What are the world's top whiskey regions?

What are the world's top whiskey regions?

There are approximately five to seven regions in the world that are popularly known to distill whiskey in a copper whiskey still. However, this number is not definite as distillers crop up and disappear as demand for whiskey and people’s need for it fluctuates.

The following are popular regions best known by most whiskey enthusiasts

Bourbon County, Kentucky USA

 It is not a strict requirement for Bourbon to be distilled solely in Kentucky. However, the aptly called Bourbon County has first dibs on the name.  Plus,  the region possesses the most pure limestone thereby allowing water to be filtered excellently. It is this same water that is included in the Bourbon mixture and which produces the region’s excellent-tasting drink.

 

Bourbon from this county is sweeter compared to other kinds of whiskies since it comes from locally made corn.


Image source: http://www.visitlex.com/idea/bourbon.php 

 

 Ireland

Irish Whiskey shop in Ireland

Whether it is in Ireland where the very first whiskey was created is highly debatable. The Scots would convince you it is they who are the original creators of whiskey but the Persians would say the same thing when asked.

However, most Irish people believe that it’s their monks who distilled, or more specifically, triple-distilled whiskey using pure malted barley as the selected grain.

Popular Irish whiskey products include Michael Collins, Bushmill’s, Jameson’s, Power’s.

Taste-wise, the Irish claim that their whiskey does not taste smoky since malted barley is dried inside closed ovens and is not subject to smoke.

Image source:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivanwalsh/2678844749/

Scotland

Whiskey Warehouse in Bowmore

It is very rare for whiskey to not be called Scotch. The Scots have declared any and all Scotch Whiskey products as exclusively produced and bottled in Scotland. 

 

However, history shows that whiskey was not a product that was officially recognized in Scotland until the Union. Records indicate that Scotland only began to appreciate whiskey due to 1707’s Act of Union when Wales, England and Scotland were combined to the UK. The government of London then taxed any whiskey made in Scotland and cut any taxes placed on the English gin. The move helped increase the number of illegal distillers. Believe it or not, there were approximately 400 illegal stills in Edinburgh back in the day and only 8 licensed stills were in operation.

Compare the year of the Union Act to the time distillation was being done back in Ireland during 1590 when they were already distilling spirits from malt. Similarly, legend claims that it was Irish monks who introduced whiskey to the Scots. The taste of Scotch whiskey is smoky mainly due to the barley dried on peat fire.

Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zong_yu/7791257912/

Canada

Canadian Club Mad Men Party

Whiskey made from Canada is distilled many times with the use of malted rye. Back in the 1950’s, the most popular whiskey is “Canadian Club.” It is said to be the sole North American distiller that was given a Royal Warrant. Currently, it is enjoying the fame it is experiencing as Don Draper’s drink of choice in the TV series Mad Men.

 

Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rickchung/8073209673/

Tennessee, USA

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey

Currently, there are two brands of whiskey being produced in Tennessee: George Dickel and Jack Daniel’s. Tennessee whiskey goes through a filtering process after being distilled in a copper whiskey still. The technique is referred to as the Lincoln County process wherein whiskey passes through maple charcoal prior to it being placed in charred new oak barrels to be aged. It has been said that this technique helps improve whiskey’s flavor.

Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nigelbewley/8256748745/

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