Monday, June 10, 2024

What’s The Difference Between Scotch And Whiskey

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The real difference between scotch, whiskey, and bourbon

Raising a toast to celebrate the cherished moments is incomplete without a glass of your favourite drink. Smooth, enticing and punchy, your drink defines your choicesin life. On the World Whiskey day, let’s unwind and find out What makes one spirit different from other. While savouring the smooth taste of your favourite dark spirit, have you ever wondered the difference between scotch and whiskey ? Why is one expensive than the other or why does the taste differ according to the age of the alcohol? The blends and malts used to produce these distilled alcoholic beverages create all the difference. We have scooped out the answers into four simple differences so that next time you sound like an expert!

They Come From Different Places

Contrary to popular belief, bourbon can be made outside of Kentucky. However, to legally qualify as bourbon, it must be made in the United States. Simlarly, in order for a whisky to be called Scotch, it must be made in Scotland. Japanese whisky, for example, is similar to Scotch in many ways. But it’s not Scotch, because it’s made in Japan.

Alcohol By Volume Level

The alcohol content of Whiskeys can smack you down if you are not aware of the quantity. Most Scotch Whiskeys like Johnnie Walker have 40% alcohol by volume . It is aged from ten to twelve years or more that it makes the taste smooth, smoky, and malty, good for straight-up shots.

An Irish Whiskey usually comes with a 40% ABV of 120 proof. One of the famous Irish Whiskey worldwide is Jameson. But, how many calories are in scotch whiskey?

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Bourbon Is Whiskey Scotch Is Whisky

The “whiskey” spelling is used for American and Irish spirits, including bourbon. Conversely, “whisky” is used by the rest of the world, including Europe, Australia, Japan and, of course, Scotland. Regardless of spelling, all whiskey or whisky must be distilled to a minimum of 40 percent and a maximum of 94.8 percent alcohol by volume .

What Makes Scotch A Scotch


Generally speaking, Scotch whisky has strict legal requirements that distillers must meet before their whisky is allowed to be called Scotch. These laws were put in place to maintain the quality and reputation of Scotch. There are laws dictating many aspects of production, export, labeling, geography, and most importantly, distilling.

  • Geographic region: To be considered Scotch, the whisky must be fermented, distilled, and aged in Scotland.
  • Ingredients: The only ingredients allowed in the production of scotch are grains, yeast, water, and caramel coloring.
  • Mash bill: Scotch must be distilled primarily of malted barley. Other cereal grains like corn, rye, and wheat may be added in blended scotch whiskies.
  • Proof: Scotch must be distilled to at least 190 proof , and after aging, must be bottled at no lower than 80 proof .
  • Aging: Scotch must be aged for no less than three years in oak barrels. When a bottle of Scotch displays an age statement, the youngest whisky blended in that bottle must be at least as old as the displayed age statement. It’s common for Scotch whiskies to have age statements of 12 years and higher.

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Differences Between Scotch Whiskey And Bourbon

Karen is a wine, cocktails, and food enthusiast. She holds a California Wine Appellation Specialist certificate from the San Francisco wine school and a Bar Smarts mixology certificate and bartends for charitable events.

Learn about our Editorial Policy.

When considering spirits, some people struggle to understand the difference between whiskey, bourbon, and scotch. While there are basic similarities in scotch, bourbon, and whiskey, each has characteristics and manufacturing practices that make them unique.

American Malt V Single Malt Whiskey

Talking American whiskey behooves us to mention bourbon and ryes malty cousins: American single malt and blended malts. Though not quite as popular as the others, these have gained some serious popularity in recent years.

They offer a similar uniqueness to Scotch, only softer and less peaty, while paying homage to that distilling style that has been perfected over centuries now with a flair of modernity.

American malted whiskies follow a somewhat more minimal set of rules than their Scottish counterparts :

  • Malted whiskeys cannot exceed 80% ABV.
  • They must come from a fermented mash consisting of no less than 51% malted barley grain The only exception is malted rye whiskey, which must be a minimum of 51% malted rye.
  • These must be stored in new charred oak barrels at less than 62.5% ABV.
  • It may be referred to as single maltif the whiskey has been aged for a minimum of two years, has no added coloring or flavoring, and has not been blended with any other neutral grain spirits or other types of whiskeys.

These whiskeys offer a playful expression of how far and creative whiskey-making in the US has come and are quickly becoming a hot commodity for whiskey aficionados.

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Whats The Difference Between Bourbon Scotch And Whiskey

The answer to this question might be common knowledge for some people, but not everyone knows how to differentiate the three.

So, what makes bourbon, scotch, and whiskey different from each other?

Malcolm Bucholtz

Consultant, Craft Distilling Industry | Author, From Field to Flask Fundamentals of Small Batch Distilling

Scotch, Bourbon, and Whisky are all distilled from grain so on the surface, one could argue that they are all closely related. But, differences do abound. These differences between Scotch, Bourbon and Whisky center around legal definitions, place of manufacture and raw materials.

Scotch Vs Whiskey: Whats The Difference

We Finally Know The Real Difference Between Bourbon And Whiskey

Alright, lets break it down. Whats Scotch and whats whiskey? Is it spelled whiskey or whisky? Heres a quick bulleted breakdown of what you need to know:

  • Whiskey is a family of distilled liquor made by fermenting grain mash: wheat, rye, barley or corn. Its then aged in wooden barrels, usually made of oak.
  • There are many types of whiskey based on country and style of production. Some popular types of whiskey are Bourbon , Rye whiskey , Irish whiskey, Scotch, aka Scotch whisky, and Japanese whisky.
  • Whiskey is the correct spelling for American and Irish-made whiskey, and whisky is the spelling for the Canadian, Japanese, and Scottish-made versions.
  • Scotch is whisky made in Scotland from either barley or a mix of grains. There are several types of Scotch, but the most common types youll hear of are:
  • Single malt Scotch is a whisky thats from one distillery from a mash of malted barley.
  • Blended Scotch is made by blending two types of whisky: barrel-aged malt whisky and grain whisky.

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What Is The Most Expensive Whisky Brand

The Most Expensive Whisky Ever Sold at Auction

  • The Macallan Red Collection $975,756. …
  • The Macallan Lalique Six Pillars Collection $993,000. …
  • The Macallan Peter Blake 1926 60 Year Old $1.04m. …
  • The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 60 Year Old $1.07m. …
  • Hanyu Ichiro’s Full Card Series $1.52m.

What’s The Difference Between Scotch And Whiskey

Aah, whiskey. You keep us warm on cold winters nights. You soothe our nerves when weve had a turn. You pick us up when were down. You knock us out with your flavour, then reel us in with your body. Youre smooth, sexy and best after dark. Whiskey – were all yours. But who are you Scotch? Arent you just another word for whiskey? And what are you doing at our whiskey party? If you have ever wondered what the difference between Scotch and whiskey – or whisky – is, then read on. Were happy to help.

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Other Fun Whisky Facts:

  • What is malted barley?
  • Raw barley that has been soaked, germinated, and then dried to halt the germination process. In Scotch, the drying process often happens using burning peat, imparting in varying degrees Scotchs classic smoky, peaty flavor.
  • Brand new oak barrels are required in making Bourbon. Scotch and Irish whiskey commonly age in the used bourbon barrels. Occasionally Scotch will age in used wine barrels, but is fairly rare due to the scarcity of the wine barrels and the availability of the bourbon barrels. The barrel age and type will impart significant flavor profiles to the whisky.
  • Irish pot stills are much larger than those used for Scotch, yielding a slightly milder flavor.
  • There are over 20 countries producing their own whiskey. India, Australia, South Africa, Taiwan, and New Zealand are just a few of the many.
  • Heres a cool interactive visual guide to whiskey.
  • We hope this helps unlock a few of the mysteries between the different types of whiskeys. Of course the only thing to really do that is to go out there and taste them. Find what you like and enjoy it!

    Favorite Barware

    So What Is Bourbon Then

    Pin on Cocktail Recipes

    Whiskey Bourbon is an American whiskey that is made from 51 percent corn mash. It tends to have a much sweeter taste compared to Scotch or Irish whiskeys. Think smooth notes of vanilla and caramel, enhanced by the oak cask aging. Because Irish whiskey is aged in pre-used bourbon casks, American Bourbon drinkers very often find themselves enamoured with their Irish cousin from over the pond.

    Now you know the difference between Scotch and Irish whiskeys, why not try out some of our award-winning Irish whiskeys?

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    The History: Whiskey Vs Bourbon Vs Scotch

    The history behind the three types of whiskey goes back to the 18th century. Bourbon whiskey was first created in the US without many regulations, while scotch whiskey is made by distilling malted barley over peat fires , and rye whiskey must be distilled from at least 51% rye grain.

    The history behind bourbon whiskey starts with how its spelled bourbon whiskey is spelled the way it is because it was first distilled in Bourbon County, which at that time happened to be part of Virginia.

    The story behind scotch whiskey starts with malted barley which has been used for centuries as a key ingredient for scotch.

    Rye whiskeys history starts in Pennsylvania, where whiskey was made from rye grain.

    The one ingredient whiskey makers cant use is sugar this has been banned since the 1800s because it would have caused a shortage of molasses for rum producers.

    The history of the different types of liquors is fascinating, and its not too hard to see why people have a preference for one or the other. It may be difficult at first, but once you get into drinking whiskey neat , on the rocks , or with club soda, youll never go back!

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    What Is American Whiskey

    In the beginning Europeans first arrived to the US and they found an abundance of rye, giving birth to rye whiskey in the US. Later after settling into present day Kentucky, corn grew very well and Americas treasure, bourbon came to be. There are many kinds of whiskeys made in the US ranging from unregulated moonshine to white whiskey to the highly regulated Bottled in Bond Bourbon. Bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey, and Rye are the primary types well take a look at.

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    How To Enjoy Whiskey

    Whiskey is a versatile beverage that can be enjoyed in many ways.

    Most people drink whiskey straight or neat, which means by itself. Its typically recommended to drink whiskey this way at first to get a better idea of its flavor and aroma.

    That said, adding a splash of water can help bring out its more subtle flavours. Additionally, you can drink whiskey with ice, commonly known as on the rocks.

    If you dont like whiskeys taste by itself, you can try it in a cocktail.

    Here are some popular whiskey cocktails:

    • Old Fashioned. This cocktail is made from a combination of whiskey, bitters, sugar, and water.
    • Manhattan. Made from a combination of rye or bourbon whiskey, bitters, and sweet vermouth , a Manhattan is typically served with cherries.
    • Classic highball. This drink is made from any style of whiskey, ice cubes, and ginger ale.
    • Mint julep. Typically served at derbies, a mint julep is made from a combination of bourbon whiskey, sugar , mint leaves, and crushed ice.
    • Whiskey sour. This cocktail is made from a combination of bourbon whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Its commonly served with ice and cherries.
    • John Collins. Made similarly to a whiskey sour, this drink also contains club soda.

    Keep in mind that many of these drinks contain added sugars and can pack a lot of calories. Like any alcoholic or sweetened beverage, its best to enjoy these drinks sparingly.

    What Is Single Malt Scotch

    What Makes Bourbon Different From Whisky?

    Single malt scotch is the elite of Scottish whiskeys. The single in the name refers to the fact it comes from a single distillery and is made from 100% malted barley. As long as all the liquid comes from the same distillery, this is a single malt. The number on the label refers to the youngest whiskey in the blend, even if the liquid in the bottle comes from a few hundred different barrels. As a general rule of thumb, single malt whiskey is generally aged for 10 years or more but can be aged anything from 12-21 years. In general, the older it is, teh better it gets.

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    What Whiskey Is The Smoothest

  • Laphroaig 10 Year Old is considered by many to be the Best Single Malt Whisky in the World. The taste is smokey and smooth, but not as overwhelming as other whiskies.
  • You would be surprised at just how complex American Bourbon can be.
  • Im talking about Canadian whisky here
  • A whiskey that is Irish in nature.
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    Which Is The Best Scottish Whiskey

    • Best Overall: The GlenDronach Revival. …
    • Best Under $50: Aberfeldy 12 Year Old. …
    • Best Under $100: Bowmore Darkest 15 Year Old. …
    • Best Aged: Glenfarclas 25 Year Old. …
    • Best Single Malt: Lagavulin Distillers Edition. …
    • Best Cask-Strength: Laphroaig 10 Year Old. …
    • Best Islay: Ardbeg An Oa. …
    • Best Grain Scotch: Compass Box Hedonism.

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    Ordering Whisky In Scotland

    The first rule of ordering whisky in Scotland is to never call it Scotch. It’s whisky when it’s blended and malt when it’s single-malt. When ordering malt, it’s a faux pas to order it on the rocks because ice numbs the tongue and does not let you appreciate the flavor of the whisky. You can drink malt neat or with a drop of water. Ordering it with Coke, of course, is also a terrible idea.

    Popular Scotch And Whiskey Cocktails

    Pin on Single malt Whiskey

    Lets get to some examples of cocktails! Of course, you can drink Scotch or whiskey straight up. But we prefer it mixed into drinks! Keep in mind, Scotch cocktails are considered whiskey cocktails because its a type of whiskey, but not all whiskey cocktails are Scotch cocktails. In fact, if a cocktail calls for whiskey, we dont recommend using a Scotch unless the recipe specifically calls for it. Scotch has a very distinct flavor and its usually called for specifically in a cocktail recipe.

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    Defining Characteristics Of Scotch And Irish Whiskey

    There are a handful of key rules that all distillers must abide by to be granted the protected titles of either Scotch or Irish whiskey.

    It wont come as a surprise that by law, Scotch whisky must be distilled and matured in Scotland. Furthermore, the maturation process must take place in oak casks for at least three years and the whisky bottled at a minimum strength of 40% ABV.

    Irish whiskey has nearly the same requirements but of course must be produced on the island of Ireland and can be distilled on either side of the border. The notable exception is that Irish whiskey can be matured in wooden casks other than oak. This can seriously influence the flavor profile, but the majority opt for oak due to its hard-wearing and porous nature.

    Not so much a rule, more a tradition, Irish whiskey tends to be triple distilled, giving it what some consider a smoother, more accessible taste than its Scottish counterpart, which is generally distilled twice. There are exceptions, however, with Lowland Scotch brand Auchentoshan producing triple-distilled whisky and Irish single malt The Tyrconnell distilled just twice.

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    They Have Different Abv Requirements

    Bourbon must be distilled to no more than 80 percent alcohol and be no more than 62.5 percent when put into casks for aging in new charred oak barrels. Scotch, however, must have an ABV of less than 94.8 percent and is aged in used oak barrels, including those that previously stored Sherry, beer and, yes, bourbon.

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    The Corn Is The Thing: Grains & Mashbills

    As we mentioned in the beginning, all whiskey is made from some form of fermented grain, however, bourbon is unique in its stipulated and heavy use of corn.

    Whereas most Scottish whiskeys will be made from barley or grain, and in North America, Rye is more popular. Although there are examples of both to be found across the world, corn whiskey outside of bourbon is rare.

    This is what gives the bourbon a flavor profile that sets it apart from other whiskeys, as the corn elements provide those sweeter caramel and vanilla notes that everyone identifies with the spirit.

    The rest of the mash bill, the term used to describe the combination of grains involved, is what determines some of the variations in flavor profileswith wheated bourbons providing a mellower, fruitier profile, compared to the spicy kick of rye dominated profiles.

    This combination of grains is also what sets bourbon apart from other whiskeys, which are usually made from a single grainpredominantly barley.

    This is the most recognizable form of whiskey, and what we know of as the classic single malt, that is made exclusively from malted barley, although some whiskeys are made from a combination of malted and unmalted, such as Irish whiskeys.

    This single grain profile has also led some of the more acclaimed distilleries, such as Bruichladdich in Scotland and Waterford in Ireland to experiment with the idea of terroir and single farm whiskeys.

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