Whisky can be divided into 13 main categories:

  • Single malt whisky
  • Single grain whisky
  • Blended malt whisky
  • Blended grain whisky
  • Blended whisky
  • Rye whiskey
  • Wheat whiskey
  • Corn whiskey
  • Bourbon whiskey
  • Tennessee whiskey
  • Canadian whisky
  • Japanese whisky
  • Irish whiskey

Single malt, single grain, blended malt, blended grain, blended, rye, wheat and corn whiskies can be made anywhere in the world. Bourbon, Tennessee, Canadian, Japanese and Irish whiskey are type-, country-, or region-specific.

The country of origin has to be mentioned on the label, and more region-specific information is often added too, such as with whisky d’Alsace from France or whisky Español from Spain.


Our whisky Q&A is provided courtesy of SMWS ambassador Hans Offringa’s A Field Guide to Whisky: An expert compendium to take your passion and knowledge to the next level