Whisky vs. Whiskey: What’s the Difference?

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whisky/ey is barely enough.” -Mark Twain

Who is a fan of whisky? Or should it be whiskey? Same thing, just with a different spelling, right? Well…, not exactly.

First of all, no matter how you spell it, whisky/ey is an umbrella term for a type of spirit distilled from a mash of fermented grains. Within this category, there are many different groups-including Bourbon, Canadian, Irish, Rye, Scotch, and Tennessee.

Originally, the word whisky comes from the Scots Gaelic word Uisge Beatha, meaning the Water of Life. It was Anglicized over time to Whiskybae and finally shortened to Whisky. While Canadaian, Japanese, and Scottish producers tend to favor the spelling whisky, American and Irish distillers decided they wanted to differentiate between the two and added an “e” to whiskey.  Confusing right?

Irish Whiskey or Scottish Whisky? Both are amazing, but if you are planning a trip to Ireland or Scotland, remember this rule of thumb when writing about this popular drink of choice.

  • Countries with “E”s in their name: AmErica and IrEland spell it with the “E.” WHISKEY.
  • Countries without the E’s in their name: Canada, Japan, and Scotland spell it without the “E.” WHISKY.

Wowzers… Who needs a shot of the Water of Life after reading this blog? Me, me, me!

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