Bourbon Vs Scotch – know the differenceWhat’s the Difference Between Scotch and Bourbon?
Bourbon vs Scotch - they are very different from each other. Both are very well known around the world and are strongly associated with their places of origin, their ingredients, their flavor, and even their spelling. Sipn Bourbon will help you discover more about what makes these spirits unique.
The key differences between Scotch and Bourbon
Bourbon and Scotch are different types of whisk(e)y. It’s all in the way you spell it. The spelling can often tell you something you need to know about the spirit. “Whiskey” is typically used for American and Irish spirits, including Bourbon. Whereas the rest of the world, including Europe, Australia, Japan and Scotland, prefer to call their spirits “whisky.”
What is Bourbon?
Bourbon is a type of American whiskey that is made from at least 51% corn and aged in new charred oak barrels. To be classified as Bourbon, the U.S. government has laid down very stringent regulations, one of which is that bourbon whiskey must be made from a grain mixture of at least 51 percent corn. The spirit must be made in the United States to legally be deemed Bourbon. Bourbon has no minimum aging period, but to refer it as Straight Bourbon, it must be aged for no less than two years.
What is Scotch?
Scotch is a type of whiskey made in Scotland from malted barley, water, and yeast and aged in oak casks for at least three years. Scotch has a more complex flavor profile, often including smoky and peaty notes.
Scotch and Bourbon flavor
It’s all in the taste and flavor profiles. While both can have smokey, charred notes, they have imbibed these traits through different means. Bourbon has a sweeter taste and is often associated with flavors such as vanilla, caramel, and oak. Bourbon gets its Oak-y, vanilla-like flavors from the charred surface of the barrels used to age the spirit, whereas Scotch derives its flavors from peat burned in the barley malting process.
Scotch and Bourbon Ingredients
Bourbon is made from at least 51% corn and aged in oak barrels. Bourbon tends to be sweeter and has more of a caramel or vanilla flavor, and tasting notes or flavors, including baking spices, black pepper, cocoa, and fruit.
Scotch must be made from malted barley, water and yeast. Scotch producers are permitted to include other whole cereal grains for coloring as well, unlike in the case of Bourbon.
Bourbon and Scotch ABV Requirements
The United States government regulates the Alcohol by Volume (ABV) requirements for Bourbon. As per the Federal Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits, Bourbon must be distilled to no more than 80% ABV (160 proof) and bottled at no less than 40% ABV (80 proof). The UK government regulates the ABV requirements for Scotch. The distillate must be no more than 94.8% ABV (190 proof) and bottled at a minimum strength of 40% ABV (80 proof).
How to enjoy whiskey
There are different types of whiskey, such as single malt, straight, blended, and rye. Whiskey can be enjoyed neat (without added mixers) or on the rocks (with ice). Also, whiskey can be paired with different types of food. Try pairing it with cheese, chocolate, or a good cigar. The choice between bourbon and scotch ultimately comes down to personal preference and taste.
Despite their differences, both Scotch and Bourbon can be enjoyed similarly. Remember that each sipping experience begins before you take your first sip, so ensure you familiarize yourself with the whiskey bottle label. The one golden rule is neither Scotch nor Bourbon is meant for chugging, so be sure to sip your drink slowly and intently, savoring each moment of the experience.