Mark Twain once said, “too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” Given the dominance of whiskey in the present drinking culture, we have to agree with old Samuel Langhorne Clemens.
The thing is, there are a lot of whiskeys out there. First, there are regional variations: Japan, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, and so on. Then there are variations within regions. The U.S. alone makes Tennessee whiskey, bourbon, single malt, rye, wheat whiskey, moonshine, and more. Figuring out which whiskey to drink can be a daunting task, especially with labels as inscrutable as the sphinx.
We’re here to help you cut through the weeds and navigate these whiskey-tinted waters. Today that means breaking down the difference between American bourbon whiskey and Scotland’s scotch whisky. There are some major variables at play here. Yet each of these brown elixirs holds similarities and nuances that tie them together across oceans. Let’s dive into what makes each unique and how to tell them apart.