Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN.........?

All your whisky related questions answered here.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN.........?

Postby Flyerman » Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:58 pm

trying to find some research on the differences between whisky, whiskEy, bourbon, and scotch. i'm pretty sure you have to make beer as a start, and then distill it, but does it age in different barrels, or distilled differently, or what? also, is it really so wrong to have my whisky on the rocks, NOT mixed with anything else, just straight on ice. i have read that the whisky purists ONLY drink straight whisky, but i like it on ice. is that really so wrong?
Flyerman
New member
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 6:55 pm
Location: Texas

Postby bamber » Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:49 pm

The primary differences are in the grains and barrels used. Bourbon is made with a mixture of 51% or more corn, wheat or rye and a little malted barley. Scotch is made with 100% malted barley. Bourbon is aged in charred virgin oak, Scotch is usually aged in ex bourbon or ex sherry barrels. I think Scotch is always distilled in pot stills, whereas bourbon is nearly always produced in a column still.

If you like your whisky on ice I would drink it that way, but ... I would try it from time to time straight, as most people do find you can pick out more flavours that way.
User avatar
bamber
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1913
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:57 pm
Location: Bristol, UK

Postby Aidan » Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:33 pm

Of course, technically, the only difference is that scotch whisky is made in Scotland, American whiskey is made in the U.S. - Scotch whiskey is aged in barrels for at least 3 years, while American whiskey has to be aged for only two years (correct me if I'm wrong).

There are lots of crossovers in terms of production.

There are other rules for bourbon too.

I think there's a few odd rules for Canadian whisky - like you can add up to a certain percentage of, say, wine or sherry. I'm not 100% sure about this, though.

PS - there's nothing wrong with drinking your whiskey on the rocks.
Aidan
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3252
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Dublin

Postby vrenkom » Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:17 pm

I prefer it on ice, althought it was said to me - by visiting on of the scotish distillery - that only the straight whisky is real whisky.

and

I prefer whiskey from Ireland (jameson 12yo) because it is TRIPLE distilling. For me is like drinking blue velvet!

should I try some older Jameson (i never did :cry: ?
vrenkom
New member
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:13 pm
Location: between wienna, venice and sarajevo

Postby Aidan » Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:25 pm

Vernkom

You could try older Jameson, but it's very expensive - about 90 euro for Jameson 18, and more for Jameson 15, if you can find it.

I'd recommend you try Jameson Gold, if you can get it.
Aidan
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3252
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Dublin

Postby vrenkom » Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:41 pm

Aidan wrote:Vernkom

You could try older Jameson, but it's very expensive - about 90 euro for Jameson 18, and more for Jameson 15, if you can find it.

I'd recommend you try Jameson Gold, if you can get it.

and more for jameson 15 :?:

I will try - the next bottle I am buying is one of yours recommendations

money is not a problem for Whiskey (written with bold W),
and
there is always some "ordinary" jack or black label for thirsty guests :wink: .


PS: oh, by the way: vrenkom - like Arkadij Vrenko in Gorky park by Martin Cruz Smith
vrenkom
New member
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:13 pm
Location: between wienna, venice and sarajevo

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:13 am

Here're the regulations for American distilled spirits. Whiskey is 'Class 2':
http://www.distill.com/specs/USA10.html

Some points:
  • An American whiskey can be 'straight' after aging 2 years, but must have an age statement on the label under 4. Bourbon, if aged at least 2 years (not necessarily the first 2) in Kentucky, can be "Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey", but no other state can put its name on bourbon, though it can/is distilled in any state.
  • 'Whiskey/whisky' is a matter of style regarding spelling -- most bourbons carry 'whiskey', but Maker's Mark, for example, is 'whisky'.
  • Interesting trivia: Note that there is no category called "Tennessee Whisk(e)y" -- that title/claim rests solely on a letter former proprietor Lem Motlow solicited from federal authorities in 1941 proclaiming itself and "Tennessee whiskey" a distinctive product. Since neither the Kentucky bourbon distillers nor JD/Dickel want it called 'bourbon' -- which no less an authority than WhiskyMag's Chuck Cowdery argues it's entitled to be -- it's a moot point.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Badmonkey » Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:07 am

For my money, there's nothing wrong with having it on the rocks or mixing it up with other beverages -- I've enjoyed good ones in a range of manners other than straight. Take it the way you like it, I say. Having said that, trying it straight or with a splash of water will expose your palate to a range of flavours and uncover the craftsmanship that goes into a great dram in a way that taking it with ice simply won't allow.

Cheers,

Badmonkey
Badmonkey
Gold Member
 
Posts: 531
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 3:08 am
Location: Edmonton, Alberta

Postby bamber » Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:11 am

vrenkom wrote:....I prefer whiskey from Ireland (jameson 12yo) because it is TRIPLE distilling. For me is like drinking blue velvet!


A lot of people say Jameson is smooth, but as much as I like it, it is its tangy pot still character and great bitter / sweet / sharp balance that really appeals to me. Certainly easy drinking though.

My favourite Jameson's are the Gold and the standard bottling. I have not got on with the 12yo up to now, but plan to keep on trying it.
User avatar
bamber
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1913
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:57 pm
Location: Bristol, UK

Postby Aidan » Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:24 am

vrenkom wrote:
Aidan wrote:Vernkom

You could try older Jameson, but it's very expensive - about 90 euro for Jameson 18, and more for Jameson 15, if you can find it.

I'd recommend you try Jameson Gold, if you can get it.

and more for jameson 15 :?:

I will try - the next bottle I am buying is one of yours recommendations

money is not a problem for Whiskey (written with bold W),
and
there is always some "ordinary" jack or black label for thirsty guests :wink: .


PS: oh, by the way: vrenkom - like Arkadij Vrenko in Gorky park by Martin Cruz Smith


Sorry about my spelling. The Jameson 15 was made just for the Millennium. It's a pure pot still, but if you can find it, I would recommend it. I agree with Bamber with his recommendation of the Jameson Gold.

Sorry for getting away from the subject.

There is single malt made in the U.S., grain whisky made in Scotland, triple-distilled whiskey made in Scotland, double distilled single malt made in Ireland....
Aidan
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3252
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Dublin

Postby ScotchBlog » Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:42 pm

Last edited by ScotchBlog on Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
ScotchBlog
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:58 pm
Location: USA

Postby ScotchBlog » Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:47 pm

Last edited by ScotchBlog on Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
ScotchBlog
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:58 pm
Location: USA

Postby bamber » Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:59 pm

ScotchBlog wrote:
bamber wrote:The primary differences are in the grains and barrels used. Bourbon is made with a mixture of 51% or more corn, wheat or rye and a little malted barley. Scotch is made with 100% malted barley. Bourbon is aged in charred virgin oak, Scotch is usually aged in ex bourbon or ex sherry barrels. I think Scotch is always distilled in pot stills, whereas bourbon is nearly always produced in a column still. .


Actually Bamber "Scotch" is not necessarily made with 100% malted barley - but Single Malt Scotch IS made with 100% malted barley.

Also bourbon only has to be 51% corn - there's no rule what the rest of the 49% is, and I don't know that malted barley is a necessary ingredient.

ALSO, "SCOTCH" includes blends which do have a portion of their volume distileld in a Column still - Single Malt Scotch is distilled in Pot Stills.


Yeh I meant SMS. Malted barley is added to get the fermentation process going and most bourbons do tend to be made with either wheat or rye.
User avatar
bamber
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1913
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:57 pm
Location: Bristol, UK

Postby ScotchBlog » Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:13 pm

Last edited by ScotchBlog on Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ScotchBlog
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:58 pm
Location: USA

Postby lambda » Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:44 pm

Yeast can convert sugars to ethanol. Afaik, this is the reason barley is malted, a process where starch is converted to sugars.

Corn tastes sweet, so I assume there are enough sugars in there for fermentation. But what about other unmalted grains. Does it ferment just like that?

And what about scotch "grain whisky". Are there any rules on which grains should be in there? What is the most common grain to use for scottish grain whisky? Does it usually include malted barley like bourbon?
lambda
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 10:08 am
Location: Netherlands

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 10, 2006 10:20 pm

ScotchBlog wrote:
TNbourbon wrote:Some points:
  • Bourbon, if aged at least 2 years (not necessarily the first 2) in Kentucky, can be "Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey", but no other state can put its name on bourbon, though it can/is distilled in any state.


This is a common misconception - but I'm not sure WHERE the misconception comes from - likely because Jack Daniel's is called Tennessee Whiskey. JD uses something called the Lincoln County Process - because of an additional step where it is filltered through Sugar Maple charcoal before (casking). JD IS bourbon - with the LC process.

bourbon is bourbon - Virginia Gentleman is Virginia bourbon.
Only bourbon made in Kentucky can be called Kentucky bourbon.


I think you misread TN--he said the same thing you did. Or maybe I misread you. Does Virginia Gentleman say "Virginia bourbon" on the label?

As for JD, as someone else noted, some people believe it is entitled to be called bourbon, but it chooses not to, anyway, so the argument is avoided.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby ScotchBlog » Tue Jan 10, 2006 10:28 pm

Last edited by ScotchBlog on Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ScotchBlog
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:58 pm
Location: USA

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jan 11, 2006 12:49 am

I guess I didn't understand what you were saying the misconception was.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby ScotchBlog » Wed Jan 11, 2006 12:57 am

Last edited by ScotchBlog on Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ScotchBlog
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:58 pm
Location: USA

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:41 am

ScotchBlog wrote:
TNbourbon wrote:Some points:
  • Bourbon, if aged at least 2 years (not necessarily the first 2) in Kentucky, can be "Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey", but no other state can put its name on bourbon, though it can/is distilled in any state.


This is a common misconception...bourbon is bourbon - Virginia Gentleman is Virginia bourbon.
Only bourbon made in Kentucky can be called Kentucky bourbon.


Perhaps, but I don't believe it's MY misconception. Here are some references, which include links to regulations (except regarding Jack Daniel's and Tennessee whiskey, for which there ARE NO regulations):
http://www.straightbourbon.com/faq.html#1

As for the Virginia Gentleman, take a closer look at the bottles (I just did -- I have examples of both): on the 80-proofer, there is a red oval in which it states "Virginia Whiskey" just above the line that says "Straight Bourbon Whiskey"; in the 90-proof "Fox" bottling, 'Virginia' appears only in the name. Below it states "Straight Bourbon Whiskey", and below that in even smaller print: "Distilled in Kentucky, and redistilled in Virginia" (It's done by Buffalo Trace, by the way, which now owns A. Smith Bowman).
As I said, it cannot say "Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey" unless made in Kentucky, nor can any other state name appear in the line labeling it 'bourbon'.

And here's a free-ranging discussion re Jack Daniel's on StraightBourbon.com's forums:
http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads-6.5/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/36919/an/0/page/2#36919
'cowdery' there is, of course Chuck Cowdery, who contributes editorial copy to Whiskey Magazine about American Whiskey.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby ScotchBlog » Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:48 am

Last edited by ScotchBlog on Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ScotchBlog
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:58 pm
Location: USA

Postby ScotchBlog » Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:04 am

Last edited by ScotchBlog on Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ScotchBlog
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:58 pm
Location: USA

Postby ScotchBlog » Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:45 am

Last edited by ScotchBlog on Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ScotchBlog
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:58 pm
Location: USA

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:05 am

Okay, thank you. He didn't say that at all. He said that only Kentucky bourbon can be labeled "(your state here) bourbon".
Deactivated Member
 

Postby ScotchBlog » Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:09 am

Last edited by ScotchBlog on Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ScotchBlog
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:58 pm
Location: USA

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:19 am

No, but this is what you said: "So I'll restate it's a misconception that only Kentucky distilled bourbon can be called bourbon...." which is not what TN said. As to whether it is permissible to label your product "Virginia Bourbon" or "New York Bourbon" or "Saskatchewan Bourbon", I'll let you guys argue about it--I have no clue. I'm just trying to make sure you're arguing about the same thing.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Frodo » Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:26 am

MrTattieHeid wrote: "Saskatchewan Bourbon"


Saskatchewan Bourbon-style Canadian whisky please! We're Canucks.
Last edited by Frodo on Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Frodo
Triple Gold Member
 
Posts: 2472
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2004 2:22 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Postby ScotchBlog » Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:26 am

Last edited by ScotchBlog on Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ScotchBlog
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:58 pm
Location: USA

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:37 am

Then you misread it. It says "no other state can put its name on bourbon", not "no other state can call their product bourbon". That's perfectly clear to me.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby ScotchBlog » Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:39 am

Last edited by ScotchBlog on Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ScotchBlog
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:58 pm
Location: USA

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jan 11, 2006 5:49 am

THAT'S NOT WHAT I SAID. CAN'T YOU READ ENGLISH?
:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

Sorry, don't mean to be hostile, but you are exasperating me. The statement put forth by TNbourbon, which I do not vouch for in any way, is that bourbon made in the state of X, X being any state other than Kentucky, cannot be labeled "X Bourbon" or "X Straight Bourbon" or the like. NO ONE SAID IT CAN'T BE CALLED BOURBON.

I don't drink bourbon, and I don't care about this issue, and I am out of this thread. I'm sorry I yelled at you.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Badmonkey » Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:27 am

Meow (!), gentlemen. :)
Badmonkey
Gold Member
 
Posts: 531
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 3:08 am
Location: Edmonton, Alberta

Postby bamber » Wed Jan 11, 2006 9:04 am

ScotchBlog wrote:
bamber wrote: Yeh I meant SMS. Malted barley is added to get the fermentation process going and most bourbons do tend to be made with either wheat or rye.


You are right about most bourbons being made with rye or wheat - but there is no rule about which grain. Rye, wheat, malted barley, unmalted barley - any grain will do.

And here I thought YEAST was added to get fermentation going ;)
Cheers.


The malted barley releases its sugars much more easily than the corn. This is how it gets the fermentation process going. I believe all the disitlleries in the US add some malted barley to the mash.
User avatar
bamber
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1913
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:57 pm
Location: Bristol, UK

Postby bamber » Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:43 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:THAT'S NOT WHAT I SAID. CAN'T YOU READ ENGLISH?
:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

Sorry, don't mean to be hostile, but you are exasperating me. The statement put forth by TNbourbon, which I do not vouch for in any way, is that bourbon made in the state of X, X being any state other than Kentucky, cannot be labeled "X Bourbon" or "X Straight Bourbon" or the like. NO ONE SAID IT CAN'T BE CALLED BOURBON.

I don't drink bourbon, and I don't care about this issue, and I am out of this thread. I'm sorry I yelled at you.


So Alaska Bourbon is OK then ? ;)
User avatar
bamber
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1913
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:57 pm
Location: Bristol, UK

Postby ScotchBlog » Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:05 pm

Last edited by ScotchBlog on Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ScotchBlog
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:58 pm
Location: USA

Next

Return to Questions & Answers

Whisky gift and present finder