From Medicine to Liquor: Top Whiskey Essences & Styles Explained

Alcohol in its essence is based on distilling fermented grains and herbs. When it comes to whiskey, the process involves grains and it dates back to ancient Mesopotamia. First used as a sort of medicine, the new popular drink was first used as such when it arrived in Ireland and Scotland somewhere between the 11th and 13th century. Grapes were the main ingredient of whiskey but this changed soon to grains. It has been like that now for centuries, with other ingredients playing a big part in its taste such as rye, wheat, corn and so on. This is why there are different types of whisky flavours/essences.

What Is Liquor Essence?


Whiskey essence or any liquor essence is the flavour of a certain type of whiskey that can be added to other types of alcohol. Whiskey essences can make for a better-tasting cocktail which is usually made of whiskey spirits and fruit juice.

source: culinarylore.com

Types of Whiskey Essences

Bourbon


While whiskey and its essences are considered as somewhat sweet but Bourbon is even sweeter than other types of whiskey flavours. If you want a smooth finish with a hefty body that will leave a rounded mouthfeel, go for Bourbon essence If you want an even smoother finish then ho for Aged bourbon flavour.

Tennessee


Tennessee essence is a flavour quite similar to Bourbon, but it tends to be a little bit lighter and not as sweet as Bourbon. Some people cannot notice the differences between two or more whiskey essences but there are some quite easy to distinguish due to their herbal and savoury notes.

source: greenbrierdistillery.com

Rye


This whiskey flavouring is different than both Tennessee and Bourbon in regards that it tends to be spicier. Rye essence also offers more variety between different types of rye.

Smokey


A smokey-hot whiskey flavour is made of different styles of whiskey such as rye and sometimes even Bourbon. The other ingredients of this spicy and smokey essence are honey, orange rinds, and chipotle peppers.

Chocolate-Covered Cherry


This type of sweet but tart flavouring is made of a bit of Bourbon whiskey, whole cherries, vanilla bean and cocoa nibs. Chocolate-covered cherry whiskey flavouring has a perfectly balanced contrast between its sweet and sour tones.

source: youtube.com

Whiskey Styles

Bourbon


Just like there are whiskey flavours, there are also different types of whiskey styles. Bourbon whiskey is known as America’s native spirit. This whiskey style got its name from Bourbon County, Kentucky, despite no bourbon being made there today. But why is Bourbon the true American whiskey? Because technically it can’t be produced anywhere else in the world. This straight whiskey must be distilled at 160 proof and have a mash bill of at least 51% corn for it to be Bourbon.

source: unsplash.com

Tennessee


As you already know, this whiskey that is similar to Bourbon is also an American style whiskey. Tennessee whiskey is also made with at least 51% corn but it needs a charred barrel for ageing which gives it that charcoal taste. Popular Tennesse whiskey brands are George Dickel and Jack Daniels.

Rye


If you want a whiskey style made from a natural spice the Rye whiskey is what you should go for. Made from at least 51 % rye this whiskey style is typical for Canada and the US. Similar in taste to Bourbon, Rye whiskey has a notable spiciness and a slight bitterness due to the natural flavour of the rye.

American Blended


American blended whiskey is a mixture of straight whiskeys and grain spirits which make for one distinctful spirit. This whiskey style is comprised of 20% straight whiskey and it is a great option for cocktail recipes that do not go for a certain style.

Canadian


If you’re searching for the perfect whisky to combine with cocktails then you definitely need to check out Canadian whisky. This light-bodied, mixable and versatile style follows the Scotch tradition by skipping the “e”. This whisky style can only be produced in Canada and is made of corn and wheat. Rye is usually supplemented with the two ingredients as well as barley and barley malt. This type of whisky style is what is known as a master blender since it contains all kinds of grains. This makes it easy to mix with other types of alcohol.

Irish


Irish whiskey is a blend of pot-stilled malt as well as unmalted whiskeys together with column-stilled, corn grain whiskey. This whiskey style is considered to be the father of all whiskey and it is only produced in Ireland. The Irish have made a complex blend and a distinctive production process which requires a closed kiln for the whiskey malt to be dried.

source: thedld.com

Scotch


The tradition and standard of Scotch whisky is spelled without an “e”. The distinct smoky flavour of this whisky style is thanks to the malt frying process. The drying is done over a peat-fueled fire which lets the smoke come in contact with the malt. Scotch whisky can be blended or single malt.