Whiskey vs. Whisky – what is the difference?

This debate of whiskey vs whisky starts at the spelling. Depending on your country of origin, you have to be looking at the spelling and thinking something is wrong with this picture. Have no fear my friends, the answer is very simple. In a nutshell, both versions are correct.


How can the be?  I am glad you asked.The reason why there is an “e” in whiskey has to do with the translation of Scottish and Irish Gaelic of all things. That really lets you know this is not a recent issue. A general guideline is this. If the label on the bottle has whiskey with an “e”, then it probably came from a country with an “e” in the name (ie: America or Ireland)   If it doesn’t, then it probably comes from Scotland, Canada or Japan which are all up and comers in the whiskey market.


Surprisingly, another catalyst for the difference in spelling was for branding purposes. The Irish wanted a way to set their product apart from what they viewed as an inferior blend from Scotland. Thus, the “e” was added to their labels. In another marketing twist, a bottle of whisky is only allowed to be called Scotch if it was made and bottled in Scotland.(notice the spelling)


I am going to have to save going into the details of the hundreds of varieties of whisky for another day. Scotch, Bourbon, Rye and all of the offshoots can keep us here for days.


What I can tell you is this. Whiskey is a very fine beverage no matter where it comes from in the world. Straight up, on the rocks or with a chaser, Whisk(e)y is tasty, delicious and a fabulous way to relax with a few friends for some adult fun. Please remember to always drink responsibly and to have a designated driver.


Writing this blog post has gotten me in the mood for a sip or two down at The Gibson. We invite you to come check us out in Brooklyn anytime that you are visiting the New York City metro area. With hundreds of varieties of whisk(e)y on scene you are guaranteed to find something of your liking and probably a new taste or two as well. There is a reason that we are the premier whiskey bar in New York. We look forward to seeing you soon and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter!