What Is The Difference Between Scotch Whiskey And Bourbon

Bourbon Vs Scotch Regions

The real difference between scotch, whiskey, and bourbon

Both bourbon and scotch whisky have prominence if varying regions and locations from across the world.

While there are some strict regulations regarding alcohol classification, you can pretty much find bourbon and scotch whisky varieties anywhere in the world however when it comes to tradition, its best to stick to the place of origin if youre concerned about the alcohol being the Real deal.

Technically, in order for a whiskey variety to be considered a scotch, it must be fermented and made in Scotland, on the contrary, many people have placed the stigma of Kentucky on bourbon however you can find many bourbon options that are produced outside of Kentucky.

Keep in mind that in order for alcohol to be considered a bourbon, it must be produced and fermented inside of the United States.

Suntory Whisky Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky

Suntory Whisky Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky is a very popular single malt scotch whisky that is known in Japan.

Suntory Whisky Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky has a rich and experienced taste that is suited for those who take their whiskey seriously, Suntory Whisky Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky is made in the famous Suntory distilleries which have gained prominence in Japan over the recent years.

Suntory Whisky Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky is crafted with the finest coconut and it contains just a slight hint of cinnamon to give its overall flavor profile a boost.

Suntory Whisky Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky is used in a lot of Japanese cocktail recipes which is what makes it such a robust and unique scotch whisky option.

Suntory Whisky Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky has a very sweet yet soft body that is easy on the tongue and great-tasting making you want to come back for more.

Suntory Whisky Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky has a lot of history in Japan and if youre interested in seeing what all the fuss is about, you can pick up a bottle of Suntory Whisky Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky as your local liquor store anywhere across the world.

The Real Difference Between Whiskey Bourbon Scotch And Rye

Editor in Chief for the Reserve blog

Ever wondered what the difference is between all those dark liquors? If you think they’re all the same, think again. Whiskeys come in many forms, and we’re here to help you distinguish between the three main types plus show you a few cocktails to remember them by!

From craft cocktails to giant whiskey lists, dark spirits have been cropping up on more and more menus across the country. Check out what makes each unique, and the next time you’re navigating the drink selection you’ll be well equipped to order the tasty spirit you really want.

Who should we thank for the different spellings of this popular spirit? Geography. “Whiskey” is produced stateside, while many other countries call their product “whisky.” However you choose to spell it, this distilled alcoholic beverage is made from fermented grain mash and typically aged in charred white oak casks, giving it its distinctive brown color. Whiskey is a broad category of liquor and can have lots of differences in color, taste and smell.

Washington D.C.’s The Pig, with over 70 choices on its menu, celebrates differing shades and nuanced flavors across a variety of whiskeys — some perfect for sipping solo and others ideal for incorporating into a mixed drink.

If you’re looking for a classic whiskey-based cocktail, the Boulevardier combines a good dose of whiskey with equal parts Campari and sweet vermouth :

Scotch.Rob Roy.Bourbon.Rye.

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Whats The Difference Between Scotch And Bourbon

If you know how to enjoy your liquor, you have definitely been a connoisseur of both scotch and bourbon. These two very fine alcoholic beverages are both their own type of whiskey, with a rich history. Even though their base is the same, scotch and bourbon are suitable for different tastes as well as different occasions. In general, when it comes to the difference between bourbon and scotch, its a couple of key elements that make the distinction apparent and important for the drinkers.

That said, we can narrow it down to three main differences, namely:

  • Scotch is primarily made using the malted barley while bourbon uses a certain grain mix.
  • In terms of bourbon vs scotch taste, scotch is more intense with a distinguishable smokiness, while bourbon is sweeter.
  • When it comes to the alcohol content, scotch is typically stronger and often bottled at 60-75% ABV while bourbon is bottled at around 40% ABV.

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.

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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.

Know Your Drink: Whiskey Vs Bourbon Vs Scotch

Whether youre ordering a whiskey neat or on the rocks, whiskey is one of Americas favorite drinks to order at a bar. Whiskey comes in many forms and variations such as scotch vs whiskey bourbon, rye whiskey, etc.

When it comes to choosing a drink, there are so many options. But not all of them are created equal. Scotch, bourbon, and whiskey are three different types of alcohol that you might see on the menu or in your local liquor store. All drinks may seem the same at first glance, but they have their own unique characteristics that make them stand apart from one another.

Lets take an informative look at these three popular distilled alcoholic beverages that are derived from different grains and tell the whiskey vs bourbon vs scotch story.

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What Is A Scotch Whiskey

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.

Whats The Proper Way To Drink Scotch And Bourbon

Difference between Whiskey, Scotch & Bourbon

Because scotch and bourbon are both whiskeys, you can drink them in a variety of ways. However, there are two popular ways to drink them: neat and on the rocks. Neat means that youre drinking the whiskey without any ice or mixers. On the rocks means that youre drinking it with ice.

Theres also a difference in how long the two types should be aged before being consumed. Some people believe that bourbon should be aged at least 4 years while scotch should be aged at least 10 years before being consumed.

Others would argue that anything over 12 years old is too old for consumption, regardless of whether its scotch or bourbon because the oak begins to overpower the other flavors in the bottle.

As for which one tastes better?

It all comes down to personal preference some people prefer bourbon while others prefer scotch .

But I, obviously, recommend bourbon over scotch.

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Scotch Vs Whiskey: Main Differences

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

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

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    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.

    Defining Scotch Versus Whiskey

    Bourbon vs Scotch: A Breakdown!  A Couple Cooks

    First, lets define what we mean by scotch and whiskey. Scotch is a type of whiskey that is made exclusively in Scotland from malted barley, water, and yeast. It must be aged for a minimum of three years in oak barrels, and also be made in a specific way, using traditional production methods that have been passed down for centuries.

    On the other hand, whiskey is a broader umbrella term that encompasses many different types of spirits made from grains such as corn, rye, wheat, or barley. These grains are typically fermented, distilled, and aged in oak barrels to create a variety of different whiskeys. This includes bourbon, which is made from at least fifty one percent corn and aged in new oak barrels. Another example is rye whiskey, which is made from at least fifty one percent rye grain and has a spicy flavor profile.

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    Whiskey Is A Distilled Grain Spirit

    According to Whiskey Advocate, whiskey is a distilled spirit that is made from grain. All other distilled liquors are made from other sources. For example, brandy, such as Armagnac or Cognac, comes from grapes. Whiskey makers use malted barley or other grains to make the spirit. They soak the grains in hot water to release the sugars and then add yeast to ferment the sugar into alcohol. Finally, they distill the liquor and age it in barrels.

    Bourbon, Scotch, and rye are all types of whiskey. There are other types of whiskey as well.

    Whats The Difference Between Bourbon And Whiskey

    How About Rye And Scotch While Were At It

    Really, is there any difference between these spirits? Some think theyre entirely different drinks, others think they are the same thing with different names, but a lot of people really have no idea. If you fall into the latter category, you are definitely not alone. You already know how much we love bourbon! But, the nuances of specific liquors tend to go over many peoples heads. So, unless you are an experienced bartender or someone who absolutely loves whiskey, it makes sense that you havent studied the differences between these three spirits.

    Lets look into the differences and similarities between bourbon, whiskey, and scotch, and even discover a great list of cocktails that you can make. After reading this article, you should know enough to explain the differences to your friends. Or keep the information all to yourself, and impress them with your knowledge instead. Either way, here is our guide to bourbon, whiskey, rye, and scotch.

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    What Is Japanese Whisky

    Japans distilleries were first modeled after the Scotch whiskies, and are produced much in the same way. There arent a ton of Japanese distilleries, but the ones they have are quite good.

    • Distillation nearly identical to Scotch.
    • Commercially produced in Japan since the 1920s, and after nearly a century, youll frequently find a Japanese whisky listed on Best of the Best lists.
    • Japanese distilleries will often vary from Scotch distilleries in their use of more still shapes and sizes. Scotland distilleries will usually have just one or two house still sizes, creating a specific style. Japanese distilleries will often have an array of sizes, allowing the Japanese whisky makers to craft a range of styles and tastes according to their individual desires.

    Bourbon Vs Whiskey: What Are The Rules For Bourbon

    We Finally Know The Real Difference Between Bourbon And Whiskey

    The producing of bourbon is very detailed and requires that the whiskey meet a strict set of guidelines as put forth by law. To be considered bourbon, the mash must contain at least 51% corn. Then, the mash must be distilled at 160 proof or less and placed in the barrel at 125 proof or less. Another unique feature of bourbon is that there is no aging requirement. However, many distillers age their bourbon for at least 4 years to instill smoothness and enhance quality.

    New charred oak barrels must be used for the aging process. The charring on the inside of the barrels works as a filter and coloring medium. Typically, these barrels are white oak barrels due to the sturdy wood and porous nature. Lastly, to be considered bourbon, it must not contain any additives.

    Here is a handy bourbon vs whiskey chart to provide you a comparison:

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    The Difference Between Scotch And Whiskey

    Hey there! This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.

    Scotch and whiskey are terms often used interchangeably. However, they are actually two distinct terms used to denote similar drinks with a number of key differences. While both are made from grains that are fermented, distilled, and aged in oak barrels, the specific types of grains and the production processes used to make scotch and whiskey are quite different. With that in mind then, below well outline the difference between scotch and whiskey.

    How Does Japanese Whisky Taste:

    Sort of like Scotch, which isnt too surprising since that is the initial inspiration, although they have now evolved to take on their own character. They are bold and complex, but are also very well balanced. There are some, such as Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky, which share more flavor notes with bourbon than with Scotch.

    Things to Consider: In 2015 Jim Murrays Whisky Bible, a prominent guide to the worlds whisky rankings, named a Japanese whisky the best whisky in the world. Continuous refinement can sum up Japanese whisky making. Always tweaking and trying to perfect the process, it is no wonder they are not staying static and are now producing some of the best whiskies in the world.

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    They’re Made With Different Ingredients

    The U.S. government has very strict regulations for bourbon, one of which is that bourbon whiskey must be made from a grain mixture of at least 51 percent corn. The rest is usually a mix of malted barley, rye and wheat. Scotch whisky, on the other hand, must be made from malted barley, which is Scotch’s primary ingredient, along with water and yeast. Scotch producers are permitted to include other whole cereal grains for coloring.


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