When you take a look at whiskey’s rich history and heritage in the Americas, you cannot pass up the significance of Scottish whisky as an integral part of the story. No, that’s not a typo. The Scottish spelling actually drops the “-e” from the America spelling: whiskey.
April is Scottish-American Heritage month, and if there’s one thing you should get straight, it’s the difference between these two birthplaces of the spirit. They worked together to bring us the bottles that we know and love today.
So what’s the difference?
Scotch or Scottish whisky is made from barley or a combination of grains. This can differ slightly from American whiskey which is the product of fermented grain mash, including wheat, rye, barley, and corn.
There are two main types of Scottish whisky: single malt scotch and blended scotch.
Single malt scotch is made from one distillery by a mash of malted barley.
Blended scotch is made by blending two types of whisky, barrel-aged malt, and grain whisky.
As opposed to the grassy or peppery taste of rye whiskey, or the sweeter vanilla tones of bourbon, blended scotch has a smooth flavor that is both malty and buttery, finished with a spicy kick.
Are you feeling inspired to take your turn at crafting some popular scotch beverages? Perhaps you have some Scottish in your family lines and wish to pay tribute to your heritage. Maybe you’re just looking for some inspiration and new ways to drink your whiskey, I mean, whisky. No matter the case, we have some recommendations for you!
If you can’t get a hold of a bottle of scotch, no worries, American whiskey is sure to do the trick for those who aren’t picky! There are plenty of spots along The Trail where you can explore bottles of many shapes, sizes, and flavors.
@libertypolespirits on Instagram
Blood and Sand is a 1920’s inspired classic. It was named after the 1922 silent film about a bull-fighter, Blood and Sand. Combine your whisk(e)y of choice with blood orange juice, sweet vermouth, and cherry liquor and pour into a tall sipping glass. Garnish with an orange slice and enjoy!
One of the most famous Scottish cocktails, the Penicillin, combines scotch with flavors of honey, ginger, and lemon. You can try one now at Liberty Pole Spirits on their April cocktail menu! This one’s made with peated bourbon, honey, ginger, and lemon juice. It isn’t for the faint of heart, as the recipe traditionally requires a mixture of both blended and single-malt scotch.
This one can be made with rye or scotch whisk(e)y. The Manhattan dates back to the 1870s, preceding many popular cocktails that sprung up in the 1920s and 30s. This is a classic cocktail with an official lineup of ingredients including rye or scotch, sweet red vermouth, and angostura bitters. Garnish with a luxardo cocktail cherry and enjoy!