By Nathan Myhrvold
Limited Edition

While some may think all whiskeys are created equal, whiskey is an incredibly diverse libation that has many different classifications, each with its own set of traditions, ingredients, and names. If the golden elixir hails from Scotland, Canada, or Japan, it’s spelled “whisky”; whereas, if it was distilled in Ireland or the United States, it’s spelled “whiskey.” Whisk(e)y is a wood-aged spirit distilled from a fermented grain mash that typically includes barley, corn, wheat, or rye. The recipe, or mash bill, is based on what type of whiskey is being produced and is often a reflection of the grains grown in that area. The mash bill for bourbon, for example, must contain at least 51% corn, while single malt Scotch must be 100% malted barley. Rye whiskey is at least 51% rye, but bourbon is considered a rye bourbon if the remainder of its mash bill includes a high percentage of rye.

There are other regulations for where and how the whiskey is made, including the distillation and aging processes. Bourbon must be made in the US and must be barrel-aged in new charred white oak barrels, although there is no legal minimum for how long it must mature. Scotch, which must be produced in Scotland, and Irish whiskey can be aged in used barrels or a variety of other casks but must mature for at least three years.

Aspect Ratio: Phase - Vertical

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