WHISK(E)Y ‐ Of all the basic categories of spirits, whiskey has spread the most across the world. Each whiskey reflects the stylistic diversity of the individual culture. Whether it’s the use of corn in the U.S. or barley in Scotland, whiskey, at its simplest, is a beverage distilled from a mash of grain. As brandy is distilled from a wine, whiskey is distilled from what is basically a beer. In fact, the fermented liquid is called distiller’s beer. The types of grains used, the quality and type of water, the method of distillation, the proof of distillation, the length of maturation and the type of wood used in aging all contribute to the quality and type of whiskey.
Whiskey vs. Whisky
The difference between ‘whiskey’ and ‘whisky’ is that if the spirit is from Scotland, Japan or Canada, it’s spelled whisky. If it’s made in the United States or Ireland, it’s whiskey. Yet, Maker’s Mark and Old Forester are two American brands that call themselves ‘whisky’. So, does the spelling matter? Not really but using whiskey to refer to Scotch whisky can get you in trouble in Scotland.