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Starting off? Here's how to pick the best type of whiskey.

Here at Whiskey Bicycle we have put together a guide of whiskies that will help you get started on your exciting, and tasty, journey into the wonderful world of Whiskey!

If you just want the list... here it is!

1. Bourbon: Woodford Reserve

2. Scotch: Monkey Shoulder

3. Irish: Jameson

4. Japanese: Suntory Toki

5. Indian: Amrut Fusion

  1. Bourbon - Woodford Reserve

Woodford Reserve

Bourbon Description

Bourbon can only be produced in and come from the Kentucky USA (just in the same way Champagne can only be called Champagne when produced and made in the region of Champagne in France!). It’s incredibly smooth and have a fantastic sweetness, partly because it has to be made of at least 51% corn.

Who is it for

To be fair, it’s really for anyone! That’s how good bourbon is; it can cross a number of palates because it is so easy to drink. However, if you’re not so fond of sweetness or prefer bolder flavour characteristics then have a look at the other whiskey types.

Which should I try first

Woodford Reserve! This is an absolutely gorgeous bourbon and will continue to be a firm favourite in your drinks cabinet even when you’ve become a seasoned whiskey drinker. It’s great for sharing with friends and family too.

2. Scotch – Monkey Shoulder

Monkey Shoulder

Scotch Description

Scotch is made in Scotland! I know you knew!!). It’s most commonly made from malted barley and aged in oak barrels for a minimum of three years. It tends to be divided into 5 different categories: single malt. Single grain, blended malt, blended grain and blended scotch whisky. Scotch generally has an earthiness to it because of the soil the grain has grown on and through the malted barley. I also can also have some incredible smokiness (peat). But contrary to the misconception, not all Scotch is smoky!

Who is it for

Some Scotches are for a more ‘seasoned’ drinker, because they can really carry a true complexity and earthiness. However, for the beginner who wants to try Scotch straight of the bat, then there are a few fantastic whiskies that will delight your taste buds.

Which should I try first

Monkey Shoulder Whisky, which some people mistake for a bourbon. Yes, it does a little sweetness to it that helps ease in the ‘beginner’ but the malted barley and the oak barrelling keeps the earthiness. A wonderful combination. Also, the recipe (like coca cola!) is a closely guarded secret!

3. Irish - Jameson

Irish Description

Everyone knows Irish whiskey, and it’s character really reflects that of the country is comes from. Joyful, light and fruity with a complementing sweetness and oakiness, plus it has a fantastic smooth finish. It’s made from grain or malted cereals and has to be aged for a minimum of 3 years in a wooden barrel.

Who is it for

It’s a really ‘chilled-out’ drink, great for relaxing, laughing and enjoying it with friends. The smooth roundedness of it also offers a lovely sweetness. It is certainly worth a try.

Which should I try first

Jamesons!! Everyone knows Jameson Whiskey and that iconic green bottle. It is also a perfect serve for an Irish coffee. You can’t go wrong with this drink, plus it is very reasonably priced for the quality and joy it brings.

4. Japanese - Suntory Toki

Japanese Description

The category that is making the most noise at the moment (though my bet is English Whisky will be the new exciting type to look out for in the next couple of years!). Japanese Whisky is a delight, steeped in culture and character. Interestingly enough pre-1920s Japanese whisky used to be a bit hit or miss with some questionable whiskies being produced. However, post 1920s and an interesting story attached to it, Japanese Whisky became what we know it to be now - the absolute height of quality, style and taste. Which is why the world has said a big yes to this fantastic liquid.

Who is it for

For people who automatically want to reach a little further than Scotch or Bourbon, whose taste buds are already accustomed to an more eastern style. Easy to drink but plenty of character.

Which should I try first

There are a few Japanese Whiskies that are great for the beginner, though Suntory Toki is the current recommendation with it’s subtle yet silky blend of sweet and spice. Delightful.

5. Indian - Amrut Fusion

Indian Description

Indian whiskey is a little different from the more ‘traditional’ whiskies, because it is actually more rum like because it is made up of sugar cane with grain and malted grain. This has caused some conflict with countries foreign to India who says it is not technically whiskey. However, Amrut (the recommended whiskey below!) is considered whiskey, globally – has no sugar cane!

Who is it for

It’s for the adventurous and who (with the exception of Amrut whiskey) like a tipple of rum!

Which should I try first

Amrut Fusion is a delightful whiskey made with 100% Indian barley giving it that soft grassy subtle flavour. The barrels sometimes vary as oak isn’t prevalent in India so are sourced from round the world. This adds a delightful surprise to this gorgeous Indian whiskey. Full of flavour and mystery.

Which one will you try first?!


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