Whiskey vs. Whisky: What’s the difference between the liquors?

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, many will indulge in distilled alcohol whiskey. But some newcomers to brown liquor are not aware of the simple difference between “whiskey” and “whisky.”

Whiskey is one of the most enjoyed spirits in the world with successful corporate brands across continents in Japan, Ireland and America. 

Also, newcomers to brown liquor should also be aware of some key tips for storing whiskey in order to preserve its taste. 


The drink has been popular dating back centuries in medieval Europe and is a staple in most bars across the western world. 

What’s the difference between Whiskey and Whisky?

Whiskey is representative of a category of specific brown liquor that is produced all over the world and is widely popular among those who celebrate the biggest drinking holiday of the year – St. Patrick’s Day.

Fermented grains and aged woods are the main ingredients used to distill whiskey. 

However, the spelling difference between whiskey and whisky has to do with where the brown liquor was produced. 

If you are collecting whiskey, it is recommended that you keep it stored in the upright position to help keep the cork sealed.

If you are collecting whiskey, it is recommended that you keep it stored in the upright position to help keep the cork sealed. (iStock)

For example, whiskey is representative of spirits that are produced mostly in Ireland and the United States from brands such as Jameson and Wild Turkey. 

These two markets are considered two of the largest in the world for the consumption of brown liquor. 

Meanwhile, whisky refers to Scottish, Canadian or Japanese grain spirits.

Are bourbon and whiskey the same thing?

For most newcomers to the brown liquor scene, the differences between bourbon and whiskey may seem very small and unimportant. 

Many individuals considered bourbon and whiskey to be similar spirits and often refer to them by the same name. However, bourbon is a form of whiskey, but not all whiskey can be related to bourbon.


Bourbon is American-made whiskey that has a 51% corn mash and must be aged in charred oak barrels. Moreover, bourbon is not allowed to contain any additives or colorings during the distillation process and must be aged within a charred oak barrel for at least two years. 


Whiskey, in general, can be distilled anywhere in the world and can be aged in a variety of barrels. 

Can you keep whiskey in the fridge?

Individuals who enjoy their bourbon at a colder temperature may keep it in a wine fridge or cooler. The taste of the whiskey will likely not be affected nor will the whiskey expire over the course of any significant time due to the coldness. 

Whiskey can be enjoyed either dry or with ice.

Whiskey can be enjoyed either dry or with ice. (iStock)

However, it is recommended that whiskey not be stored near heat sources such as stoves or radiators. 

Additionally, in order to keep the whiskey bottle sealed, the cork must remain moist, which can only be achieved over a long period of time if the whiskey bottle is stored in an upright position. 

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