What Are the Differences Between Whiskey, Scotch, Rum, & Brandy?

Written by mike goldstein
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What Are the Differences Between Whiskey, Scotch, Rum, & Brandy?
Scotch is a type of whiskey first produced in Scotland. (glass of whiskey and ice image by Piter Pkruger from Fotolia.com)

Whiskey, scotch, rum and brandy are alcoholic beverages developed using different ingredients but similar production methods. Each has its own distinct flavour and a proper way to be enjoyed.

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Whiskey

Whiskey--spelt "whisky" in Scotland--is made from barley, water and yeast. The barley is soaked in water for a few days, producing malt; the malt is then ground up and mashed. Yeast is added, which begins the fermentation process. The resulting product is distilled; the length of the process varies by location. The whiskey is then placed in wooden casks, where it must age for a minimum of seven years to be called whiskey legally. It is then bottled and sold. Whiskey is best served in a wide glass with a few drops of bottled or filtered water to unlock the flavours.

Scotch

Scotch is a type of whiskey first produced in Scotland. It is made almost identically to other types of whiskey, except for one crucial difference. The malting process is stopped by drying the barley with peat-fuelled kilns. It should be enjoyed in the same way as other types of whiskey.

Rum

Rum originates from crushed sugar cane. The sugar cane juice is turned into molasses and then fermented and distilled. Rum is often enjoyed by mixing it with other beverages, such as soft drinks.

Brandy

Brandy is made from fermented and distilled grapes and other fruits. It is aged for several years before being bottled. Brandy is best enjoyed alone, with no water or additives.

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