The widest selling whisky is malt whisky. In fact single malt Scotch whisky is one of the most coveted whiskies of the world. A single malt scotch whisky is a whisky that is made at a single distillery using a single grain. Most of the times it is malted barley that goes into making a single malt. A single malt will be called a scotch only when it is made in a distillery in Scotland.
The Scotch Whisky Regulation clearly states that a single malt Scotch has to be made from malted barley and has to be distilled in pot stills. The distilled product then has to be left to mature in oak casks for a period of time not less than three years. These guidelines are not always applicable to single malts that are made anywhere else in the world but have to be adhered to if a single malt has to be called a Scotch.
Malt whiskies have many categories. The two main categories of such whiskies are single malt whiskies and vatted or blended malt whiskies. A vatted malt is made after blending whiskies that come from different distilleries. These malts are often also called blended malts. However, there is a separate category of whisky called blended whisky. Blended whisky is made from mixing grain and malt whiskies together along with some other flavorings, caramel and neural spirits. When a whisky is labeled simply as a Scotch or Canadian or Irish it is normally a blended malt. A blend of whisky is normally derived from whiskies from many distilleries so that a flavor consistent to the brand can be achieved. Some of the famous names of blended whiskies are Chivas Regal, Johnny Walker, Famous Grouse, Teachers, Whyte and Macaky etc.
Malt whiskies from Scotland come from many regions. Whisky is produced in the regions of the Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Island and Islay in Scotland. The geographical location of a distillery has a definite influence on the taste and nose of the Scotch produced in the region. For example whiskies that are made in the Speyside region are sweet and well balanced with a warm and rounded taste. The Highland region produces whiskies that are slightly strong and slightly smoky. The Islay malts are known for their strong and peaty smoky flavors. The Island malts are light and salty with a slightly coastal feel to it.
If you want to enjoy whisky malt whiskies made in Scotland are the ones to go with. However, if you are open to experimenting, you can try American whisky. American whisky is made from cereal grain. Rye whisky, malted rye whisky, wheat whisky, malted barley whisky, corn whisky and Bourbon whisky are the different types of American whisky. Out of all these categories it is Bourbon whisky which is the best. This whisky comes from corn and has a strong association from Kentucky. Only whisky that is produced in the United States following the guidelines laid down by the Federal Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits can be called a Bourbon.