Scotch, single malts, bourbon, single pot stills, whisky and whiskey… There are so many buzz words surrounding this spirit, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little dizzy before even walking into the bar! Let’s begin by exploring the misunderstood ‘e’.
Both titles ‘whisky’ and ‘whiskey’ originate from a Gaelic term meaning ‘water of life’. Both describe a spirit made from the mash of fermented grains. Various grains (which may or may not be malted) such as barley, corn, rye and wheat are used for different styles.
As a rule, the United States and Ireland prefer the title ‘whiskey’ whilst the rest of the world, including Scotland, Canada, South Africa and Japan prefer to use the title ‘whisky’. If that’s tricky to remember, here’s a simple rule of thumb: countries with an ‘e’ in their name (such as Ireland and the United States) tend to use the title ‘whiskey’, while those without an ‘e’ (such as Scotland, Canada, Japan and South Africa) prefer to use ‘whisky’.