Have you ever walked into a bar for happy hour to wet your whistle a little with some whisky? Most people do. Whisky is one of the most enjoyed spirits across the nation. When the fire-water isn’t enjoyed neat or with an ice cube, it’s being paired with some coke or as a sour. There is no wonder why it is one of the most profitable spirits in the world.

But, why are there so many terms for it? Whisky, Whisky Bourbon, and Scotch are just a few of the names that this elixir goes by. All these names can cause confusion for what is essentially the same drink. We here at Johnny’s Bar and Grill are here to shed some light on your favorite drink.

The different names for what is essentially the same drink is boiled down to the ingredients and the region where it was made. The grain being used determines what type of whisky you are going to get.

USA

In the United States, Bourbon and Tennessee dominate our pallets and the market. First, we have Bourbon, which must contain at least 51% corn – the rest is a mix of rye, wheat or barley. About 95% of all Bourbons are distilled in Kentucky, they are synonymous with one another.

On the other hand, Tennessee Whisky must be produced in Tennessee. That may sound redundant, but whisky producing is very territorial, and Tennessee Whisky makers abhor being referred to as Bourbon. The charcoal filtering process that it goes through makes it unique to other whiskeys.

International

In the UK, we have smooth and delicious Scotch. Scotch is essentially Whisky, but made in Scotland. Scotch is mostly made with malted barley. Unlike most whisky’s that go well with mixing, Scotch is best enjoyed neat, or on the rocks. You don’t want to ruin that trademark bite that goes with a good Scotch. Canadian Whisky is known for its lighter and smoother taste.

Canadian Whisky, or Rye Whisky is popular with our neighbors to the north. It is often known as Rye Whisky because rye is a popular addition to give it its distinct taste. Let’s not forget about the Irish and their Whisky. It is popular for its amazingly smooth and less than sweet taste. In order to be considered Irish whisky, it must be aged in Ireland for no less than three years.

Now that you know a little bit more about the spirit of whisky, we hope the next time that you sit in a bar and order some fire tonic you feel a bit more informed. Enjoy one for us!