One of the most popular spirits in the world, whisky is produced in several countries, including Scotland, Ireland (where it is known as whiskey), the United States (also known as whiskey) and Canada. It is made by malting grains and then gently heating them to allow sugars to form. Yeast is introduced and feeds off the sugar which causes the mixture to ferment. The raw ingredients and subtle differences used in the production process cause variations in taste that ensure each type of whisky has its own characteristic flavour.
The most prized whiskies, single malts, are those that are produced from malted barley, double distilled and made entirely in one distillery. A number of malt whiskies from one region are often blended to produce a local whisky, these are known as vatted malts.
A wide variety of malt whiskies are sold in Waitrose include Waitrose Single Malt 12 Year Old, Waitrose Speyside Malt Twelve Year Old, Waitrose Islay Malt 10 Year Old and Waitrose Irish Malt Whiskey.
Grain whisky is made from corn or unmalted barley and are lighter than malt whiskies. Waitrose Single Grain Seven Year Old is sold in Waitrose.
Blended whiskies are made from a mixture of malt and grain spirits and make up a large proportion of the world's market-leading whiskies. Blended whiskies available include Waitrose Five Year Old Scotch Whisky and Waitrose Irish Blended Whiskey.
A range of north American Whiskies are also sold in Waitrose, they have a different taste from Scotch or Irish varieties and are made up of a blend of corn, malted barley and rye.