Pick Your Poison: The Difference Between Whiskey and Whisky

To be the ultimate connoisseur, you need to understand the difference between whiskey, whisky, bourbon, and scotch. In a nutshell, these categories are all different because of their distilling process and the location at which it is produced. It’s important to know the differences, so that you can pick which one you prefer to drink. So, let’s dive in!

Whiskey vs Whisky

While most assume this is a typo or the distillers deciding on which spelling would look better on the bottle, there is in fact a major difference between these two types. Whisky (without an ‘e’) is only produced in Scotland and you can expect a very smoky, malty taste from it. 

Whiskey (with an ‘e’), however, is only produced in Ireland or the United States. In order for it to be properly classified, all whiskey must also be aged for 3 years in a wooden cask. If you’re looking for a sweet and smooth experience, whiskey is the route to choose as they are often triple-distilled.

Scotch vs Bourbon

Now that you know the difference between the main categories, you need to understand the subcategories. 

Scotch is a type of whisky (no ‘e’) which is made with malted grain. This means that the grain is allowed to grow in water before it is dried and used to make the liquor. The Scots take their scotch incredibly seriously, as there are specific laws in place to govern the production. 

Bourbon is also a type of whiskey (with an ‘e’). While all bourbons are whiskey, not all whiskey is bourbon. Don’t worry, it’s simpler than it sounds. When making bourbon, there is no minimum aging period, unlike the mandatory 3 years for whiskey. It also must be manufactured in the United States. Bourbon has a distinct sweet, mellow flavour and will often have notes of vanilla, oak, or caramel.

Why not put your new knowledge to the test and try out our World-Class Whiskey Cocktail recipe!