Why I Keep Putting an “e” in Parenthesis, Sometimes: Whiskey and Whisky are Different Things

You may or may not have noticed a lot of “whisk(e)y”s appearing in my posts. It’s not just me being annoying. It’s me trying to not get my numpty butt kicked.

You see, the Sottish take their whisky very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that it caused the revision of The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage from delegating “whiskey” as a blanket term for all whiskeys two very different things: whiskey and whisky. One could say it falls into a similar semantics bin with champagne and prosecco.

Of course, because of regional differences there will be slightly nuanced flavors, but only the abbreviated, most characteristic traits of each regions’ whisk(e)ys are outlined below.


Irish Whiskey: Thrice distilled. Mostly barley, very smooth. Must be aged for at least three years, in wooden casks, in Ireland for it to be considered Irish Whiskey.

Scottish Whisky, AKA Scotch: it has been matured and distilled in Scotland – and Scotland only. It’s reminiscent of a bourbon, but made primarily with malted barley instead of corn.

American Whiskey: The spelling, including the “e”, was brought to ‘Murica by Irish immigrants.

Japanese Whisky: All the rage these days is Japanese whisky, which is made in the Scottish fashion. Given, it’s very similar to Scottish whisky. See above.

Canadian Whisky: Characteristically less aggressive about how you refer to their whisky, they are okay with you calling it Canadian Whisky or just plain rye. Mostly made from corn, it’s known to be smoother and lighter (figures, eh)?

Mainly, it is advised to avoid fucking up the “e’ or “e-less” thing when referring to Scotch. Otherwise, the general rule of thumb is that if the country name has an “e” in it, so does its whiskey. If not, its whisky doesn’t either.


One response to “Why I Keep Putting an “e” in Parenthesis, Sometimes: Whiskey and Whisky are Different Things

  1. Pingback: What are Digestifs and Apertifs? | Day Old Salads·

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