Difference Between Whiskey And Scotch

Production & Maturation Process

Irish People Try Irish Whiskey Vs Scotch Whisky

Distillers should make the production process and maturation process of Scotch inside Scotland.

The Scottish-made whisky uses fermented grain mash, usually malted barley, and it is distilled and matured in wooden barrels for a minimum of three years.

Depending on its type, distillers can make whiskey from corn, rye, wheat, or malted barley.

The mash bill is fermented, distilled, and aged for at least two years in white oak barrels and sherry casks.

Is Tennessee Whiskey Bourbon

Yes and no. The difference between Tennessee whiskey, like Jack Danielâs, and bourbon is that after the spirit is distilled, Tennessee whiskey is filtered through sugar maple charcoal. This filtering, known as the Lincoln County Process, is what distinguishes Tennessee whiskey from your average bourbon, like Jim Beam. The name bourbon actually comes from an area known as Old Bourbon, around what is now Bourbon County, Kentucky.

On top of these types of whiskey, we also have rye whiskey, which can refer either to American rye whiskey, which must be distilled from at least 51 percent rye, or Canadian whisky, which may or may not actually include any rye in its production process.

What Is Bourbon Whiskey

When we talk about what is bourbon, we have to mention that its distilled from corn mash and aged in new oak barrels for an average period of two years before being bottled. A key difference between scotch and bourbon whiskey is its distinctive taste which derives from using rye as well as corn in the production process.

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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!

Different Types Of Whiskey

Whiskey 101

There are too many types of whiskey to list all in this article, but the most popular kinds include bourbon, rye whiskey, Japanese whiskey, and blended whiskey. The difference mainly comes from the kind of grain used in the mashing process.

Blended whiskey is a common and affordable type of whiskey. Blended whiskey is created by mixing different types of whiskey or by mixing multiple grains.

One of the most prestigious whiskey types is single-barrel whiskey. As the name suggests, this kind of whiskey is not mixed or blended with any other varieties. Single-Barrel whiskey ages alone in a single barrel and originates from one type of grain, resulting in a more refined and pure whiskey.

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What Does Scotch Taste Like Vs Other Types Of Whiskey

The more important question is: what are the flavor differences between Scotch vs whiskey? Of course, Scotch is whiskey . But what distinguishes the flavor? Heres a breakdown of the major types of whiskey with the flavor differences:

  • What does Scotch taste like? Blended Scotch has a smooth flavor: malty and buttery, with a spicy finish. Single malt Scotch tastes oaky and woody, with signature peaty and smoky notes.
  • What does bourbon taste like? Bourbon has a sweeter flavor than other styles of whiskey, with notes of vanilla, oak and caramel.
  • What does rye whiskey taste like? Rye whiskey tastes grassy and peppery, with a signature spicy finish.
  • What does Irish whiskey taste like? Irish whiskey is light and fruity, with a lightly floral scent and hints of nutty and vanilla tones. The finish is smooth and mellow.

Bourbon Vs Whiskey: Whats The Difference

All bourbons are whiskeys but not all whiskeys are bourbon.

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Layla Khoury-Hanold is a contributor at Food Network.

Bourbon and whiskey are both popular spirits among mixologists and home bartenders alike. While these brown liquors might look the same in the bottle, they each possess unique characteristics. Whether you like to sip whiskey or bourbon, mix them into cocktails or simply want to quench your curiosity, it pays to know which spirit youre imbibing and discussing. Here, we break down the differences between bourbon and whiskey. Hint: all bourbons are whiskeys but not all whiskeys are bourbon.

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But What Does It Taste Like: Flavor Profiles

As you can imagine, its hard to pin down any kind of flavor profile for whiskey in general, especially in comparison to bourbons, which goes some way to explaining why the latter is the more popular cocktail ingredient, with its consistency and availability making it the perfect base for a number of combinations.

That being said, much like bourbon, different types of whiskey do also have their own broad characteristics, and heres a handy guide:

  • Scotch: As the most famous and storied of the whiskey producers, Scotlands styles vary from region to region, and these are three of the most prominent
  • Highland: The largest area by geography, and the most varied, but you can usually expect a light and fruity spirit
  • Islay: Home to Laphroaig and the other distilleries famed for their smoky coastal taste, often underpinned by rich fruits in the background
  • Speyside: Home to over half of Scotlands distilleries, this region is famed for its complex sweet and rich notes
  • Ireland: Irish whiskey is produced in a unique triple distilled manner, which helps produce a lighter and mellower spirit, with creamy notes of sweetness and orchard fruits
  • Tennessee: Home to Jack Daniels and George Dickel, Tennessee Whiskey uses a similar production process to Bourbon, but with the addition of charcoal filtering that adds an extra layer of maple sugar sweetness
  • Scotch Vs Whiskey: Main Differences

    Irish People Try American Bourbon Vs Scotch Whisky

    The ingredients are what really set apart whiskey and Scotch. Whiskey is a spirit distilled from a combination of grains like barley, wheat, rye, and corn. The types and amount of grains used in the production process will vary depending on the type of whiskey…

    Despite their similar coloring and history, Scotch is very different from whiskey. Knowing the difference between the two can help you improve your cocktail knowledge and expand your drinking palate. Once you understand the difference between Scotch and whiskey, you can then start to learn about the many variations in each type of liquor.


    First things first, scotch is actually a whiskey, er, whisky. Whiskey is the spelling in the United States and Ireland. Whisky is the spelling in Canada, Japan, and Scotland. What sets Scotch whisky apart from other whiskies is that Scotch whisky is entirely produced and bottled in Scotland. In this article, we will refer to Scotch whisky as simply Scotch. Both whiskey and Scotch are liquors that are dark in color, can be drunk on their own, or used as a base of a cocktail. However, that is where the similarities end as ingredients the production method and the resulting flavor of Scotch and whiskey are quite different.



    How It’s Made

    Types of Whiskey

    There are four main types of whiskey:

    Types of Scotch

    There are five main types of Scotch:

    How It Tastes

    Aging Process

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    There Are A Lot Of Traditions Techniques And Culture Shared Between Bourbon Scotch And Whisky But What Are Their Characteristic Differences

    You may have heard the phrase, âAll bourbon and Scotch are whiskies but not all whiskies are bourbon or Scotch.â But what does that mean? And is it âWhiskeyâ or âWhiskyâ?

    If you donât know the answers to these questions, youâre not alone. Many people struggle to understand the difference between these three distinct distilled grain spirits. And while they are related, there is a wealth of history, geography and processes that make them quite different.

    Whiskey Aroma And Flavor

    Whiskeys flavor and aroma range is huge. It all depends on its type and production process, so there really isnt a standard whiskey smell or taste. For example, grains can be smoked or unsmoked. Also, many yeast and barrel types can be used, largely impacting a whiskeys aroma and flavor.To compare, bourbons are often heavy on the oak, vanilla, and caramel notes while Canadian or rye whiskey is lighter, drier, sharper, and spicier. In Irish whiskey, youll find major malt, cream, citrus, and wood flavors.That said, there is some scent and taste overlap between whiskey types since they all use some form of fermentation and distillation, grain, and cask. All of these things affect aroma and flavor.

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    What Is The Difference Between Whiskey And Whisky

    There is a difference between whiskey and whisky beside the spelling. The barrel type is a key differentiator from bourbon, which must age on new oak barrels. Scotch can be aged on used barrels, many of which come from bourbon country. In Scotland, there are 22 million or more barrels maturing, according to the Scotch Whisky Association.

    The final product that goes into a bottle must be 40% ABV or higher.

    Many Scotch aficionados will highlight their favorite regions, which can produce unique whiskies to their area of Scotland. Particularly popular regions include Islay and Speyside. With more than 100 Scotch distilleries in Scotland, there are five main types of whisky.

    What Is A Scotch Whiskey

    Pin on Scotch &  Whiskey Glasses Personalized

    So, what is a scotch and whats the difference between scotch and whiskey? Scotch whiskey is distilled from malted barley and uses peat-smoked malt in the process. Scotch whiskey must be aged for a minimum of three years to legally qualify as Scotch whisky , which is another difference between scotch and whiskey in general. The whiskey gets its signature smoky flavor by being dried over an open fire or with smoke produced through burning peat.

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    Stricter Production Rules: Distillate And Abv

    One of the biggest ways in which whiskey develops its unique variation is through the fermentation times and production of the distillate, and whilst this is also true of bourbon, the production process is still regulated in ways that set it apart from other whiskeys.

    This is because bourbon has to hit certain proofs, another term for alcohol content, at various points in the process, whilst other whiskeys only need to be a minimum of 40% at the bottling stage.

    In contrast, the mash, that is the mix of grains that will be fermented to make the spirit, must be distilled at a maximum of 160 proof and aged until it has reached no more than 125 proof, before then being bottled at the 80 proof that is standard for all whiskeys.

    Another key point of difference between bourbon and other whiskeys produced across the globe is the presence of sour mash. Mash, believed to be a shortened form of maceration, refers to the fermentation process of turning and heating the grains that will then be fermented.

    Unlike most other whiskeys, bourbon employs an additional stage, also seen in some beers, referred to as a sour mash. This involves the addition of the set back that is the spent residue from the previous distillation, this acidic ingredient, hence the term sour mash helps to regulate the PH during the fermentation period.

    Virgin Oak: The Unique Bourbon Aging Process

    The first thing to note for bourbon is the somewhat confusing rules regarding aging, and the reality, bourbon does not have to be aged for any particular minimum, unless its labeled as straight bourbon whiskey, at which point it needs to be aged for at least 2 years.

    This is less stringent, and shorter than the 3 years that are standard across the world, for whiskey. That being said, you can expect most bourbons to be somewhere in the range of 2-5 years old unless otherwise stated, depending on the distillery.

    However, there is a reason for this, and thats the oak thats used for the aging process. Whereas most other whiskey types are aged in refill casks, thats casks that have previously held another liquid, such as sherry, or even bourbon, bourbon by regulation must be aged in virgin, otherwise referred to as new, oak casks.

    These casks are more active than refill casks, and impose more character onto the spirit in a shorter period of time, meaning bourbon does not require as much aging as other whiskeys.

    The type of oak used has a huge impact on the flavor profile of a whiskey, and this can be ably demonstrated by the mandatory use of charred new American Oak in bourbon production.

    Even the level of cask char has an impact, as when a barrel is charred, chemicals inside it break down into sugars, which caramelize in layers beneath the unburnt wood.

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    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?

    What Are The Main Differences When It Comes To Scotch Vs Whiskey

    How does AGE change whisky? 10 vs 18 vs 43 year old Scotch.

    Geography is a main difference, as Scotch must be produced in Scotland, and the US and other countries produce their own variations or types of whiskey. For instance, bourbon is a whiskey typically made in Kentucky.Other key differences come down to:

    • Ingredients, including grain mash Scotch is mostly malted barley and bourbon whiskey is mostly corn.
    • Distillation process.
    • The names spelling the US and Ireland use whiskey and Canada and Scotland use whisky.

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    Scotch Vs Bourbon A Tasters Club Look Into Two Distinct Spirits

    Scotch vs Bourbon how different are they from each other, and which one is better for sipping? Besides their nutritional value and the fact that theyre both distilled from grains, Scotch and Bourbon are very different from each other, including where theyre produced, their ingredients, their flavor profiles, the legal requirements of each type, and even the spelling of their whisky categories.

    Bourbon is whiskey, whereas Scotch is whisky. The spelling difference comes from the translation of words from the Scottish and Irish Gaelic forms, but now its used to distinguish whether a whisky is made in Scotland or not. Scotch whisky is made in Scotland, and Bourbon whiskey is made in America. Lets discover more about what makes these spirits unique in this guide through Scotch vs Bourbon.

    Can Bourbon Be Made Outside Of America

    No. The federal standards governing the identity of bourbon dictate that it is a distinctive product of the United States and that the word bourbon shall not be used to describe any whisky or whisky-based distilled spirits not produced in the United States.According to Swati Sharma, Co-Founder, The Dram Club, sweetness is what marks bourbon from the other varieties of whisky. Since bourbons are made of copious amount of corn they have a delightful sweetness with pronounced notes of vanilla that cant be found in most barley and rye-based whiskies, she clarifies. They also tend to be a bit smoky due to the charred oak. But it takes years of practice of nosing and tasting even for experts to tell the difference between the vast styles of whiskies. The best way to keep getting better at it is to try a mix of both Bourbon and Scotch/other styles and make notes of the difference you can perceive in the nose and on the palate.

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    Benefits Of Drinking Whiskey Over Other Liquors

    When it comes to the difference between scotch and whiskey, one may notice that people tend to go with the latter more often in the name of health benefits. Whiskey drinks, like whiskey on the rocks, whiskey sour, and whiskey old-fashioned all have many different benefits.

    • Drinking whiskey on the rocks has been shown to relieve pain from arthritis better than drinking any other drink that is commonly thought of as a cure for arthritis because whiskey contains an amino acid called glutamic acid which boosts the production of endorphins, i.e. feel good chemicals in our body.
    • Whiskey old-fashioned has the same benefits as whiskey on the rocks.
    • Whiskey sour is also beneficial because it contains a lot of vitamin C and a protein called cysteine, which helps prevent hair loss, but only in women.
    • Lastly, not only does whiskey Irish coffee give you an energy boost from caffeine but its also proven to provide pain relief for headaches due to the whiskey content.

    There is no such thing as bad whiskey because different whiskeys will taste differently depending on what type of grains they were made from, as mentioned when we discussed what is a scotch and what is bourbon previously.

    • Whiskey has been used in recipes and to cure many ailments since the drink was discovered.
    • Whiskey can be used in many different cooking recipes, from bread to salad dressings.

    It seems that theres a lot more to what is whiskey than meets the eye!


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