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Whiskey Grain

Overview

Published: 03/16/2011

by Whiskey.com

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Whiskey Grain

 

Whiskey grain is a big division and key part of whiskey production. There are many types of grains that are included in the term whiskey grain. They are used to make many different drinks. Grain alcohol of this type is made from whiskey grain and the brewing process. The brewing process is a lengthy and delicate one but makes for some potent and popular drinks enjoyed worldwide. This process includes determining the amount of each whiskey grain to use, whether to mix the grains, grinding of the whiskey grain, fermenting, distillation, and finally there is maturation. All of these steps are very important to making a good whiskey, but none of them affect the taste quite as much as deciding which whiskey grain to use.

 

Pure and Blended Whiskeys

There can be pure whiskeys or blended whiskeys, with blended whiskeys being more common. Pure whiskeys are made with only one type of whiskey grain. Blended whiskey is made by using a mixture of more than one whiskey grain together to make the drink. Whiskey, once made, is distilled or purified, and the number of times it is distilled affects the taste of the final product as well. Distillation of the whiskey makes the drink ready for maturation. By law, whiskey has to be matured for at least three years before it is bottled and ready for sale. This is to ensure the alcohol is ready for consumption.

 

Malt and Grain Whiskey

The two main types of whiskey are malt and grain. Malt is made from malted barley and grain is made from whiskey grain. Since there are so many types of whiskey grain, there are many types of whiskey as well. A major whiskey grain that is very common is rye. Rye whiskey must be made from at least 51% rye, making it the primary whiskey grain in the mixture. The ratio of whiskey grain used in the making of whiskey is regulated by the United States. Each type of whiskey needs to have at least 51% of the specified whiskey grain when manufactured in the US.

 

Rye and Corn Whiskey

Rye can also be malted and used to make rye malt whiskey which is similar to malted barley whiskey. Bourbon is a type of whiskey that is made from mashed corn but is different from corn whiskey. Corn whiskey actually has to have 80% corn as the whiskey grain used. One kind of whiskey is wheat whiskey which is at least 51% wheat. In the United States, whiskey is not to be distilled to more than 80% alcohol by volume, but that varies in other countries. Blended whiskey is the mixing of two or more of these whiskey grains to make the drink and it affects taste.

 

With all of the types of whiskey grain out there, knowing how each of them tastes can assist in picking which whiskey is right for you. Distillation also affects taste so knowing the amount of times a whiskey is distilled is helpful. Tasting the types of whiskies available can help you find the best.