Essential Things You Should Know Before You Order & Buy Whisky
First things first, before you order or buy whisky, whether it is from a physical liquor store or online, it is important to know the difference between ‘whisky’ and ‘whiskey’.
‘Whisky’ is commonly grain spirits made in Japan, Scotland and Canada, whereas ‘whiskey’ is made in Ireland and the United States.
To ensure that you find the perfect whisky to suit your taste, it’s essential to understand the difference between single malt and blended whisky.
Single malt whisky is crafted from 100% malted barley and produced by a single distillery. This time-honored tradition results in a spirit that is aged for at least three years in oak casks, and boasts unique regional characteristics that reflect the very essence of the land it was produced in.
In contrast, blended malt whisky creates complex and nuanced flavour, blending together single malt whiskies from various distilleries to create a tantalising flavour profile. Sourced from different regions or countries, blended malt whisky is carefully crafted with meticulous attention to detail, allowing for greater consistency in taste and quality.
Whether you prefer the refined complexity of single malt or the harmonious balance of a blended malt, the choice comes down to personal taste and preference, as both styles offer unique and enjoyable drinking experiences.
The Different Types of Whisky Around the World
There are 7 different types of whiskies and they are:
Scotch is made in Scotland and is known for its complex taste, often described as earthy or smokey. The Scottish take the creation of their whisky very seriously, and they even have a law in place for distillers to abide by as a way to protect the standards of production. This includes ageing the spirits in an oak cask for at least three years. Scotch is made with 100% malted barley but can also be made using other grains such as corn or wheat.
Irish whiskey is known to have a smoother taste and finish compared to other types of whiskey. This makes it easy to sip neat or on the rocks. Just like Scotch, Irish whiskey needs to be aged for at least three years. However, the distillation process is different compared to its Scotch counterpart as little or no peat is used and the whiskey is distilled three times.
Bourbon is an American whiskey that contains at least 51% corn and develops its reddish hue through fermentation in charred oak barrels. In addition, unlike other types of whiskies, bourbon has no additives or minimum ageing requirement. It has a somewhat smokey, sweeter-than-average flavour with a vanilla undertone.
Tennessee whiskey is another American whiskey, which is made from 51 – 79% corn grains. The Tennessee state government has made it a requirement that distillers only produce whiskies in Tennessee and follow the Lincoln County Process when whiskies are prepared for ageing. Compared to bourbon, Tennessee whiskey is smokier and has a sweeter taste.
As its name suggests, rye whiskey is made with at least 51% mashed rye grains and distilled following the bourbon distillation process. They are aged in new charred oak barrels for at least two years. The results? A sweet, fruity and spicy whiskey.
Canadian whisky is often made with more maize than rye grains, is matured for at least three years in virgin casks, and contains caramel and flavouring for a lighter, sweeter finish. It is also made as two separate whiskies, which are then combined together to make the end product.
Unlike all the other types of whisky, Japanese whisky is drier and smokier and follows the distillation process of Scotch whisky. However, it uses different still sizes to give variation to the taste of the whisky and is normally made with peat, which gives it a traditional flavour. Japanese whisky is aged in plum wine casks, which also gives it a unique flavour.
How to Verify the Authenticity of the Whisky in Malaysia Before Buying
Fake and counterfeit alcoholic beverages, including whisky, are on the rise.
So, before you buy whisky in Malaysia, be sure to take certain measures prior to making any purchase.
The first thing you can do is examine the distillery to ensure that it is a legitimate and reputable one. You should also confirm that the age stated on the label corresponds to the age of the distillery.
Another thing you can do is to look out for anything you find suspicious on the packaging and label of the whisky. This could be poor-quality graphics, poor-quality packaging, misspellings, or mismatched labels.
Today, an app can be used to verify the authenticity of alcoholic beverages, including whisky.
Simply download the V3Check app, then use it to scan the QR code on the product’s duty stamp label. The product ID, name, volume, manufacturer or importer, activation date, and status will all be displayed if the whisky is genuine.
You will be alerted if the product is not authentic.
Recommended Whisky Brands Available in Ebar Malaysia
If you are searching for popular whisky brands in Malaysia, chances are you might just find them here on Ebar.
Here on our website, we provide a variety of whiskies for you to choose from, and the following are some of our top picks:
Royal Salute 21
Probably one of the highest forms of luxury in a bottle, the Royal Salute’s 21-Year-Old Blended Scotch Whisky in the Chivas collection is described as a lusciously smooth and complex whisky. Creamy with a wisp of smoke, Royal Salute 21 offers a sweet character with elegant notes of vanilla and dry oak and an explosion of spices and hazelnut to taste.
The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years is another popular Scotch whisky that offers a rich, complex yet smooth flavours. A perfectly balanced single malt with beautiful flavours of honey, ginger, and citrus that are sure to satisfy your tastebuds.
If you enjoy something smooth with a mellow finish, the Glenfiddich 12 would be a perfect whisky choice. It offers fresh and fruity notes with a hint of pear, which evolve into a creamy butterscotch flavour that is beautifully balanced with notes of malt and oak.
The Macallan Sherry Cask 18 Years is an iconic whisky from the Macallan collection. Its luxurious and robust flavour comes from being aged in hand-picked sherry-seasoned oak casks from Jerez. The full-bodied palate of mature oak, ginger, and raisin flavours of the Macallan 18 is complemented by a naturally light mahogany colour.
A lusciously warm and aromatic single malt Scotch whisky that reminds of ripe orchard fruit, baked apple, and robust oak, the Glenfiddich 18 Years Old offers a taste of rich dried fruit, candy peel, and dates.
The Yamazaki Distillers Reserve is a single malt Japanese whisky with a luxuriously fresh and fruity flavour coupled with a complex spicy and almost incense-like note. It has a strong red fruit flavour and a touch of sherry cask.
Another popular whiskey suitable for every occasion is the Jim Beam bourbon whiskey. Beautifully fragrant with notes of peaches, cocoa, vanilla, and baked apple, Jim Beam is sweet and offers opening flavours of light caramel with a trace of smoke. It is described as very long, crisp and zesty.
The Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky is an exquisite fusion of Scotland’s rarest and most remarkable whiskies, and it is designed for noteworthy moments. It is a masterpiece that offers a remarkable signature taste with its elusive and strong character.