Fun whisky/whiskey facts for tonight’s party

Enjoying a nice scotch at my friend Adam’s place.
Photo by Adam PW Smith.

I’m attending a whisky/whiskey tasting event at my friend Erinn’s place tonight, which makes it the perfect time to share some topical information.

whisky vs whiskey

There’s a difference between whisky and whiskey. It’s academic, and generally distills down to the country of origin:

  • Countries that have E’s in their names (UnitEd StatEs and IrEland) tend to spell it whiskEy (plural whiskeys)
  • Countries without E’s in their names (Canada, Scotland, and Japan) spell it whisky (plural whiskies)

ricard paterson - very serious whisky guy

When it comes to matters pertaining to scotch, my go-to guy is Richard Paterson (he’s @the_nose on Twitter), Master Blender at Dalmore and Whyte and MacKay. If you’ve got four minutes to spare, check out this quick intro to whisky tasting vide that he did with

He gets a little more in-depth in this six-minute video, which includes his coffee and chocolate pairing suggestions:

Also worth reading: a 2010 article in Wired titled This Nose Knows Whisky: A Spirited Talk With Master Blender Richard Paterson.

Yours Truly at a Bombay Sapphire rooftop party in Toronto.
Click the photo to see more pics from this party.

When this technology fad blows over, I’d like to stop being a tech evangelist and become a “brand ambassador” for some wine or spirit, like Bombay Sapphire’s Merlin Griffiths (ignore the fact that it’s not as good gin as it used to be; pay attention to the fact that the accordion gets you invited to his shindigs), or Randy Adams, who’s The Macallan’s brand ambassador:

If you’re in the mood for some longer viewing and have an hour to spare, watch this documentary — Whisky: The Islay Edition…

There’ll be bourbon at this party too, so this video is appropriate…

…as is this photo with one of my alco-heroes, Tom Bulleit, of the bourbon of the same name:

And while this event will be about drinking our whiskys/whiskeys neat or with a little water, I have to share this recipe for Bourbon and Branch, one of the favorite cocktails of none other than Commander James Bond himself:


Each guest is expected to bring a whisky/whiskey to this party, and Anitra and I are bringing something a little offbeat (as you should expect we would). We’re bringing Corsair Distillery’s Quinoa Whiskey, and yup, it’s made with that lovely high-protein South American grain (along with malted barley). Complex lists it among the 10 Best Spirits You’ve Probably Never Tried, Distiller gives it high marks, and Ryan the whiskey blogger gives it a four stars (out of five) rating.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *