Whiskey vs Whisky

December 9, 2022

This age old debate is about to be put to rest.

You may have noticed that this spirit has two different spellings. Some whisk(e)ys are spelled with that extra letter while others are not…… are you ready to learn the reason why?!

There is a difference between the two. No, not just in spelling but in where they are made. American and Irish distillers will typically spell whiskey with the e while Canada, Scottland, and Japan do not. It has been this way for so long that many believe that it goes all the way back to when the Irish first began making whiskey. They wanted a way to differentiate themselves and added the e, it has since stuck.

There is also a difference in their distillation proess, which may be surprising to hear until you learn what that difference does to the product. Whisky is typically distilled twice, while whiskey is typically distilled three times. The triple distillation is what give that beautiful smoothness. The type of barley that is used differs as well.  whiskey tends to be made from unmalted barley and other grains while whisky usually is made with malted barley and other grains. This difference creates quite a large difference in flavor profiles.

We’ve discussed the basics. How do you remember which is which when you are out and want to try something new? That’s easy…..

The simple rule of thumb is that if there is an “e” in the country there is an “e” in whisk(e)y.

Remember to drink all whisk(e)y responsibly, and if you can drink local!

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