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Whiskey or Whisky – Is There a Difference? Types, Facts

Whiskey and whisky are two spirits often used interchangeably, but with an important difference between them. While they share many similarities in terms of production, ingredients, and taste, a closer examination reveals distinct characteristics that make them unique. In this article, we will explore the differences between whiskey & whisky and discuss their various types, how to distinguish a good one from a bad one, and some interesting facts about the drinks before you choose whisky online.

How it’s made

Production is the first main difference between whiskey and whisky. Whiskey is typically distilled in Ireland or America using mostly barley, rye, corn, and wheat as its main ingredients. Whisky, on the other hand, is usually produced in Scotland and other parts of Europe using malted barley as the primary ingredient. The distillation process also contributes to their differences in flavour – whiskey tends to be smoother and sweeter with notes of vanilla, while whisky has a more robust taste with hints of smoke and peat.


There are several popular types of these two spirits that can be found around the world:

  • Scotch whisky is widely considered to be the most popular type, known for its smoky flavour and amber colour.
  • Irish whiskey is distinct with its triple distillation process, giving it a smooth and mellow taste with notes of honey and toffee.
  • American whiskey also has a distinct flavour due to its use of charred oak barrels during the ageing process.
  • Japanese whisky is renowned for its unique style that blends traditional Scotch production methods with modern technology and ingredients.

How to distinguish a good versus a bad Whiskey/Whisky

When looking for a good whiskey/whisky in the form of limited edition alcohol bottles, there are certain characteristics to look out for. Good whiskies and whiskeys should have an aroma that is pleasing to the nose, a balanced flavour profile with no off-tastes, and an enjoyable finish that lingers on your palate without overpowering it. In addition, they should be made from quality ingredients and aged for a few years in wooden barrels to help develop their flavour.

Interesting Facts

We have gathered a list with some interesting facts about whiskey and whisky that you may not have known:

  • Whisky is one of the oldest distilled spirits still produced today, with records dating back to the 15th century.
  • One of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the world, with over 2 billion litres being consumed annually across the globe.
  • The production is heavily influenced by geography – Scotland produces mainly Scotch, Ireland mainly Irish Whiskey, and America mainly American Whiskey.
    A key ingredient in many classic cocktails, such as the Old Fashioned and Manhattan.
  • There are over 10,000 brands for you to choose from!

Is there a difference in how to store the two spirits?

The short answer is yes. There is one main difference – whiskey should be stored in temperatures between 10 and 21 degrees Celsius, while whisky should be kept at a cooler temperature of 4 to 10 degrees.
In terms of storing, there are similarities – both spirits should also be sealed tightly and away from direct sunlight or heat sources. The ideal storage condition for these alcoholic beverages is in a cool, dark place with little to no movement or vibration.

Both can improve with age if stored properly. However, their shelf life is much shorter than other distilled spirits such as gin or vodka due to the fact that they contain higher levels of alcohol by volume (ABV). Ideally, you would consume them within two to three years after opening or purchase date for optimal flavour.

To wrap it up, whiskey and whisky are two distinct spirits with different production methods, styles and flavours. How you store them also plays a crucial role in preserving their quality. Whether you’re enjoying single malt Scotch or an aged bourbon, take note of these facts to ensure that your spirit is stored correctly for optimal flavour. Happy sipping!

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