Love whiskey, but confused about why it’s sometimes spelled ‘whisky’ and other times spelled ‘whiskey’? It’s a question that comes to every whisk(e)y lover at one point or another. We’ll share the answer with you here.
But before we get going… what exactly is whiskey in the first place? For an answer to that question, check out the four factors that make (or break) a whiskey: the grain, barrel, aging process, and distiller’s blend.
And now for the answer you’ve been waiting for…
The Difference Between Whiskey & Whisky
It all has to do with origin. Scotch and Irish whisky makers have traditionally spelt their product without the ‘E’: whisky. When Americans began making Tennessee whiskey, Kentucky bourbon, and its other varieties, they decided to spell it ‘whiskey’ (with an ‘E’).
There are, however, a few notable exceptions to this general rule. One major whiskey-producer calls its drink “Tennessee Whisky.” Do you know which one? (Clue: It’s located in Cascade Hollow, Tennessee.)
Canadian and Japanese whiskeys tend to follow the Scotch-Irish tradition rather than the American one, which is why their products almost always appear under the ‘whisky’ (no ‘E’) spelling.
Is It Really a Big Deal, This Whisky/Whiskey Controversy?
Yes! Whiskey-lovers can and do get up in arms about how the brown liquid is spelled! For years, the New York Times spelled all whiskeys as ‘whiskey’. After many an outraged letter, the Times finally began spelling the beverage the way that the producers, industry, drinkers, and… well… everyone else in the world spells it (with or without the ‘E’ depending on style of production).
How to Keep ‘Whiskey’ & ‘Whisky’ Straight
Here’s a tip for you… if the country of origin has an ‘E’ in its name, then the liquor is probably spelled whiskey (United States and Ireland). No ‘E’ in the country’s name (Japan, Scotland, Canada)? Then you must be dealing with a whisky (no ‘E’). Easy, right?
Love to make gourmet drinks as much as we do? Then you need to check out our all-time seven favorite whiskey recipes, which include selections from the bourbon, scotch, and rye families. If you want to improve your bartender cocktail mixing skills, don’t forget to pick up a bottle of Amoretti Premium Lemon Syrup to add the finishing touches to an otherwise perfect whiskey cocktail.
What are your thoughts on the spelling controversy? Tell us on the Amoretti Facebook page!