Explain to me the differnece between Bourbon, Whisky, and Scotch (For Dummies)

I’ve read and read about it, but still can’t seem to comprehend the difference between the 3 types, besides where they’re made. (Whiskey in Tenessee, Scotch in Scotland, and Bourbon everywhere else)

But can someone explain to me in the easiest to undestand way, what the difference between them is?
Bourbon and Scotch are types of Whiskey

Whisky is an alcoholic distillate from a fermented mash of grain produced at less than 190 proof in such a manner that the distillate possesses the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to whiskey, stored in oak containers (except that corn whisky need not be so stored), and bottled at not less than 80 proof.


In Bourbon at least 51 percent of the grain used in making the whiskey must be corn.

Scotch is Whiskey made in Scotland.

Irish Whiskey is Whiskey made in Ireland.

and Rye Whiskey is whiskey that contains at least 51% Rye.
They type of produce that is fermented

ie, as above, I guess
Did some googling

Scotland has internationally protected the term "Scotch". For a whisky to be labelled Scotch it has to be produced in Scotland. If it is to be called Scotch, it cannot be produced in England, Wales, Ireland, America or anywhere else. Excellent whiskies are made by similar methods in other countries, notably Japan, but they cannot be called Scotches. They are most often referred to as "whiskey". While they might be splendid whiskies, they do not captivate the tastes of Scotland.

There are strict laws governing just what a Bourbon must be to be labeled as such. For example, at least 51 percent of the grain used in making the whiskey must be corn (most distillers use 65 to 75 percent corn). Bourbon must be aged for a minimum of two years in new, white oak barrels that have been charred. Nothing can be added at bottling to enhance flavor, add sweetness or alter color.

Bourbon can be made anywhere in the United States. All but a couple of brands are made in Kentucky, and Kentucky is the only state allowed to put its name on the bottle. And as Kentucky distillers are quick to point out, Bourbon is not Bourbon unless the label says so.

Jack Daniel’s, is not considered a bourbon because it is charcoal-mellowed — slowly, drop by drop, filtered through sugar-maple charcoal — prior to aging, which many experts say gives it a different character. The process, called the Lincoln County Process, infuses a sweet and sooty character into the distillate as it removes impurities. But up to and after the charcoal filtering, the Jack Daniel’s production is much the same as any other Bourbon. Jack Daniel’s and George Dickel are two fine Tennessee Whiskeys though neither can be called bourbon.

I also believe Irish Whiskey is distilled 3x.

It is this third distillation that gives "Irish" its different taste which is purer and lighter than Scotch Whisky which is distilled twice.

Excellent, accurate information in this thread.

Couple points: Whiskey can also be spelled Whisky, and is done so in several specific instances (Scotches mainly, but some American whiskys as well, Maker’s Mark and George Dickel come to mind but I could be wrong).

Also, there is a segment you guys are forgetting, and that’s Canadian, which is the home of Crown Royal and Yukon Jack, among others.

Excellent, accurate information in this thread.

Couple points: Whiskey can also be spelled Whisky, and is done so in several specific instances (Scotches mainly, but some American whiskys as well, Maker’s Mark and George Dickel come to mind but I could be wrong).

Also, there is a segment you guys are forgetting, and that’s Canadian, which is the home of Crown Royal and Yukon Jack, among others.

Maker’s is a bourbon, not that it matters.

most canadians are blended, one way to tell them apart from regular whiskeys

Maker’s is a bourbon, not that it matters.

most canadians are blended, one way to tell them apart from regular whiskeys

Whether or not it’s a bourbon, I’m fairly sure they label it without the ‘e.’

thanks captain spell-o
what’s the difference between single malt and blended?
single malt all comes from the same year, blended is a mix of varying years, i believe.

To what effect? If the ingredients are the same, and the process is the same, what is the effect of mixing different ages of whisky together? Is it just done to homogenize the product so that individual years are more similar (given that mother nature is beyond our control) than they would be otherwise, or what?
b/c its cheaper. you can get away with using crappy whiskeys in a blend, and you dont have to identify the age on them, as long as they are a yr old i think. the process and all else may be the same, but the product can change every year, and you can use different quality products too.
Mm. So it is a homogeneity thing. Well, whatever, I’ve never had any complaints with the taste of Canadian whisky.

Single malt actually all comes from a single malting process, not a single year – though usually identified by the year in which it’s distilled, as that’s easier, a distillery could make multiple single malt batches per year.

Blended whiskey isn’t just blending various years, it’s also blending it with grain alcohol to up the proof without cutting the flavor.

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