In the production of whiskey/whisky, I assume the neutral spirits that result when the mash is distilled all pretty much taste the same, no matter what fermentable substance was used. For example, when put into the barrel, the spirit produced by distilling a malted barley mash would pretty much taste the same as that produced by distilling a mash of corn, rye, potatoes, agave, or whatever. Is that a valid assumption? Might there be some differences depending on how much head or tail is included by the distiller? If this is true, the character/flavor we associate with any particular spirit would be due almost entirely to how it is treated after distillation. If so, why would it matter what raw material is used for fermentation other than to satisfy tradition or legal definition? Anyone ever tasted the spirits for different types of liquor right off the still? I have often wondered how similar or different they would taste.