Food + Drink
What makes bourbon bourbon? Corn, for one. Bourbon mash must be comprised of at least 51 percent corn. And, it must be aged in brand-new charred oak barrels, for that sweet, vanilla and oak, Yankee candle kind of flavor.
Like bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey has to be made from 51% corn and aged in new charred oak barrels. However, it must be made in Tennessee to count as Tennessee Whiskey and it must also be filtered through charcoal chips before being barreled. It's a step known as the Lincoln County Process.
Canadian whisky is made in Canada, aged for at least three years in oak barrels that are less than 700 liters, and has an alcohol content of 40 percent. It's all that you could ask for in a whisky from Up North. They can be made from a single cereal grain, like rye, or can be a blend of different grains.
The Japanese have also perfected the art of the whiskey, and it's very expensive whiskey at that. From a flavor standpoint, many Japanese whiskys are drier and smokier than American bourbon, but they don't usually go as peaty as Scotch. There are, of course, exceptions.
The Irish know their whiskey (and their beer, though very few of the best ones gets exported to the States). Triple distillation makes for a smooth and lighter flavor than scotch with an earthy finish often with hints of apple, pear or peaches.