey blends are cheaper to produce, so they are more affordable in price.