Whisky Explained

There are whiskies, and there are whiskeys
So, what is the difference between Scotch, Irish, American (Bourbon), Single Malts and Blended whiskies? 
Find out what sets us apart.
The wonderful world of whisky (or whiskey, if you're from Ireland or America) is as straight forward as it is complex. With many styles and flavour profiles, the variation of this wonderful spirit is as complex as it is fascinating!

There are two types of Whisky - Single Malts (typically malted barley) and Blends (made from a variety of grains).

Single Malt whiskies are almost exclusively distilled in a sole distillery using one batch of malted barley. This method arguably represents the purest of whisky types and the ultimate in whisky crafting. Usually aged a minimum of three years in oak barrels before bottling takes place. This method was traditionally adopted by Scottish distilleries (hence the name Scotch). Most new world distilleries will age theirs between 3-5 years on average.

Hellyers Road ages their whisky for an average of 12 years.

Irish Whiskey (spelt with an 'e' in whiskey, as is the same for American whiskey) is usually also made from a single malt. The main difference with Irish whiskey is that Irish distilleries traditionally triple distill their spirit (where as the majority of other distilleries will only double distill). This means that they will run it through their stills three times. The idea being that the more you distill the spirit, the smoother it becomes. However, many would argue that the more you distill, more of the natural flavours 'may' be lost.

Bourbon is a type of American whiskey that is also barrel aged but for a minimum of two years and is made from corn or rye instead of barley (as this was so prominently grown across America) and will be a blended whiskey.

As in America, many Scottish, Irish, Japanese and Australian distilleries also produce a blended whiskey. This is the blending of numerous types of whiskeys or neutral grain spirits. These can often include added colourings or flavorings to provide consistency when produced in bulk.

While the raw ingredients used in whisky distilling carry a strong determination over the end result, it is generally the wood (cask) selection that has the strongest influence on the flavour profile and quality. The choice of oak and age in cask predominantly determines the taste, colour, nose and any other unique attributes of an individual whisky varietal.

Hellyers Road Distillery only produces Single Malt Whiskies and does not add any colouring or flavourings. Our Oak selection program includes Ex-Bourbon American Oak, traditional premium Port Casks, select premium Sherry Casks (Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso) as well as a variety of premium wine casks (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay).