What’s the Difference Between Scotch, Whiskey and Bourbon?

The Federal Standards of Identity for Bourbon stipulate what is and what isn’t bourbon. 

For a whiskey to call itself bourbon, its mash, the mixture of grains from which the product is distilled, must contain at least 51% corn. (The rest of the mash is usually filled out with malted barley and either rye or wheat.) 

The mash must be distilled at 160 proof or less, put into the barrel at 125 proof or less, and it must not contain any additives. 

The distillate must be aged in a new charred oak barrel. (Most often these barrels are white oak, but they can be any variety of oak.)

The main difference between scotch and whisky is geographic, but also ingredients and spellings. 

Scotch is whisky made in Scotland, while bourbon is whiskey made in the U.S.A, generally Kentucky. 

Scotch is made mostly from malted barley, while bourbon is distilled from corn.