Currency and Delivery Country

We're just loading our login box for you, hang on!

Corn Whiskies

Corn whisky, an emblematic spirit deeply rooted in American history, stands as a testament to the country’s pioneering spirit and innovation in the realm of distilled beverages. This unique type of whisky, characterised by its primary ingredient, corn, distinguishes itself from other members of the whisky family through its distinctive flavour profile, production process, and cultural significance.

The journey of corn whisky begins in the fields where its main component, corn—a crop indigenous to the Americas and fundamental to the country's agricultural development—is grown in abundance. It is this plentiful grain that imparts a signature sweetness to the whisky, making it a beloved ingredient in the distiller's repertoire. By legal definition, for a whisky to be classified as corn whisky in the United States, it must contain at least 80% corn in the mash bill. This regulation ensures that the spirit maintains the unique characteristics attributed to the grain.

The production process of corn whisky follows traditional whisky-making methods but with a twist that aligns with its corn-centric nature. After harvesting, the corn is milled and mixed with water to create a mash. Enzymes or malted grain are then added to convert the starches into fermentable sugars. Upon fermentation, a process that can take several days, the mash is transformed into a rudimentary corn beer, setting the stage for distillation.

Distillation is where the art and science of making corn whisky truly shine. The fermented liquid is heated, and as alcohol has a lower boiling point than water, it vaporises first, travelling through the still, where it is collected and condensed back into liquid form. Corn whisky is typically distilled to a lower proof than other whiskies. This is not by accident but by design, as distilling at a lower proof retains more of the flavour compounds and the essence of corn.

In contrast to many other types of whisky, corn whisky does not necessarily need to be aged. If it is aged, the law mandates that it must be stored in either used or uncharred new oak barrels. This diverges from the practices associated with bourbon, for example, which must be aged in new, charred oak barrels. The maturation process, therefore, imparts a more subtle oak influence on corn whisky, allowing the natural flavours of the corn to remain front and centre.

When corn whisky is aged, it usually takes on a lighter colour and a milder wood influence than its more heavily charred counterparts, resulting in a softer and more approachable spirit. Some producers, however, choose to forgo ageing altogether, bottling the whisky directly after distillation and proofing, which preserves the raw and robust flavours of the grain.

Corn whisky's flavour profile is distinctively sweet and robust, with notes of vanilla, caramel, and a certain earthiness that echoes the grain's agricultural roots. The palate is often smooth and creamy, with the natural sweetness of the corn asserting itself without the pronounced oakiness found in other aged spirits. This makes corn whisky an excellent base for cocktails, lending a smooth sweetness that can balance out the sharpness of mixers and the bitterness of some liqueurs.

Beyond its sensory appeal, corn whisky holds a historical and cultural significance. It is the closest living relative to the whiskies distilled by early American settlers and was a staple of rural life, often distilled by farmers looking to convert excess corn crops into a profitable and more easily transportable commodity. Over time, corn whisky would play a pivotal role in the history of American spirits, from the Whiskey Rebellion in the 18th century to the moonshiners and bootleggers of the Prohibition era.

In contemporary times, corn whisky has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity, with craft distilleries and large producers alike exploring the vast potential of this time-honoured spirit. New takes on corn whisky often involve innovative ageing techniques, creative blending, and even the incorporation of heirloom corn varieties, each contributing a different layer of complexity and taste.

Moreover, the spirit is increasingly celebrated for its versatility. While it can be enjoyed neat or with a splash of water to release its flavours, bartenders and enthusiasts alike revel in using corn whisky as a canvas for cocktail creation, allowing its natural sweetness and smooth character to shine through in mixed drinks.

Read more
Shop Other Styles
See More
Sort by
Advanced search
Age in years
Bottling year
Alcohol by volume
Distilleries & brands
User rating
Bottle size
Showing 1 - 27 out of 27
Sort by
Best Seller
Mellow Corn product image
Mellow Corn
70 cl / 50% ABV
Full starFull starFull starFull starEmpty star
30 Reviews
Balcones Baby Blue Corn product image
Balcones Baby Blue Corn
70 cl / 46% ABV
Full starFull starFull starHalf starEmpty star
49 Reviews
Balcones Brimstone product image
Balcones Brimstone
70 cl / 53% ABV
Full starFull starFull starHalf starEmpty star
36 Reviews
Bowsaw American Whiskey product image
Bowsaw American Whiskey
70 cl / 43% ABV
Full starFull starFull starHalf starEmpty star
8 Reviews
Bowen's Whiskey product image
Bowen's Whiskey
75 cl / 45% ABV