Photo credit to Baskerville, here we are provided with a graphic depiction of whisky abuse.
A uber-short whisky primer, i.e. a good excuse for poor grammar and bullet points:
- Whisky is spelled "whisky" unless you only drink American spirits in which case it's "whiskey" or "bourbon".
- To be called "bourbon" a spirit must be (a) made in the US (b) made from least 51% corn, and (c) aged in new barrels.
- If you're going to put anything (soda/pop, juice, lemon/honey, etc) in a whisky, use a blended: a single malt would be a waste.
- Not all blended whiskies are necessarily crap - good ones do exist, don't pretend that Famous Grouse or Jamison should be lumped together with Johnnie Walker red/black.
- When a blended whisky has a statement of its age, in Scotland each component spirit in the mix must be AT LEAST as old as the listed age, but in the US that age only refers to the minimum age of the "straight" whisky used in the blend (which must be >20% of the total), with the rest of the "whiskey" being neutral spirit filler.
- One major element of a whisky's flavor is the presence/absence of smoke & peat. These factors are introduced when the malt is dried under peat fires. Islay whiskies, from the Western part of Scotland, tend to be the peatiest, while Speyside whiskies are generally smoke-free.