Cyrus Alexander: Hi! I am Cyrus Alexander of the Total Wine & More. Whiskey is a category that is experiencing tremendous growth; there has never been a better time to become a whiskey enthusiast. Whiskey is a deliciously diverse product with a wider array of styles available to suit any palate. Within this array of styles there are three key categories that will help you decide which style you prefer. Those three styles are: Delicate, Rich, and Robust. Delicate whiskeys are fresh and soft with gentle mouth-watering characteristics. Common aromas and flavors found in this type of whiskey are dried fruit, grain, honey, and citrus. Many Canadian, Irish, Japanese and modestly priced Bourbon or Tennessee Whiskey fall into this style.
The second category Rich features primary flavors that are derived from the Malt character and from wood age. You will commonly find sand sea flavors of vanilla, dry fruit, caramel, tobacco and nuts. Hottest and lavish whiskey for example, the Premium Level Bourbon and many Single Malt Scotch Whiskeys could be considered a part of this category.
The third and final category is Robust; defined by very rich flavors. Most are derived from the grain recipe; also know as the Mash Bill, higher alcohol levels, AKA proof or Barrel Aging Practices. Aromas and flavors of pepper, toast, wood or peat smoke or burnt caramel may be found in this style. Barrel proof American Whiskeys along with Islay, Single Malt Scotch Whiskeys are typically full flavored and robust. So those are some of your basic whiskey styles. Wish you much fun in your journey and exploration into this delicious network.