What’s The Difference Between Whiskey, Bourbon, and Scotch?

Image from scotch.whiskey.co.uk. Image from scotch.whiskey.co.uk.

“I love scotch.  I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch.  Here it goes down.  Down into my belly. Mm mm mm.” – Anchorman, Will Farrell

Whiskey, Bourbon, and Scotch are all a go-to for me when I’m not in the beer-drinking mood.  It may seem like a given, but there are some interesting differences between these liqueurs that extend further than just the origin of them.

Image from galwaywhiskeytrail.ie. Image from galwaywhiskeytrail.ie.

Scotch is whiskey that is made in Scotland, and Bourbon is whiskey made in the United States (usually from Kentucky).   Federal Standards of Identity stipulate that to call whiskey a Bourbon, the mash must contain at least 51% corn with the rest consisting of malted barley, rye or wheat.  Distilled at 160 proof or less, the Bourbon must be put in new charred oak barrels at 125 proof or less with no additives.  There are a few other differences depending on location of where the whiskey is made, but those are the main differences.  Now, which one to drink!?



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