Difference Between Scotch and Whiskey

While sipping your favorite spirit, have you ever wondered about the difference between scotch and whiskey?

Many people fail to understand the difference between the two. While there are many similarities between the two, each has manufacturing practices that make them different.

Scotch vs Whiskey

The main difference between scotch and whiskey is that Whiskey is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from different types of grains like barley, corn, and wheat, etc. Whiskey is produced all around the world. Scotch is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from only water and malted barley. Scotch just as the name suggests is produced in Scotland.

Scotch vs Whiskey


Comparison Table Between Scotch and Whiskey (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonWhiskeyScotch
Manufacturing originManufactured all around the world.Manufactured in Scotland.
Grains usedMade from Barley, corn, wheat, rye.Made from water and malted barley.
UniquenessSugar Maple Charcoal is used to filter Tennessee Whiskey. Unpeated Malt is a unique ingredient used in the Irish Whiskey.The barley grain is malted by the manufacturers before the fermenting process to turn the scratch into sugar. This is the main reason behind scotch having a smooth flavor.
PricePrice varies depending on the brands and age of the beverage, whiskey is generally cheaper than Scotch.Price varies depending on the brands and age of the beverage, Scotch is generally expensive than Whiskey.
MaturationMatured in American White oak.Matured in European oak.


What is Scotch?

Scotch is a whiskey manufactured in Scotland. It is made from grain usually from barley and water. Scots take pride in their whiskey, and they have rules and quality standards in place to produce the best beverage in the world.

Scotch whiskey regulations have laid down the guidelines for the entire production process of the Scottish whiskey. As per the regulation, scotch is aged for a minimum of three years, though it is usually aged for a period between 12 and 25 years.

Scotch usually has a more intense flavor than all the other whiskeys around the world.

This is mainly because of strict quality control in place and because it is fermented by using only yeast, no other grains or substances are used in the fermentation process.

Scotch is commonly distilled twice and is usually made from Barley.

Single malt wins most of the market share but blends are also popular among the people and manufactured from a mash of malted grains.


What is Whiskey?

Whiskey is the category in which many alcohol beverages drinks like scotch, bourbon fall. All the scotches are whiskey but not all the whiskey is scotch.

Whiskey is a distilled alcoholic beverage that is made from grains. It is made from wheat, corn, Barley, malted barley and rye.

The grains are soaked in hot water to ensure that all the sugar is released, then yeast is added so that the sugar is fermented to alcohol. Finally, the liquor is distilled and aged in the barrels.

Tennessee Whiskey is distilled in the state of Tennessee and it is made from corn. It is usually believed that corn is a vegetable, however, it is a grain and thus distilled liquor made from corn meets the definition of whiskey.

Irish whiskey is made in Ireland. Different types of grains are used in the production of Irish whiskey but the Alcohol must be less than 94.8% and the whiskey must be aged for at least three years in the barrels.

Like scots, the Irish take pride in their whiskey. The market for Irish whiskey has grown in recent years. A decade ago there were only three distilleries in Ireland thanks to the increase in demand in recent years it has grown to sixteen.

Canadian whiskey, as the name indicates, is made in Canada. It is primarily made from corn but the manufacturers add a small quantity of rye in the mash. It is often confused with the rye whiskey distilled in the United States.


Main Differences Between Scotch and Whiskey

Sometimes people fail to understand the difference between scotch and whiskey. Although the two have a lot of similarities but is beneficial to know the difference between the two.

These are the main difference between Whiskey and Scotch:

  1. Whiskey is produced all around the world whereas scotch is produced in Scotland.
  2. Whiskey is made from a combination of grains whereas the main ingredients in Scotch are malted barley and water.
  3. The still used to stir liquid used in manufacturing whiskey is usually made of copper because it removes sulfur components from alcohol that makes the beverage unpleasant to drink whereas scotch is produced according to strict regulation and quality control in a single distillery.
  4. A whiskey is matured in American white oak whereas Scotch is matured in European Oak.
  5. Whiskey has a lightly sweet flavor whereas Scotch is smoother and sometimes smoky in flavor.
  6. The amount of time a spirit must be aged to be called a whiskey varies from country to country whereas Scotch should be aged for a minimum of three years as per the Scottish law.
  7. Not all whiskeys are scotch whereas all scotches are whiskeys.
  8. The alcohol by volume (ABV) in whiskeys when they’re put into barrels varies country to country whereas ABV of scotch should at least be 40%.
Difference Between Scotch and Whiskey



A glass of whiskey after a tough week is having a moment. But with so many different types of whiskeys available in the market, it is important to know the basic difference between them.

To summarize scotch is a form of whiskey produced in Scotland. It is manufactured under strict quality controls and certain laws are in place that must be followed during the production process.

According to many people, Scotch is the finest form of whiskey. It is usually expensive than other forms of whiskey. There is one thing common among all types of whiskeys produced all around the globe that they are made from grains.

Key Differences Between Scotch and Whiskey (PDF Format)

Download the key differences in .PDF format, to read or print them later:

Difference Between Scotch and Whiskey



  1. https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2005/an/b415422c
  2. https://www.bostonapothecary.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Changes-in-Whiskey-While-Maturing-1.pdf
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