What’s the difference between Bourbon and Scotch? This quick guide will show you the major differences between these whiskey types (as well as some cocktails! ).

What’s the difference between Bourbon and Scotch? They are two very different styles of whiskey. Or whisky. This article will explain the spelling differences and what makes each one different. It also includes a list of popular cocktails you can make with them.

What’s the difference between Bourbon and Scotch?

Both Bourbon and Scotch are types of whiskey. The former is made in America, while the latter is made in Scotland. For the Canadian and Scottish versions, “whiskey”, used for American and Irish-made whiskeys, is the correct spelling. These are the production differences:

  • Bourbon is an American whiskey made with at least 51% corn. It is aged in oak barrels. Bourbon Country in Kentucky is where the spirit was first created. This is why the name Bourbon Country has the bourbon label. Kentucky is home to over 95% today of all Bourbon.
  • Scorch is a whiskey made in Scotland using either barley or a mixture of grains. There are many types of Scotch. There are two main types of Scotch: Single Malt Scotch, a whisky made from a single distillery, and Blended Whisky. This whisky is made by blending barrel-aged malt whisky with grain whisky.

Scotch vs Bourbon: What does Scotch taste?

Scotch is more difficult to drink than Bourbon, with a distinct flavour. The flavour breakdown is:

  • Bourbon whiskey is sweeter and more mellow than Scotch. It has caramel, oak, vanilla, and other notes. There are many different flavours among bourbon brands. One expert divides bourbons into four categories: grain, nutmeg, caramel, cinnamon, and cinnamon.
  • Scotch whisky is more complex than Bourbon in its sharp and distinct taste. Blended Scotch has a smoother taste: malty and buttery with a spicy finish. Single malt Scotch is oaky and woody with distinctive peaty and smokey notes. The peat smoke is used to dry the barley, similar to moss in parts of Scotland. This is what gives the Scotch its smokey flavour.

Scotch and Bourbon Cocktails in High Demand

Are you ready to make your whiskey cocktails? Scotch whiskey is a special type of whiskey and should be used with care when making cocktails. Scotch should only be used in cocktails that specifically call for it. However, you can use Bourbon in cocktails that are not specifically Scotch-based, and it is often used to make cocktails that include rye whiskey.


  • 2 ounces 4 teaspoons Bourbon or blended Scotch whisky for the Rob Roy
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) sweet red vermouth
  • 3 dashes of Angostura, orange bitters
  • For garnish: Luxardo Cherry or another cocktail cherry


  1. In a cocktail mixing bowl, combine the Scotch, Bourbon and vermouth. Mix the ingredients in a glass with 1 tablespoon of ice. Stir continuously for 30 seconds.
  2. Strain into a coupe or cocktail glass. Serve with a cherry garnish.


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