How is whisky made?

Whisky is made by fermenting and distilling a mixture of grains, typically including barley, rye, wheat, and corn. The process typically begins by milling the grains, then mixing them with water to create a mash. The mash is then heated to convert the starches in the grains to sugars, creating a liquid called wort. Yeast is added to the wort to begin the fermentation process, during which the yeast consumes the sugars and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide.

The next step is distillation, in which the fermented liquid is heated to separate and collect the alcohol. This liquid, called "low wine," is then distilled a second time, resulting in a higher-alcohol liquid called "new make" or "white dog." This liquid is then aged in oak barrels for a period of time, typically a few years for "blended" whiskies and several years for "single malts." During the aging process, the whisky takes on the flavors and colors of the oak barrels and can also pick up flavors from the environment, such as the sea air in coastal distilleries.

After aging, the whisky is blended with other whiskies of the same type and aged again. Then it is cut with water to the desired strength, usually around 40% alcohol by volume, and bottled. This is the basic process for making whisky, but there are variations and nuances depending on the type of whisky being made and the methods used by the distillery.