There are three categories of alcoholic beverages: malt beverages, fermented juices, and distilled liquors. Malt beverages, which include beer and ale, are made by brewing the grains. Commonly used grains are barley and hops. Wines are classified under fermented fruit juices since wines are commonly produced by fermenting crushed fruits. To produce distilled liquor, you will need a variety of grains, fruits, and vegetables. Distilled liquors normally have the greatest alcohol content, which is commonly measured in terms of ‘proof’. The lists of the drinks under this category are brandy, gin, vodka, rum and whisky. But we are going to highlight the whisky. Whisky is produced by soaking the grains in hot water to make a mash. By adding malt, the starch in the grain is changed into sugar. Yeast is added to cause the mixture to ferment, converting the sugar into alcohol. The mash is then distilled, that is, it is evaporated and then condensed. The condensed liquid, the whisky, is usually aged in wooden barrels. The percentage of alcohol content is reduced by adding distilled water. The productions of whisky depend largely on the distillation processes and the grains used to make sour mashes. We heard the world over of different whisky brands. Let us discuss the ten most sold brands of whisky.
10. Black Nikka
This whisky was founded by the Japanese MasatakaTaketsuru, who went all the way to Scotland so that he could learn all of the basics and necessities when it comes to whisky development. He collaborated with Kotobukiya, now known as Suntory. Soon in 1934 they started Nikka. This Malt Black Whisky has an aroma which resulted from the combination of the fruity Miyagikyo malts, Yoichi’s strong smoky notes, balanced with fruit, peat, sweet and wood which, as a result, perfectly made this a must-try. Nikka whisky comes in a variety ranging from Red, Black, and White. There is also a Pure Malt.
9. Black Velvet
The story behind this Black Velvet went this way: It all happened at Brooks’s Club in London in 1861 when everyone was mourning over the passing away of Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. A steward decided to serve everyone his own creation of a drink. This whisky tasted so delicious that it became very popular. Black Velvet is best to be mixed with other champagnes and beer as this is a party drink. You can try the 1 is to 1 ratio of Black Velvet along with your choice of champagne. However, several people found it best to have Black Velvet mixed with twice as much champagne.
8. Crown Royal
Crown Royal whisky is among the best-selling brands in the world. This Canadian whisky offers an aroma of caramel and light vanilla notes, having undertones of lemon zest with a twist of pound cake. It has a flavor of vanilla, brown sugar, a hint of rye spiciness, coupled with caramel and Sherry’s sweetness, chocolate and a distinct oak taste. Usually, this whisky is best to be mixed with other beverages such as colas and ales for added flavor. Its name was derived by Diageo, the owner, and was announced by Samuel Bronfam, president of the company, when King George VI, and his wife,Queen Elizabeth visited Canada in 1939.
Ballantine’s ranks second in the world’s top Scotch whiskies. This whisky was distilled in Scotland using the malts from Miltonduff and Glenburgie. It has a golden brown color, with aromas of light peat and barley. The taste is slightly sweet and soft and round on the palate. The heritage of this Scotch whisky began back in 1827 when George Ballantine, the founder, started distributing their supplies of different ranges of Scotch whiskies from their family grocery in Edinburgh. This brand is known for having a wide ranges of Scotch whiskies, among which include Ballantine’s 30-Year- Old, Ballantine’s Finest, Ballantine’s 12-Year- Old, Ballantine’s 17-Year-Old, Ballantine’s 21-Year-Old.
6. Jim Beam
Jim Beam whisky got its name from the owner and founder,James “Jim” Beauregard Beam. It was never smooth sailing for Jim’s family to handle this business as there was a prohibition. But in 1933, right after the repeal, the family went back to their business. Down to this day, the family heritage continues to live on, keeping the tradition of the bourbon drinkers’ generation. Today, two-thirds of the bourbons distilled in Kentucky are Beam’s. This whisky is being distilled twice and aged at least four years in charred oaks. There are however several types of Jim Beam whisky, and these are Jim Beam 7 Year, Jim Beam Black, Jim Beam Jacob’s Ghost, Jim Beam Red Stag Spiced Cinnamon, Jim Beam Rye, Jim Beam Choice, Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year Bourbon Whiskey, Jim Beam Devil’s Cut, Jim Beam Signature Craft Bourbon Whiskey Finished with Rare Spanish Brandy, Jim Beam Signature Craft Quarter Cask, Jim Beam Single Barrel, Jim Beam Eight Star, Jim Beam Honey, Jim Beam Maple, Jim Beam Kentucky Fire, Jim Beam Red Stag Black Cherry, Jim Beam Red Stag Hardcore Cider, and Jim Beam Red Stag Honey Tea.
Suntory whisky is a Japanese-owned brand. It all started back in 1899 when Shinjiro Torii, owner, opened a liquor store in Osaka. It was his dream to set up his own distillery, until 1923, the Yamazaki Distillery was founded in Kyoto. A whisky expert Jim Murray commented and hailed Suntory as “near indescribable genius”. When asked to describe the taste, the expert said that the whisky possessed “a nose of exquisite boldness. There are several ranges of Suntory whiskies among which are Suntory Hibiki 17, Hibiki 12, Hibiki 21, Hibiki 30, Suntory Royal Japanese Whisky – 1970s, Suntory Kakubin, and Suntory Royal SR 1960s.
4. Canadian Club
In 1858 at Walkerville, Ontario Canada, the distillery of a grain merchant Hiram Walker was founded. What made Canadian Club whisky different from the other brands is that they use corn, rye, barley malt, and rye malt grains. These malt grains give the distinctive taste of Canadian Club whisky. The whisky is aged in white-oak American bourbon barrels, and this gives the unique rich oak flavor. If you are looking for an alternative to a cocktail drink, whisky or a beer, then this is the perfect choice. There are several ways in which one, or even a first time whisky drinker, could enjoy the taste. A basic way, though, is to mix soda with the Canadian Club Whisky.
3. Jameson Irish
Jameson Irish whisky is known for its triple distillation process. John Jameson, owner and founder, discovered in 1780 that their distillation process is the best way to make sure that the whisky is twice as smooth and perfectly balanced. Up to this day, the same distillation process is continued to ensure that the quality will be maintained; the ingredients used are barley, maize and pure Irish water. There are varieties of ranges to choose from: Jameson 12 year old, Jameson rarest vintage whisky, Jameson gold reserve, Jameson Irish whisky, Jameson select reserve black barrel, Jameson signature reserve, and Jameson 18 year old limited reserve.
2. Johnnie Walker
Johnnie Walker was founded in 1860 when John Walker started to export the family’s whisky. A fun fact about this whisky is that it has several unique labels to choose from, each with different taste and quality. First, and the world’s best-selling Scotch whisky, is the Johnnie Walker Red Label. This label has a spicy, edgy, and zingy flavor capping the taste with a smoky touch on the palate. Next is the Johnnie Walker Black Label which can be enjoyed with a soda, sparkling water or simply ginger ale. Another is the Johnnie Walker Double Black Label which has a more intense flavor as compared to Johnnie Walker Black Label. Fourth are the Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, Johnnie Walker Platinum Label, Johnnie Walker Blue Label, and the Johnnie Walker Green Label.
1. Jack Daniel
Jack Daniel’s Whisky is produced in Lynchburg City, Tennessee. The Jack Daniel’s distillery is the oldest registered in the United States. What makes this whisky different from the others is that the ingredients used are corn sour mash mixed with rye with barley malt and iron-free cave spring water, and then distilled in copper stills. There are ranges to choose from: Gentleman Jack, which is known for its smoothness because of being charcoal-mellowed twice; Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey which has a unique twist of honey coupled with smoothness; Old No. 7, or also known as Jack Daniel’s Black Label; and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel which has notes of caramel, vanilla, and toasted oak.