The main difference between scotch and whiskey is geographic, but also ingredients and spellings. Scotch is whisky made in Scotland, while bourbon is whiskey made in the U.S.A, generally Kentucky. Scotch is made mostly from malted barley, while bourbon is distilled from corn. If you’re in England and ask for a whisky, you’ll get Scotch. But in Ireland, you’ll get Irish whiskey.
What is Scotch?
Technically, Scotch is whisky (spelled without the "e") that must be produced in Scotland, made from mostly malted barley and aged in oak barrels for three years or more. (The number following the name on a bottle of Scotch tells you how long it was aged.) Some Scotch tastes a lot like bourbon, but with a signature smokiness that lingers at the tail-end of a tasting. For this reason, some people avoid it, but for others, the acquired taste only makes the experience better. We think this pairs nicely with some stews and smoked meats.
What makes a whiskey a bourbon?
"Rye whiskey" can refer either to American whiskey, which must be distilled from at least 51% rye and aged two years or more, or Canadian whisky, which may or may not actually include any rye in its production process. Full in body and spice, rye -- which had been playing second fiddle to its closest cousin, bourbon, ever since U.S. corn production increased in the decades following Prohibition -- has been making a steady comeback on cocktail menus across the country in the last decade.
Rye's bold, slightly burning bite cuts right through sweet mixers, making for intense beverages with layers of flavor.
Does it Matter in Cooking?
Yes, it does, but you can interchange them. Remember, the alcohol content may be different, and the flavor will be too.
The Whiskey Sour
If you are looking for a great drink to use whiskey in Real Life with Lulu will show you How to Make a Whiskey Sour.