Choosing The Right Whisky For You

Whisky is a fairly unique spirit and not one that everyone is familiar with. Unlike spirits such as vodka or brandy, that tend to be fairly self-explanatory and easy to choose between, whisky can understandably be quite overwhelming and difficult to navigate when you’re purchasing a bottle for the first time. There are so many different options to choose from, all of which will taste slightly different, so the bottle you choose really does matter. 

Whilst you might recognise names such as Jim Beam, Grants and Famous Grouse from the shelves of your supermarket, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the right choice for you. There are a number of different things to consider when choosing a whisky for the first time, from the distinct flavour profiles and the different blends to the age of the bottle and the brand. However, to make things slightly easier for anyone who is purchasing whisky for the first time, we have broken things down into categories for you below. 

Scotch whisky

Scotland is by far the world’s whisky leader, there are over 125 distilleries across the country and there are lots of laws in place surrounding whisky-making. You may hear scotch whisky simply referred to as ‘scotch’ and this is a drink that many savour. This is usually where people start when trying whisky for the first time and it is known for having smoky earthy tones. 

The selection of scotch whisky is quite vast with single malt, blended whisky, grain whisky, single grain and even whisky liqueur to choose from. However, to give you somewhere to start, some of the most sought-after brands include; Glenfiddich, Isle of Jura and Grants.

Irish whiskey

Irish whiskey was once the most popular spirit in the world and it is still enjoyed by many nowadays. It has a smoother flavour than other types of whiskey and it is known for being fruitier and lighter, making it much easier to drink. It isn’t uncommon for people who don’t like scotch whiskey to still like Irish whiskey. 

A huge percentage of Irish whiskeys are blended whiskeys, but there are a few rare single malt and single grain whiskeys about too. The most popular brands include; Jamesons, Hyde and Tullamore Dew.

American whiskey 

Under this category, you will find everything from Bourbon whiskey to Tennessee whiskey but, generally speaking, American whiskey is sweeter and less smoky than both scotch and Irish whiskey. Unlike other whiskeys that will frequently be enjoyed neat or on the rocks, often American whiskeys are drunk with a mixer, popularly cola, or even in a cocktail. 

When opting for an American whiskey the selection is slightly different, whilst you still have a single malt, you can also choose from rye whisky, bourbon whisky and corn whisky as well. Commonly chosen brands include; Jack Daniels, Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam.

Japanese whiskey 

Whilst it is developed and produced in Japan, Japanese whisky is more similar to Scotch whisky than any of the other styles we have mentioned. This type of whisky is renowned for its flavoursome taste and it is complex, smooth and delicate. Many say that in order to get a good bottle of Japanese whisky, you will need to spend a little bit more though. 

As it grows in popularity and demand, Japanese whisky is growing in selection and developing more of its own style. Currently, you can choose from a single malt, blended whisky and grain whisky, but some of the most popular brands include; Hakushu, Nikka and Yamazaki.

Purchasing your first bottle of whisky 

Hopefully, the information above will help you choose which you should try first when buying a bottle of whisky. Of course, there really is no right or wrong answer in this regard and it all comes down to personal preference, it may even take you a while to find your favourite. You will likely find that you end up having a favourite type of whisky from the styles mentioned above, but you still have go-to brands in all of the other styles too. 

Whenever you’re wanting to buy a bottle of whisky, be sure to visit the Whisky Kingdom website. As North London’s premium and specialist whisky store, you can trust us to supply all of the classic brands you know and love as well as a few premium ranges too. We have been serving customers since 2011 and our team knows a thing or two about whisky, so if you still can’t choose what to order, simply contact us today and we will happily help. 

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