Home Beverages 17 Different Types of Whiskey (Easy Guide)

17 Different Types of Whiskey (Easy Guide)

If you want to be fancy and order whiskey at a bar, you need to know your different types of whiskey

Tennessee whiskey is the way to go if you like it smooth and sweet.

Pouring Whiskey From Bottle Into Crystil Glass of Ice
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If you like your whiskey with a bit of a sharp bite, go with the classics like Scotch whiskey.

And if you’re feeling brave, give the new kid on the block, Mexican whiskey, a try!

So, grab a good book, start a roaring fire, and dig into 17 types of whiskey that span the globe. 

1. Irish Whiskey

Irish Whiskey on a Wine Glass

Irish whiskey is mild and a little fruity compared to other types of whiskey.

It has notes of oakiness and caramel and is incredibly smooth. You don’t need a mixer to enjoy Irish whiskey!

Fun fact: the word whiskey originates from Ireland and translates to “water of life.” 

While Scotch whiskey is dark and brooding, Irish whiskey is light and goes down super smooth.

2. Scotch Whiskey

Iced Scotch Whiskey on a Glass

The Scottish take their whiskey very seriously, and it shows! 

All Scotch whiskey is made and manufactured in Scotland in six different regions.

The varieties have slightly different flavors as you travel throughout the Highlands and Lowlands. 

Scotch whiskey incorporates malted barley that delivers its signature smoky notes.

It’s sharper than Irish whiskey, with few floral and fruity notes. 

It’s rustic and needs no mixers to enjoy its classic flavor profile. 

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3. Tennessee Whiskey

Bottle and a Glass of Iced of Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey on a Wooden Table

Tennessee whiskey takes the smoky notes from Scotch whiskey and turns the flavor to an 11, but it also delivers an intense sweetness.  

Many describe the flavor of Tennessee whiskey as mild bourbon.

It has intense smokey notes from toasted oak and charcoal, with a silky smoothness from notes of caramel and vanilla. 

Of all the whiskeys, Tennessee whiskey is one of the sweetest. 

4. Rye Whiskey

Alcohol Decanter With Rye Whiskey

Rye whiskey is incredibly sharp and a little bitter. It’s made from at least 51 percent rye and doesn’t incorporate additives. 

The sharpness of rye whiskey comes from the unique distilling process.

Every bottle comes from brand-new oak barrels and must distill for at least 2 years. 

The finished product is sharp, peppery, and even a little spicy. 

5. Canadian Whiskey

Crown Royal Blended Canadian Whisky Bottle and Glass With a Drink Over Whiskey Stones

Canadian whiskey is whiskey distilled in Canada and is often a mash-up of different grains. 

Some brands use corn or rye, while others use both. 

If you’ve ever ordered a whiskey sour at a bar, the odds are high that you’ve had Canadian whiskey before. 

The most popular Canadian whiskey brands include Canadian Club, Crown Royal, and Seagrams. 

6. Single Malt Whiskey

Single Malt Whiskey with Ice Cubes on Wooden Background

Single malt whiskey isn’t a fancy brand or type of whiskey. It’s just a type of whiskey made in a specific distillery. 

But there is one thing that all single malts have in common. They utilize 100 percent malted barley. 

While the flavors shift from different distilleries, most single malt whiskey tastes peaty, oaky, smokey, and woody. 

7. Bourbon Whiskey

Bottle of Jim Beam bourbon whiskey and Glass With Drink and Ice on Wooden Table

Bourbon is an American whiskey since it’s composed of America’s number one crop: corn!

To qualify as bourbon whiskey, it must meet a few requirements.

It must age in new oak barrels with charring inside and utilize at least 51 percent corn. 

The flavor of bourbon whiskey is sweet and a little spicy, with notes of caramel and vanilla that come from the oak barrels. 

It’s rich and buttery and is excellent in a cocktail or sipped slowly straight up. 

8. Indian Whiskey

Bottle of Amrut Bagheera Indian single Whiskey

Most brands of Indian whiskey never leave the country, so if you’re ever there for a visit, it’s a must-try!

Indian whiskey is unique because it utilizes distilled molasses that lends a wonderfully sweet and smooth flavor. 

While sweet, it also has subtle peaty and earthy notes that make it stand out in the crowd. 

Most Indian whiskeys never leave the country, but you can score a bottle of Amrut at your local liquor store. 

9. Japanese Whiskey

Glass of Japanese Whisky With a Cube of Ice on the Bar Station

Japanese whiskey has a similar flavor profile to Scotch whiskey.

It has a classic smokey, peaty flavor that goes down incredibly smooth. 

The popularity of Japanese whiskey is picking up steam across the globe. 

While it’s similar to Scotch whiskey, it isn’t as flavor-forward.

Think of Japanese whiskey as the mild-mannered cousin of Scotch whiskey. 

10. Welsh Whiskey

Two Glasses of Whiskey With Ice Cubes Served on Wooden Planks.

Welsh whiskey thrived in Wales for 200 years and went away during the temperance movement. Today, it’s back and thriving!

Welsh whiskey is produced in small batches and utilizing organic grains.

It’s a lighter, fruitier whiskey with notes of lemon, honey, and orange with a gentle kiss of spice. 

It’s the type of whiskey you want to sip slowly by a fire with a good book. 

11. Mexican Whiskey

Two Glasses of Mexican Whiskey

Mexican whiskey is the new kid on the block with something to prove. 

And Mexican whiskey is making its mark.

It has a flavor unlike any other whiskey on the market and might be an acquired taste for some. 

Made of distinct Mexican corn, this type of whiskey has gentle butterscotch sweetness with unusual notes of wet cardboard. Yes, wet cardboard. 

I told you it is an acquired taste!

12. Wheat Whiskey

Glass of Wheat Whisky in Front of an Old Alcohol Barrel

All wheat whiskey must be distilled with at least 51 percent wheat mash and aged in charred oak barrels. 

The flavor of wheat whiskey is very mild. It has floral notes that take center stage with a lingering sweetness. 

And it’s not exactly the full-bodied whiskey you want to drink straight up or on the rocks. 

Because the flavors are so mild, it makes a great mixer. It’s the perfect mixer for a springtime mint julep. 

13. Blended Malt Whiskey

Blended Malt Whiskey Poured in a Tulip Shape Glass

Single malt whiskey hails from a single distillery, while blended malt uses a combination of various distilleries. 

And as a blended malted whiskey, the flavor profile is less pronounced.

Every brand and bottle is slightly different, so you never know what you’ll get. 

While it goes down smooth, it’s best in a cocktail rather than sipped slowly. 

14. Corn Whiskey

Corn Whiskey Poured in a Glass

Think of corn whiskey as the black sheep of the whiskey family. It’s a rarer whiskey with a small cult following. 

What makes corn whiskey unique is that it is not aged. It’s strong, potent, and in most cases, 100 percent clear. 

There is no subtly in corn whiskey. Its most notable flavor is alcohol. 

It’s the type of whiskey better suited for a casual bonfire than a fancy night on the town. 

You may also know corn whiskey by its more common name: moonshine!

15. Buckwheat Whiskey

Glass of Iced Buckwheat Whiskey

Buckwheat whiskey incorporates soaked buckwheat seeds and is distilled in oak casts. 

The flavors of buckwheat whiskey are surprisingly sweet and floral. 

Many find that grassy flavors are similar to rye whiskey, only muted. 

It has notes of marmalade and honey with a lingering spice. 

The smooth flavors make it a great candidate for sipping on the rocks or straight up. 

16. Flavored Whiskey

Two Bottles of Flavored Whiskey,

Flavored whiskey isn’t exactly for the whiskey connoisseur.

Many big whiskey manufacturers infuse their whiskey with flavors like peanut butter, cherry, vanilla, and fruits to appeal to a younger audience. 

One of the most popular flavored whiskeys on the market is Fireball Whiskey, known for its spicy cinnamon notes that taste like Red Hots. 

17. White Whiskey

Glass of Ice Cold White Whiskey Garnished with Lemons and

White whiskey and corn whiskey are essentially the same things: Moonshine!

It’s primarily made with corn mash and doesn’t require distilling. The result is a clear, or white, whiskey. 

The hallmark of white whiskey is that it’s incredibly strong, so sip slowly!

17 Different Types of Whiskey (Easy Guide)

These different types of whiskey will keep you pleasantly buzzed! From Scotch to Irish to Tennessee, give every variety a good sampling.


  • Irish Whiskey

  • Tennessee Whiskey

  • Rye Whiskey

  • Canadian Whiskey

  • Single Malt Whiskey

  • Bourbon Whiskey

  • Indian Whiskey

  • Japanese Whiskey

  • Welsh Whiskey

  • Mexican Whiskey

  • Wheat Whiskey

  • Blended Malt Whiskey

  • Corn Whiskey

  • Buckwheat Whiskey

  • Flavored Whiskey

  • White Whiskey


  • Select your favorite type of whiskey.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Sip on a tasty drink!
Types of Whiskey

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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