What is scotch? To enthusiasts’ palates, it’s simply heaven. Nothing beats a lovingly crafted sip of scotch, from the woody reception up front to the release of flavors on the tongue, down to the warm embrace that chases every swallow. But only one type of whiskey can be called scotch, and what distinguishes it from its spirited cousins is a matter of history, geography, and tradition. Read below to learn all about this magical spirit.
Table of Contents
Scotch has a robust flavor profile that varies drastically based on where it is distilled.
- Can Be Strong
- Can Be Strong
- Can Be Expensive
Defining scotch is serious business. Indeed, the Scottish government has instituted legislation so there can be no mistake. First of all, the whiskey must be made in Scotland, from grains grown to where it’s fermented. It must be made from water, malted barley, and yeast. The strict legal regulations include items like aging, additive prohibitions, and the type of casks used for maturation.While there is some debate about where whiskey was invented, Scotch has a solid claim and a brand recognition that drinkers chase.
Frequently Asked Questions
All whiskeys are distilled spirits that come from a fermented grain mash. Popular types of whiskeys (including Scotch) you may have enjoyed include bourbon and rye. They are made the whole world over with a vast range of flavor profiles using everything from wheat to corn.
The difference between the spellings “whiskey” and “whisky” is a matter of location. The Irish version includes the “e” while the Scottish drops the “e.” Most producers in the United States follow the Irish “e” spelling while Canadian, Japanese, and Indian distillers all side with the “no-e” Scottish version. On this page we spell it both ways to not take sides.
- Rob Roy
- Rusty Nail
- Blood and Sand
- Good Father
- Gold Mind
- Scotch Sour
Scotch Whiskey Pairings
Where Scotch Originates
Scotch Whisky: A Short History
Scottish Whisky Regulations are ratified
Summing up Scotch
In a world full of whiskeys, there will always be those who prefer one type over another. Fans of sour mash concoctions may always favor their bourbons while diehard Irish distillers will continue to claim the origins of their elixirs. But no one can contest the power of the very name of scotch. This one word speaks to quality, tradition, and flavor like no other.
There’s no mistaking the strong, woody quality of good scotch, or the many peaty varieties that you can’t find anywhere else in the world. There’s a reason for this longevity, and it can be found right in the glass. For those who sip their stuff neat, deeply inhale the aromas, and slowly savor every swallow — there can be no mistaking this spirit’s unique qualities. And that’s what makes scotch, well — scotch!