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Confused Between Whiskey and Whisky? Know These Stark Differences

   |  Updated: September 12, 2017 17:40 IST

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Confused Between Whiskey and Whisky? Know These Stark Differences
Highlights
  • Whiskey makes for one of the classiest drinks
  • Whiskey and whisky are two distilled alcohols, but made differently
  • Whisky made in Great Britain, Canada and Japan is pronounced as whisky
Whiskey makes for one of the classiest drinks; it’s also known as the gentleman’s drink. Whisky is a distilled alcoholic beverage prepared from fermented grain mash. 

Did you notice any difference between the two lines above? It’s the reference of two spellings of whiskey/whisky. This isn’t any spelling error, but two different words with different meanings. Yes, you read that right. Whiskey and whisky are two distilled alcohols, but made differently and also, their types are completely different. We give you a low down of the differences between whiskey and whisky.

What is Whiskey?

Whiskey with an ‘e’ is a type of spirit that is distilled from a mash of fermented grains. The types of whiskey differ with the different types of grains used in making the drink. Whiskey that is made in the United States of America or Ireland is generally referred to as whiskey with an ‘e’. Tennessee Whiskey will be with an ‘e’.

What is Whisky?

Whisky without an ‘e’ is also a type of spirit that is distilled from a mash of fermented grains. Whisky made in Great Britain, Canada and Japan is pronounced as whisky (whiskies) without an ‘e’.  So, a Scotch whisky will be without an ‘e’.

(Also read: 6 Different Types of Whiskeys a Whiskey or Whisky Lover Should Know!)
 
whiskey 620
Whiskey and whisky are two distilled alcohols, but made differently ​

So, What’s the Difference?

Apart from being geographically different, they have a few more differences that you must know-

1. The distillation process

There may be a slight difference of the distillation processes. Whiskeys go through the distillation process at least 2-3 times to make it smoother and lighter. While, on the other hand, whisky may or may not go through 2-3 times of distillation process.  

2. The use of peat

It is used in whiskies to dry the malted barley so that it is ready to be malted and mashed.  American and Irish whiskeys use wood and other fuels to get the flavour of the drink. It all depends on the type of peat used and the amount of time the barley is left to dry in the peat smoke; this is how it will influence the flavour in the final spirit prepared. On the other hand, it may not be necessary for the whiskeys to use only peat. The makers can also use wood or other fuels to give the drink their flavour.
 
whiskey drink whisky
There may be a slight difference of the distillation processes

How to remember such differences?

Remember, the regions whiskey belongs to- America, Ireland (they have an ‘e’ in them), while regions whisky belongs to do not have an ‘e’ in them- Scotland (Great Britain), Canada and Japan. That’s how simple it is. Now you would know what whiskey/whisky you really want. 

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