What's the Difference?

It may be known to some but what really is the difference between Scotch, Whisky, and Bourbon?

Now even though most people think they may know the difference or possibly could say "I could tell if I tasted them," but what really is the difference between a quality Scotch, Whisky and Bourbon? Now by law, in order for a Whisky to be a Bourbon, its mash or the mixture of grains and other chemicals, must contain a minimum of 51% corn. Even though other ingredients like barley, rye or even wheat, are involve, it is crucial to have the right percentage of components in order to reach the right recipe. The mash also must be distilled at 160 proof or less and placed into its holding barrels at 125 proof or less. Lastly, it is important to note that the mixture must also contain no additives in and must be aged in a charred oak barrel.

 Aside from the distilling process, there are also a few other differences that can distinguish each specific product, the biggest of which being your geographic location. Scotch is whisky made in Scotland, while bourbon is typically a whisky made in the United States. This is also why we see the difference in spelling from one geographical location to the next.

Ingredients and distilling process also can shift a liquor from a whisky to a bourbon or a scotch. Scotch is typically made from malted barley, while bourbon is distilled typically from corn. On top of that we see big differences in the distilling process as well as their bottling process. For example, Tennessee Jack Daniels Whiskey, differs from a bourbon because of its specific distilling process which uses sugar-maple charcoal to filter their product.

As a consumer, it is important to understand what you are purchasing and what you are enjoying. It is important to understand the differences between these highly enjoyed spirits, and if you forget, as a last resort, just take a look around and fit in with what those around you are ordering; it's tough to go wrong.