NEWS : Whisky vs Whiskey

For so many people, whisky makes the world go round. The spirit is one of the most popular and most expensive on the market, accounting for 4% of global spirit sales by weight but three times as much by value. So what’s so great about whisky? And what about whiskey? What makes each kind of spirit stand out and what’s the best way to get into it in 2019?


Each country tends to have its own traditions when making whisky. The Irish, for example, usually triple distil their whisky while the Scottish only double distil. In America, they are much looser with ageing requirements as the higher temperatures in the south mean whisky is evaporated much faster during the ageing process. In Scotland, whisky is only considered ‘new spirit’ after seven years of ageing, where American whiskey can be bottled after just one year.


Americans also tend to make bourbon with 51% malted barley and a combination of other grains like wheat where most Scottish and Irish producers use exclusively malted or unmalted barley. Other whisk(e)y markets growing rapidly include Japanese, Canadian and Indian distilleries. Each country brings its own flavours and influences, but none has as much hold on the industry as Scotch.

Japan’s whisky distilleries depend almost entirely on imports of Scotch new spirit and the UK’s £35bn trade deficit would be roughly 11% wider without Scotch exports. That means Scotch contributes around £3.85m to the British economy each year!

The world of whisky is always expanding and for everyone from novices to whisky enthusiasts who want a drop of the action, whisky offers stronger and more stable returns than wine, gold and even London property! Some tips to remember when investing in whisky:

• Try and stick to well-known brands – recognisable distilleries produce more reliable bottles for investment as they are known for their quality and consistency in production.

• Look out for special editions – limited runs of whisky have more value due to scarcity so snapping these up quick can result in great returns further down the line.

• Consider ‘silent’ distilleries – bottles from distilleries that no longer operate can bring in major money because of their rapidly reducing availability; examples of silent distilleries include Port Ellen, Brora and St Magdalene.

To find out more about the world of whisky in 2019 and learn about the different types of whisk(e)y on the market, check out our infographic below.


This infographic was provided by The Spirits Embassy, leading marketplace for whisky and spirits online.