Suemedha Sood, of the BBC, has compiled a handy little FAQ about whiskey. It’s a good primer for beginners, for seasoned veterans, or just anyone that loves a good class of it.
What is the difference between whiskey, scotch and bourbon?
Even self-proclaimed connoisseurs sometimes provide incorrect answers to this common question. It’s a trick question, really, because whiskey is the overarching category of spirits that scotch and bourbon fall under. Both scotch and bourbon get their names from places — scotch from Scotland and bourbon from Bourbon County, Kentucky – but true scotch is made only in Scotland, while bourbon can be made in parts of America outside of Kentucky.
“Whiskey” can refer to any kind of whiskey — Irish, Japanese, Canadian, American, scotch and bourbon being the main types. Aficionados and Irish drinkers may refer to Irish whiskey as simply “whiskey,” whereas they might specify location when talking about other types.