Which is better scotch or wine

The difference between scotch whiskey and bourbon whiskey

Scotch whiskey vs. bourbon whiskey

Scotch whiskey and Bourbon whiskey differ from one another not only in their spelling (with or without "E") or in taste, but also in their production process.

The word "whiskey" comes (as "uisge beatha") from the Scottish Gaelic language or as "uisce beatha" from Irish and means water of life (uisge / uisce = water, beatha = life). The English eventually made "whiskey" out of it. In the literature, this term, which initially also referred to other spicy brandies, is mentioned for the first time in 1736. The Americans adopted the term, but wrote “whiskey” with an E before the Y.

Whisk (e) y can be made from barley, rye, wheat or corn. If the whiskey was distilled over an open peat fire (in Scotland), it has a smoky, peaty taste. Just as important as the distillation is the type and composition of the wooden barrels. For example, if it is a case of former sherry barrels, the whiskey also has notes of sherry. With whiskey (just as with rum), the length of the maturation period plays a significant role. There are also differences in the finish, i.e. in the aftertaste.

There are whiskeys that are more sweet than dry and others in which the fruit or a special flavor dominates. Some types (such as Irish whiskey) taste like toffee, malt, chocolate or dried fruit, others have stronger aromas that tend towards oak, peat, sea salt, honey or tropical fruits (like Scottish whiskey), and again others have a more smoky character and notes of cinnamon, almonds, dates, dried fruits, blackberries, oranges, caramel and spices (like American bourbon).

The first documented entry in the Scottish tax documents about aquavite dates back to 1494. At this point in time, John Cor, a Benedictine monk from Lindores Monastery, allegedly bought around 500 kg of malt on the order of the king, which is necessary for the production of approx. 400 Bottles of whiskey were enough. In the course of time the Scottish clans also produced the 'water of life' for their own use.

After all, after the Germans, Scots and Irish settled in America at the beginning of the 18th century, attempts were made to use the knowledge they had acquired in Europe to produce whiskey from grain. However, this did not succeed with the usual barley, as the land was not suitable for cultivation. So the farmers based in North America took the rye and wheat growing there as a substitute. Since peat was also not available there, the result was a rather bland distillate that deviated greatly from the desired taste. An attempt was made to bring in the missing, typical smoke aroma by charring the barrels. However, it didn't have much to do with today's bourbon whiskey.

While looking for his own American whiskey variety, one of the distillers of the time - probably the Baptist preacher Elijah Craig in 1789 - came up with the idea of ​​trying corn, which thrives wonderfully in the latitudes there. The attempt was a complete success.

The production of a comparatively good quality was only achieved there by the pure whiskey distilleries at the end of the 18th century.

A malt whiskey is the unblended product of a single distillery with its very own, traditional character. The so-called 'blend', on the other hand, consists of several malt and grain whiskeys, the malt or grain whiskey. The quality of every whiskey depends not least on the skill and experience of the master distiller. If he has the right instinct and can use the best ingredients (pure spring water, selected grain, yeast, etc.), the result is a whiskey of the highest quality and purity.

Even the location of the distillery plays a role in whiskey production. For example, the Islay Malt from the largest of the Scottish islands has nuances of iodine and seaweed in addition to its peaty character. On the other hand, the American Bouron impresses with its sweetish fruitiness and hearty, smoky note, which is caused by the burning out of the barrels.

Last but not least, experts consider distillation to be the most important work step. This follows fermentation, during which yeast converts the sugar in the mash into alcohol. The alcohol-containing liquid is usually heated twice in Scotland.

In contrast, the American whiskey JACK DANIEL, for example, is only distilled once and is therefore particularly heavy. Tennessee Whiskey, on the other hand, is made with a high proportion of corn (approx. 80%), which makes the whiskey particularly soft. The 4 days of filtering through a 3.5 meter thick layer of charcoal also contributes to the fact that the product is not only softer, but also significantly sweeter.

Ultimately, however, the most important thing is the individual taste sensation of the individual taster, which does not necessarily have to correspond to the opinion of the “broad masses”. The taste buds of each individual and their eating habits are far too differentiated from their earliest youth.

So it happens that the one on the Scotch whiskey while the other swears to "his" American Bourbon whiskey gives preference.