Scotch vs. Bourbon: What’s the Difference?
For the average liquor store shopper, it can be difficult to see the differences between Scotch and bourbon just by glancing at the bottles – generally, the spirits are both amber in color, they reveal similar smoky-caramel flavor notes, and they are both types of whiskey. But after a little research and even some taste testing, you’ll begin to understand the major differences between Scotch and bourbon and maybe decide which one you prefer after all.
What are the Major Differences between Scotch and Bourbon?
Where They’re Made
Even though you may find Scotch and bourbon side-by-side on the shelves at Pascale’s Liquor Square, one of the biggest differences between the two spirits is the geographic location of their production. Scotch whisky (without the ‘e’) can only be named so if it is made exclusively in Scotland, while Bourbon whiskey (with the ‘e’) is made within the United States of America, usually in Kentucky – the name ‘Bourbon’ even comes from an old area of Kentucky which is now known as Bourbon County.
What They’re Made From
The law states that for a whiskey to be considered bourbon, the mixture of grain mash it’s distilled from has to contain at least 51% corn, and the mixture must ferment in new charred oak barrels. Whereas bourbon is comprised primarily of corn, Scotch is made with malted barley. Scotch whisky can be aged in any type of oak barrels for no less than three years, and generally, they age longer than bourbons do.
What They Taste Like
Depending on their production locations and individual distillation processes, Scotch and bourbon can exude vastly different flavor profiles, or greatly similar ones. Broadly, Scotch has the ability to hit your palate with bolder, smokier flavors that can be rich, spicy and delicious. Because bourbon is made mostly from corn, this whiskey tends to reveal sweeter tastes like vanilla, caramel, cinnamon and even chocolate. You can enjoy both Scotch and bourbon neat, on the rocks, or with a splash of water to release flavor notes.
At Pascale’s Liquor Square, we offer a variety of Scotch and bourbon spirits to choose from. Call 315-445-0445 315-445-0445 for more information about our inventory, or visit our location in Syracuse, NY.