The Major Differences Between Irish Whiskey And Scotch Whisky

The Major Differences Between Irish Whiskey And Scotch Whisky.

The Major Differences Between Irish Whiskey and Scotch Whisky: Scotland and Ireland are two of the most famous producers of whiskey/ whisky in the world. Trying to differentiate between both alcoholic beverages is a bit difficult but the very clear difference is that Scotch whisky is always spelled without the ‘e’ while Irish whiskey is always spelled with the ‘e.’ So in this article, we will show you the other major differences between Irish whiskey and Scotch whisky.

Irish Whiskey and Scotch Whisky

Whiskey is produced and consumed everywhere in the world but its first distillation can be tracked down to Ireland. The whiskey production in Ireland developed from the bread eating culture where the rural poor would grow grain. And will use the mash from the grain to produce whiskey.


Generally, Scotland is given credence for refining the most famous grain spirit, and as you may have also noticed, it is spelled as ‘whisky’ in Scotland, while the Irish prefer to spell it as ‘whiskey’.

The major difference between Scotch whisky and Irish whiskey is the distillation process. As the Scotch brand is distilled only twice, Irish whiskey goes through triple distillation which gives it a marked lightness. And this is always done in pot stills that are three times the size of normal copper stills, therefore the uniquely fine drink that is Irish whisky. Scotch whisky uses continuous process stills.

During the process of making the Scotch whisky, the barley used is wholly malted, and it is first allowed to germinate, and then it is dried. Peat smoke is also used in the drying process, which produces the different Scotch aroma of the whisky. 

As for Irish whiskey, raw and malted barley is used in the pot still step. The barley is dried in furnaces that are covered, keeping the barley’s natural flavor, developing in key qualities of Irish whiskey.

During the making of Irish whiskey, greater difference is attached to the distilling process, while for Scotch whisky, the importance is laid on the master blender’s skills. However, blended Scotch whisky is produced by mixing various mature malt and grain whiskies is called the process of ‘blending’.

The Irish believe in the concept that the ‘skill’ is in forming the right distillates, to start with, a method they refer to as ‘vatting’. The aging time of the whiskeys vary as well. Scotch whisky is kept in the cask for at least two years, while Irish whiskey is aged for at least three years.

Also, it depends on the region where the whiskey was produced, the label on the whiskey will represent that. Scotch whisky can only be labeled ‘Scottish whisky’ if it was manufactured and matured in Scotland. In addition, the whiskey made in Ireland is the one labeled as “Irish whiskey”.

The Major Differences Between Irish whiskey and Scotch whisky 

1. Irish whiskey goes through triple distillation while Scotch whisky is distilled twice

2. The Scotch whisky uses peat-smoked, wholly malted barley, while Irish whisky uses furnace-dried, raw and malted barley.

3. Irish whiskey is produced by ‘vatting’ whereas Scotch whisky is produced by ‘blending’.

4. Scotch whisky is barreled for at least two years. On the other hand, Irish whisky is kept in the barrel for a minimum of three years.


Setting aside blends and grains, single malt scotch and single pot still Irish whiskey are two very different beasts. One is made completely with malted barley that’s almost always malted using local peat in the kilning process while the other strictly uses a raw version of that ingredient.


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