What Makes a Grain Whiskey?

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Whiskies vary greatly in flavor and form depending upon their composition, agedness, and the distillery method used to get them from plant form into your glass.  Acquiring a taste for whiskey is a worthy pursuit inviting one with an adventurous spirit to call themselves a whiskey drinker.  A true whiskey connoisseur will tell you that whiskies vastly differ one from another and a small piece of the puzzle is whether the whiskey is a grain whiskey or a malt whiskey.

Although barely is a grain, grain whiskey is generally a reference to any whiskey made from grains besides malted barley.  These whiskies may be composed of maize (corn), wheat, or rye.  Whiskey made solely or primarily from malted barley is considered a malt whiskey instead of a grain whiskey.  A couple of interesting notes on this:  most American and Canadian whiskies that you’ll consume will be a grain whiskey while any whiskey produced in Scotland is actually required to contain some malted barley (even if it still qualifies as a grain whiskey due to its primary composition being that not of malted barley).

Other facets that factor into the science of a malt whiskey versus a grain whiskey include the method in which the beverage is distilled (think pot still versus a continuous column still) and the level of blending that’s present (blending is often used to smooth out some of the harsher characteristics of single malt whiskies).

Regardless of your level of knowledge or desire to unearth the mysteries of whiskey and the whiskey making process worldwide, it’s easy to see the allure of this formidable, rich, and diversely flavored drink.  If picking up a glass and drinking a grain whiskey is more your style than delving into the complexities that make it what it is, you’re in good company.  But if discovering world-class grains and creating your own brew is where your passions lie, contact Brooks Grain today.  We’ll get you on the track to success and help you fill your glass with excellence in the process.

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