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Home> Blogs> It turns out that whiskey made with “IT” will have a popcorn flavor? Whiskey grain varieties explained!

It turns out that whiskey made with “IT” will have a popcorn flavor? Whiskey grain varieties explained!

Nov 19,/2022

As you know, whiskey is a grain spirit, and the varieties of grains that can be used to make whiskey are very diverse, each playing a different role in its style, flavor and texture. Each tiny seed may not look so impressive, but the process by which they are turned into bread and food is very great. It has been speculated that beer was a by-product of the bread-making of the Sumerian people.

All grains are rich in starch, and it is the brewer’s task to convert these starches into a sugar-rich solution and then start making wine through artificial yeast.

So which grains can make whisky? And what flavors do they each provide to the liquor?

Barley malt

Barley is basically thE common element to all whiskies, mainly because this grain is easily malted and rich in the enzymes needed for saccharification.

When roasting malt, a heat source like peat also brings a special smoky and peaty aromatic substance to the malt, which is eventually carried into the spirit. Roasting the malt with a clean heat source retains more of the malty, charred or toasty flavors.

Single malt whisky is made entirely from malt, where the distinctly refreshing grainy aroma comes from the barley itself.

Some Irish straight pot-distilled whiskies are made from a blend of malted barley, which is responsible for converting starch into sugar, and end-malted barley, which brings an oily, spicy taste and aromas of apple and blackcurrant.

Representative whisky: Macallan 18 year old sherry cask, Yamazaki 12 year old


Rice feeds half of the world’s major population, is a staple food for most of the Chinese people, and is the third most produced grain in the world besides corn and wheat. A large part of Eastern culture was nurtured by rice. The Chinese have been using rice to make wine for millennia, and rice is one of the main ingredients in Chinese yellow wine. Distilled spirits made from rice are light and fragrant, with a strong rice aroma, a slightly sour mouthfeel, a light floral aroma and a warm, full-bodied flavor.

Representative whiskies: Dashi Sakura Cask Rice Whisky, Goalong QiuXiu Whiskey


Wheat also plays an important role in Canadian whisky and is now commonly used to flavour whisky; in addition, it is also used in base whisky by HIGHWOOD. Some straight bourbons, including Meg (MAK-ER’S MARK), William Loren (WLWELLER) and Old Fitzgerald (OLDFITZGERALD), will use wheat instead of rye. I It is not as mellow as corn whisky in taste, but the wheat brings a different soft taste, sweet floral aroma and a slightly tighter finish.



You absolutely cannot ignore the presence of rye in whiskey because it is not a grain that is shy to show itself. If you take a big sip of bourbon and somehow the initial mellow taste changes abruptly and becomes intensely rich, with a piquant spice flavor and an acidity that awakens the taste buds, then I’m telling you now that it’s rye saying hello loudly. Rye whiskey was the first grain whiskey to take America by storm. There are also a number of whiskies that use 100% malted rye, such as Old Portrello (OLDPOTRETO) and Alberta Fine (ALBERTA PREMIUM).

Representative whisky: Sazerac, RITTENHOUSE, OLD OVERHOLT


There is no doubt that corn is a necessary raw material for corn whiskey, and pure bourbon and Tennessee whiskeys must also contain more than 51% corn in their grain ingredients. It is also the most commonly used grain in the base of Canadian blended whiskies and is also used in Irish, Japanese and some Scotch whiskies.

With its rich, sweet texture and enticing aroma of hot popcorn, creamed corn and cheese nachos, Corn Spirits will make weight-conscious people start counting calories.

Representative whisky: MAKER’S MARK, FOUR ROSES LINE

Other grains

Oats: This grain brings a clean and refreshing flavor with a slightly bitter taste, while having a real creaminess, just like the oatmeal we usually see.

Representative whisky: Frey Ranch Distillery 100% oat and 100% wheat whisky

Buckwheat: theoretically more of a grass, this grain creates spirits that smell aromatic but also deliver a strong aroma similar to rye whiskey and a “big bang” of spice flavors

Representative whisky: Monolith Distillery French Buckwheat Whisky 1999 to 2018 Limited Edition

Rye: It is a cross between rye and wheat and is occasionally used in Canadian whisky. Not surprisingly, it brings a flavor to the body that falls somewhere in between.

Representing whisky.

Millet: This grain imparts a nutty flavor to the wine. Millet brings a very smooth taste, and older generations believed that it could be used to make a new moonshine of exceptional quality.

Quinoa: can bring mash and nutty flavors to whiskey

The charm of the grain comes from the various terroir where they grow, although they are all for the conversion of starch, but they pay far greater than we can imagine. In order to a drop of rich and mellow liquor, broken bones and determined to put into the whisky making. Taste whisky which flavor is the best return to each small grain.

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