Everywhere in the world and in every state in the nation, producers of whiskey ferment and distil cereal grains with water into buttery smooth, caramel-colored liquor while infusing each taste with a local history. These oaky brown spirits, which range in flavour from earthy, smoky, peat-filled scotch from Islay, Scotland, to sweet, honey-filled bourbon from Kentucky, are delicious on their own or used as the base for classic cocktails like the old-fashioned, Manhattan, Boulevardier, and Sazerac. 

Also read: Why To Add Water To Whiskey, Explained

It all comes down to who makes your favourite choice when determining whether to drink whiskey or whisky. The spelling of the alcohol depends on the region. Canada, Japan, and India do not use the "e" in their Scotch, nor does Scotland. Whiskey from both Ireland and the United States contains the letter "e." 

We don't mind the spelling at all. Let's explore these delectable brown spirits' back stories and discover what makes them uniquely special. 

Scotch Whisky 

The Scots are probably to blame for whisky's existence. According to The Scotch Whisky Experience, the word whisky is derived from the Scottish Highlands Gaelic word Uisge Beatha, which means "water of life." Despite the fact that alcohol had probably been around for centuries, the first mention of aquavit is found in tax records from 1494, which show that Friar John Cor bought eight bolls of malt to make aquavit. The Scotch Advocate claims that barley malt was the original foundation for all scotch. Other grains, like as wheat and rye, were included in the distillation in the 1700s. Scotch must originate from Scotland, spend at least three years maturing in barrels, and be bottled at a minimum ABV of 40%. (alcohol by volume). 

Single Malt and Blended Whisky 

While single malt whiskey may be considered the greatest by purists, skilfully blended whiskey offers a mouthwatering blend of flavours accentuated by various geographical peculiarities. Japanese whisky has achieved enormous success thanks to the skill of blending. Blended whiskey is also popular in Canada and Ireland. However, Scotland's single-malt whiskies are among the most sought-after alcoholic beverages in the world. According to The Whisky Guide, Isabella's Islay, a 30-year-old single malt scotch from Scotland's Islay island, was the most expensive whisky in the world in 2020. It cost $6.2 million. The 2009 Scotch Whisky Regulations clearly outline the differences between the two. Single malt scotch is whisky produced at a single distillery in one or more batches using pot stills and just water and malted barley. No additional additives or grains are permitted. Malted barley can be combined with additional grains, colorings, and additives in blended scotch whiskey. It can also combine several single malt whiskies made in one or more Scottish distilleries. 

Rye Whiskey 

In northern colonies like Pennsylvania and Maryland, German and Scotch-Irish immigrants began using rye to produce whiskey while southern colonists got familiar with corn whiskey. The Europeans were accustomed to making whiskey from the grain because it was widely available there. Furthermore, unlike barley, rye is a hardy, robust grain that quickly acclimated to the new American environment, producing a robust, abundant harvest. 

Bourbon 

Apple pie and whiskey both have American roots. Since far before the American Revolution, it has played a role in our history. Scotch-Irish settlers brought stills with them and fermented and distilled anything that could be made into alcohol, including Indian corn and barley as well as pumpkin and pomegranates. Since he believed that alcohol should be consumed in moderation to maintain good spirits during the war, George Washington installed whiskey stills all over the colonies. 

Tennessee Whiskey 

Tennessee whiskey is unique in its own way. In his Billboard Hot 100 song, Chris Stapleton encapsulated it by singing that his love is "as smooth as Tennessee whiskey." It is technically a bourbon because it contains at least 40% alcohol, is matured in new oak barrels that have been charred, and is created with at least 50% corn mash. Few producers, meanwhile, make the classification clear on their labels. 

Irish Whiskey 

American customers are increasingly enjoying fine Irish whiskey. Irish monks are thought to have started producing whiskey about the same time, despite Scotland's claims to be the first country to make grain-based alcohol. The first Irish whiskey was reportedly produced in 1405, according to The Pot Still, but grapes were probably the main ingredient. Whiskey was soon made from grain, often in the form of small pot stills. 

Canadian Whisky 

Canadian whisky older than 200 years seems straightforward on the surface. It has to be produced in Canada, contains cereal grains, spends three years maturing in wooden barrels, and has a minimum ABV of 40% when bottled. However, there is a lot more to Canadian whiskey than first appears. There are only a few distilleries spread out across the large nation, and they all adhere to regulations while implementing internal best practices. The majority do not use a mash bill. Instead, producers ferment, distil, and age distinct grains before mixing them to make the finished product after the ageing process is finished. With this technique, distillers may choose the best cask for each grain and use the unique characteristics of the barrel to enhance the flavour of the alcohol. 

White Whiskey 

Unaged whiskey, also known as moonshine or white whiskey, lacks the aromas and spices that wood may provide to booze and has nothing to hide behind. Moonshine has a long history in America. To avoid having to pay for imported British rum or brandy, the colonists started manufacturing whiskey. Soon after, in the early 1790s, Treasury Secretary of the United States Alexander Hamilton enacted a whiskey tax on alcoholic beverages. In order to avoid paying taxes, home distillers, or moonshiners, manufactured shine illicitly in homemade stills. They typically operated without rules or limitations late at night by the light of the moon. During the Prohibition, moonshiners added various substances to the beverage to increase its potency, such as dung, bleach, and embalming fluid. Early batches may have alcohol concentrations as high as 190 proof. 

Indian Whiskey 

India produces 48% of the world's whiskies, but the majority of Indian whisky stays in India, so if you find yourself there and want to test a distinctive whisky, you'll be in luck. Over 1.5 billion litres of whisky were consumed in India in 2014, a country of 1.35 billion people, since it was first introduced by British colonialists more than 200 years ago. Even if there is no doubt that the whisky tastes wonderful, the enormous popularity of the alcohol in India is probably also due to the nation's 150 percent import duty on international goods.