How Is Scotch Different From Whiskey

What Is Scotch Whisky

How Scotch Whisky is Made From Grain to Glass
  • Primarily malted barley, along with other grains, corn, wheat
  • Heres the main characterizations of Scotch:
  • Single-malt whisky often considered top dog amongst aficionados
  • 100% Malted barley in small pot stills, at least 2 distillation runs
  • Product of single distillery
  • Aged at least 3 years in oak casks
  • The pot still ancient distilling tool virtually unchanged for millennia, produces rich and complex character
  • Often is categorized further by region of origin
  • Blended malt whisky
  • blend of 100% malted barley whiskies from two or more distilleries
  • Combining single-malt whisky with corn or wheat whisky
  • Single-grain whisky
  • 100% corn or wheat
  • Lighter body, produced in column still, not the small pot stills
  • Other notes: personal preferences are also often determined by the peatiness of the Scotch, whether it being mild to having a more aggressive peaty flavor. That smoky flavor comes from early in the distillation process. The barley is first soaked and then dried over burning peat. An example of that heavier, distinctive peaty flavor can often be found in Scotch from Islay, an Isle just off the coast in western Scotland.
  • They Go Through Different Aging Processes

    Bourbon has no minimum aging period, but to call your product Straight Bourbon, a specific distinction of quality, it must be aged for no less than two years and have no added coloring, flavor or spirits. Conversely, Scotch must be aged for no less than three years. Within Scotch, though, there are additional distinctions as well. For instance, a single malt Scotch is made with malted barley in pot stills at a single distillery and blended Scotch whisky is made by combining several single malts with other whiskies in column stills.

    Scotch also tends to be aged longer than bourbon, with many of the most popular whiskies hitting shelves after anywhere from 12-25 years inside barrels. Part of the reason for this is a difference in climates. Bourbon is predominantly produced in Kentucky, where the climate is quite warm during the summer and therefore bourbon evaporates at a faster rate. This means that the longer bourbon is in the barrel, the lower the yield and the more expensive it gets.

    Comparing Whiskey & Scotch Whisky

    Whiskey and Scotch have different histories and origins, separated by geographical boundaries and production processes.

    There are many types of whiskeys, and Scotch is a type of whisky made in Scotland. It has a different spelling because of its Scottish roots.

    Scotch can be subdivided into single-malt whisky and blended Scotch whisky.

    Whiskey can be subdivided into American, Irish, Scotch, and Japanese.

    Also Check: Nike Air Max Up Champagne

    Different Types Of Whiskey

    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.

    Other Fun Whisky Facts:

    Whisky Color Chart
    • 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

    Read Also: Yamato Whiskey Takeda Shingen Edition

    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.

    Difference Between Scotch And Whiskey

    Before we begin to look at the differences between bourbon and other forms of whiskey or whisky, depending on the country of origin, we should begin with the most standard definition of whiskey there is a spirit composed of fermented grains, typically rye, wheat, corn, barley, or a combination, that has been aged in casks for at least 2-3 years, and is then bottled at a minimum of 40%.

    As you can already imagine, that level of variance in terms of ingredients, fermentation time, cask choice, aging time, and other variables means pinning down the exact flavors of whiskey is almost impossible.

    It also means that there is room for very specialist forms of whiskey, such as rye, peated, grain, and yesbourbon!

    Don’t Miss: Drambuie Scotch Whisky Construction Drink

    How Are They Similar

    One of the similarities of the whiskies is their use of oak casks, where the maturation and the aging process happen. Scotch Whiskey and Irish Whiskey may use Bourbon casks that produce a sweeter flavor or Sherry casks that gives fruity and spice notes to enhance the taste and mix the blends well.

    The two Whiskeys can be in the same style. Depending on your taste buds, you can buy and drink Irish and Scotch Whiskey as single malted or blended. But, whats the difference between Bourbon and Irish Whiskey?

    Different Kinds Of Scotch

    The real difference between scotch, whiskey, and bourbon

    The different types of scotch whisky can vary in taste, aroma and color. Malt whisky is made entirely from malted barley, while grain whisky is made from any kind of grain. Blended whisky is a mix of malt and grain whiskies.

    Malt whisky is often described as more full-bodied and complex than grain whisky, with a rich, sweet flavor. Grain whisky, on the other hand, is usually lighter and smoother in taste. Blended whisky combines the best features of both malt and grain whiskies, resulting in a well-balanced drink.

    You May Like: Beer Of The Month Club Ipa

    What Does Canadian Whisky Taste Like

    Generally Canadian whiskies are lighter and sweeter in character but still full of flavor. Considered easy to drink. When the maker mentions that rye is used generously in the finishing of the whisky, it will usually have a nice spicier bite.

    Things to Consider: Different from US rye whiskies in Canada rye doesnt have to be the dominant grain used and is often mostly used in the flavoring whisky portion of the bottling. Because of their ease in drinking, they often blend well in cocktail mixes. Tradition drives the process a Canadian whisky from 15 or 30 years ago will most likely taste nearly identical as same one produced today.

    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.

    Also Check: Champagne Color Jumpsuit For Wedding

    What Makes A Whiskey Bourbon

    The quick answer is the law. Making bourbon is an exceedingly technical exercise, and requires that the whiskey meet rigid criteria. The Federal Standard of Identify for Bourbon stipulate what is and what isnât bourbon. For a whiskey to call itself bourbon, its mashâthe mixture of grains from which the product is distilledâmust contain at least 51 percent corn. The rest of the mash is usually filled out with malted barley and either rye or wheat.

    Then, the mash must be distilled at 160 proof or less and put into the barrel at 125 proof or less, It also can’t contain any additives. The distillate needs to be aged in a new charred oak barrel. If you distill a whiskey in your kitchen that meets all of these standards, congratsâyouâve made bourbon. Also, youâve broken the law. The ATF will be on its way shortly.

    The History Of Whisky

    Scottish Whisky Brands

    When talking about the difference between Scotch and other whisky, its interesting to understand that the several kinds of this spirit are also have different historical paths.

    The first written mention of whisky, however, came in 1405, from writings of an Irish clan member. 89 years later whisky begin mass production. The 1600s brought the first licensed Irish whiskey producer, and colonizers of America begin experimenting with new grains.

    Bourbon, on the other hand, was introduced to the markets in 1783 in Louisville, Kentucky in 1783. In 1823, Tennessee whiskey separates itself from Bourbon.

    Regarding blended whiskies, it became a possibility in 1850, thanks to Andrew Usher.

    Read Also: Champagne Of The Month Club

    So What Makes Scotch Whisky So Special

    In short, Scotch is a type of whiskey with very ancient roots and is a variant of whiskey with a protected geographical food and drink name. This means that only whiskey made in Scotland with traditional methods can truly be classified as Scotch whisky.

    In particular, Scotch will be made from malted barley, water, and yeast with any other ingredients being supplemental only. As such, it is known for its distinct, rich, complex flavor, which is achieved through a combination of carefully chosen ingredients, traditional production methods, and a long aging process. The use of a pot still in the production process, as well as a minimum aging requirement of three years in oak barrels, contribute to the smooth, refined taste of scotch. Its popularity among whiskey connoisseurs around the world is due in part to its unique flavor profile and the care that goes into its production.

    That said though, there are a variety of different types of Scotch whiskey that exist. A couple of the more popular variants are single malt Scotch whisky and blended malt whisky. If youre after some deliciously smooth scotch suggestions then we can help you make a choice right for you.

    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.

    Recommended Reading: Kingston Trio Scotch And Soda

    What Makes It Bourbon

    U.S. laws regulate what manufacturers can label as bourbon.

    • The mash used must contain at least 51% corn.
    • The only additive allowed outside of the mash and the yeast is water. No other additives may be used.
    • It must be 160 proof or less.
    • It can only be produced in the United States.
    • It must be aged for at least two years.
    • Aging takes place in new white oak barrels that have been charred.
    • While the main grain in bourbon is corn, other grains may include rye, barley, or malt.
    • Enjoy it in a classic mint julep.

    First Whiskey Vs Whisky

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

    Whiskey is alcohol made from fermented grainsusually some mixture of wheat, rye, barley and/or cornand aged in barrels. Its also made in the U.S. or Ireland.

    Whisky, spelled without the e, is also alcohol made from a fermented grain mashexcept its made in Scotland, Japan or Australia. Scotch whisky is a type of whisky made specifically in Scotland.

    In addition to having the same basic formulagrain slowly fermented in barrelswhiskey and scotch are both distilled between 40 and 90% alcohol by volume. Its then diluted to between 40 and 60% ABV before bottling.

    Recommended Reading: How Long Is Malibu Rum Good For

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

    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.

    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.

    Don’t Miss: What Is Difference Between Whiskey And Scotch

    What Does Whiskey Taste Like

    Now that weve broken down some of the technical differences between scotch and other whiskeys, youre probably wondering what Scotch tastes like compared to other versions of the spirit. First, lets start with what whiskeys tend to taste like across the board.

    As mentioned, most whiskey tends to be aged in oak barrels, which contributes to a classic flavor profile found across many different variations. The aging process imbues the spirit with flavor notes like caramel, vanilla, toasted almond, coconut, maple syrup and spice.

    Heres a general idea of how some of the most popular whiskeys taste:

    • Bourbon. Bourbon whiskey is sweeter than most whiskies. Bourbon usually has notes of vanilla, oak, and caramel.
    • Rye. Rye whiskey is usually less sweet and may even taste herbal and spicy.
    • Irish whiskey. Irish whiskey is light and fruity compared to other whiskeys. It often has floral notes and vanilla flavors. Irish whiskey is known for its smooth finish.

    Where the oak barrel the whiskey is aged in comes from can impact how the whiskey will taste. American oak gives the whiskey a sweet and spicy flavor, with coconut, caramel, vanilla, cinnamon and brown sugar hints. European oak usually makes for a drier whiskey, with flavors such as roasted almonds and nutmeg or toffee.

    Whether a barrels interior is charred, toasted, or both also plays a part. For example, charred oak barrels can contribute roasted or smoky flavors. A toasted barrel usually brings out the sweetness in a whiskey.

    What Is Irish Whiskey

    Mapping the world of Scotch  Restless Pilgrim

    Some consider Ireland the birthplace of whiskey, as far back as 6th century AD.

    • Made in Ireland
    • Single-malt whiskey mostly the same as in Scotland
    • 100% Barley in pot stills, usually 3 distillation runs
    • A closed kiln heated by coal or gas is used to roast the malted barley, giving a clear barley flavor instead of the smoky peat flavors often found in Scotch
    • Product of single distillery
    • Aged at least 3 years
  • Corn or wheat distilled in a column still
  • Blended whiskey
  • Combination of single-malt and grain whiskey
  • Single pot still whiskey
  • 100% barley, both malted and unmalted, in a pot still
  • Also Check: The Glenlivet 12 Single Malt Scotch Whisky

    What’s The Difference Between Irish Whiskey And Scotch Whisky

    It’s nearly St. Patrick’s Day, which means you’re likely browsing the liquor store in search of something other than Jameson to set out on the bar. You see an unfamiliar brand that looks appealing, then you note that the bottle says “whisky,” so it should be a fine alternative, right? Probably not. There’s a whole world of whisky out there. It’s not interchangeable, and it may not even all come from the same country of origin.

    Probably the most well-known types of the spirit are Irish whiskey and Scotch whisky or scotch, also known as Scottish whisky. Each has its own unique attributes, from story of origin to flavor profiles. We’re here to break down the main differences between these brown spirits, as well as how they are alike. Spoiler alert: They’re definitely more different than you may think.


    Related articles