Jack-Donaghy-Pouring-Alcohol-Loop-30-Rock-1The next time you’re contemplating a drink order, consider the grain that’s behind it: what does the grain say about the spirit? From corn to rye to wheat, these grains release the sugars required for fermentation when in hot water, imparting their flavors to the finished spirits.

Here you go:

Single malt whiskey is generally made from BARLEY, which results in its dark and nutty taste.

WHEAT whiskeys and bourbons are much easier to drink, and are often enjoyed on the rocks, as wheat gives off soft, light and sweeter honey flavors.

CORN is the dominant grain used in American bourbon creating a sweet vanilla and maple syrup flavor.

RYE is traditionally blended with other grains such as malted barley only using 51% rye. High-end brands such as High West or Rittenhouse use 100% rye creating an even drier and spicier flavor than that of the standard spicy and fruity taste.

As for OATS, they are often mixed with sharp barley or rye tastes to even out the harshness.

And if you haven’t done your homework the next time you consider the grain behind the spirit, think about your favorite types of breads, and classify these flavors that way. As cornbread is rich and full, it differs from the rye that is sharp and spicy. Wheat bread keeps it light and sweet, while oat bread is sometimes a bit nutty and soft.


Chicago Tribune