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KELSEY K. FROM NYC ASKS: What’s the difference between Scotch and whiskey?
Hello Justina! For starters, they are both a type of whiskey – a spirit fermented and distilled from grains such as barley, corn, rye, or wheat, and then aged in usually-oak casks until they take on their familiar amber-brown hue.
“Scotch” refers to whiskey that is specifically produced in Scotland. They usually omit
the “e” in the spelling of “whiskey,” in case you feel you’ve caught a typo. Scotch is
produced all over the island country and has distinct styles depending on where it is
produced. It is generally feels darker, smokier, and less sweet than its American or Irish
cousins. Scotch from Islay in particular has a very strong peaty aroma.
“Whiskey” could refer to any whiskey produced elsewhere in the world. Americans are
known for their sweet Kentucky bourbon or Tennessee whiskey, both of which are
produced using a large proportion of corn. Ireland, of course, makes Irish whiskey.
Canadians are known for their rye whiskeys that have a sure spiciness from their
namesake grain. Japan is also known for producing Japanese “Scotch,” which is
stylistically closer to Scotch than North American or Irish whiskeys and therefore named
In other words, all scotch is whiskey, but not all whiskey is scotch.
By: Amy Zhou