Whiskey (Not Scotch!)


Senior Member
Jul 4, 2010
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Within the broad category of whisky/ey are many sub-categories, including bourbon, rye, Tennessee, Scotch, Irish, and Canadian style whiskies. The manufacture of each of these types of whisky/ey is guided and regulated by the government of the spirit's country of origin. As a result, Canadian whisky, for example, is a whole different animal from Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey, and American-style whiskeys such as Tennessee, bourbon, and straight rye.

Okay, so far, so good. Maybe at this point, you’d be happy to enjoy a glass of the stuff no matter how it’s spelled. :laugh2:

American and Irish liquor producers tend to favor the spelling WhiskEy, while Canadian, Scottish, and Japanese producers tend to favour (or should I say, favor) Whisky.

Here’s a quick way to remember how some of the world’s biggest producers spell their products:

Countries that have E's in their names (UnitEd StatEs and IrEland) tend to spell it whiskEy.

Countries without E’s in their names (Canada, Scotland, and Japan) spell it whisky.

And one other thing: The plural of WhiskEy is Whiskeys while the plural of Whisky is Whiskies.

Whew! Time for a drink. :beer:

Never knew that.



Senior Member
Jan 21, 2012
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W.L. Weller Special Reserve is my favorite. Elijah Craig 12 YO Small Batch is another.


Senior Member
Jan 22, 2010
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MLP is both fun AND educational! I'm learning all sorts of good stuff in this thread.

...and also now craving a bourbon on the rocks.


Well, Bourbon has to jump through a few more hoops than just being corn based! Specifically, it has to be made from a mash of at least 51% corn, must be distilled to no more than 80% strength*, must be aged in new, charred white oak barrels, casked at not more than 62.5%, and bottled at not less than 40% (80 proof US).

To be labeled straight Bourbon, it can contain no artificial colors or flavors (a rule unique to Bourbon, even lordly single-malt scotches can have caramel coloring added), and cannot be blended with grain spirits (alcohol distilled from grain to more than 80%, usually 96% or 198 proof)- which is cheaper and a way for inexpensive blended Bourbon to keep cost down.

Tennessee whiskey is identical to Bourbon except that it has to be filtered through maple charcoal before casking, and made in Tennessee.

What you see labeled as "corn whiskey" in the US is, basically, legal moonshine, and doesn't have to be aged at all.

Bourbon and Canadian are corn-based; (US) rye is rye-based, Scotch and Irish* are barley-based.

There are many, but the go-to standard is Old Overholt.

*The maximum distillation strength is important- going beyond 80% (160 proof US) distills off the complex organics that give whiskey its flavor and color and all you have left is tasteless grain alcohol
**Although the legal definition of Irish whiskey is simply "whiskey made in Ireland"

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