Difference Between Scotch and Whiskey

Scotch vs Whiskey

The role of alcoholic beverages in breaking the ice and also to make people relax and enjoy a gathering is well known. In any celebration, alcohol plays a very important role. Alcohol based drinks are especially popular among men though women do not seem to be far behind in the use of these beverages. There are many different types of alcoholic beverages such as whisky, rum, tequila, vodka, and so on. There is also scotch, an alcoholic beverage that has its origins in Scotland. Many believe a scotch is different from whisky as it has a different aroma, color, and taste than a whisky. However, the reality is that a scotch is only a type of whisky. There are many differences between any other whisky and Scotch whisky that will be highlighted in this article.


Known as strong water and water of life in ancient times, whisky is an alcoholic beverage that is made through distillation of grain that has been fermented. Many different types of grains are being used around the world to make whisky such as barley, malt, wheat, corn, and even rye. Aging is a very important process required for making of whisky and after distillation, the alcoholic beverage is aged by keeping it inside wooden barrels made of oak.

There are different types of whisky in the world depending upon their places of origin, the kind of grain used, and their aging process. However, despite differences, the process of fermentation of grain and then distillation makes all whisky similar. After distillation, water is again added to bring down alcohol content down to 40%. Then there is the common practice of aging for all whisky brands. Not many know about this fact, but the aroma and the flavor of a whisky depends a lot upon the type of cask in which it is aged.


Scotch is perhaps one type of whisky that has earned a name that is bigger than whisky itself. It is the most popular kind of whisky around the world though strictly speaking, it is a name that can be used only for a particular whisky that originates in Scotland. It is surprising that scotch is still called whisky in Britain while, in all the countries, it is either called Scotch whisky or simply ‘scotch’ to confuse a lot of people.

Scotch can be made with either malt or grain but the condition of manufacture in Scotland remains. It can be pure malt or blended malt or it can be classified as single malt and single grain scotch. All bottles of scotch mention the age of the beverage and no scotch can hit the market before it has been aged for at least three years in barrels of oak. Single grain is a misnomer really as it does not mean that only one type of grain has been used in making the scotch. It only means that the beverage has been distilled at a single distillery.

What is the difference between Scotch and Whiskey?

• All scotch is whisky but not all whisky is scotch.

• Scotch is a type of whisky made from malted barley and water and inside Scotland only.

• A scotch has to be aged for at least three years in oak barrels whereas there is no such condition in the case of other whiskeys.

• Scotch whisky is distilled many times while other kinds of whisky do not need to be distilled several times.