In America and Ireland the e spelling is used. Everywhere else is wrong. Interestingly, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms disagrees. But what do they know? They can't even break up a hippie commune correctly.
Scotch refers specifically to whisky from Scotland made under these conditions. Scotch is a word so old it doesn't even describe Scottish things anymore, because whisky is so great it displaced an entire country from its own descriptor. This language isn't big enough for both the Scottish people and all the drinking they intend to do.
Scotch is usually a smooth drink and one that has fond associations for me of when the English sent my Scottish ancestors to Ireland to breed out the Irish.
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You're not a man until you've pondered how to make genocide more humane.
Hoo boy, this is one of the ongoing tragedies of Prohibition. Rye used to be the predominant American whisky until a bunch of do-gooders decided to ruin everything everywhere for everyone forever.
A lesson we have since learned we must never repeat.
In the 1920s, rye production shifted to Canada, where men were Mounties and women were in love with those men's horses. The only problem is Canada is a lawless place that doesn't even require its rye to be made with 51% rye like we do.
... or at all.
Canada, there's a lot great about you but calling a drink "rye" when it lacks any rye ingredient is as messed up as Southerners who call all soft drinks Coke. You don't want to be the South of the north, do you? That is a game with no winner.
Whereas rye must be distilled using 51% or more of its grains from rye in these sane United States, bourbon must be 51% corn, "aged in new, charred oak barrels," and sipped while fondly recollecting last summer. It's a strange requirement, I agree, but a fitting one.