The Whiskey Guide for Beginners

The Whiskey Guide for Beginners

It’s the first of our 3 “W’s” for a reason: we love whiskey. And at our Jekyll Island event this coming February, you’ll be able to experience excellent whiskey tastings—like our favorite, Woodford Reserve—and pairings from some of the region’s top vendors while taking in the stunning island views. New to whiskey? The whiskey world can be an intimidating one, so we’ve got you covered with a quick breakdown of this distilled favorite. And by the time our event rolls around, we have no doubt you’ll be sippin’ like a pro.

Whiskey vs Whisky, in Short

Whiskey is a distilled spirit made from grain mash. And scotch, bourbon, and rye are all kinds of whiskey that look alike and also pack the same kind of flavor punch.

But what’s with that extra ‘e’?

The main difference has to do with geography, but the spelling can also reveal specific ingredients. Whisky, without an e, is made in Scotland and most commonly made from malted barley. Whiskey, with an e, on the other hand, is made in the U.S., and commonly made from corn.

The difference between them mainly lies in the type of grain used and where it’s been distilled, but for how long can also affect taste.

  • Scotch is made in Scotland
  • Bourbon is made in America
  • Rye Whiskey is most often made in Canada, but also produced in America

The Way it’s Made

  • Single Malt is the most common type of whiskey, and it’s made when all whiskey is mixed from the same distillery.
  • Single Cask is whiskey that comes wholly from one single cask. It’s not as common as single malt, but can be found at local distilleries.
  • Blended is whiskey of the same type (bourbon, rye or scotch), all fused together.

These aren’t super important to know, as most likely you’ll be coming across single malt whiskey. But when you’re just starting out experimenting with whiskeys, it’s good to know what you’re drinking so you can keep track of what you like—and don’t like!

How it’s Served


  • Neat is whiskey—room temp—in a glass, plain and simple.
  • On the Rocks is whiskey served with ice.
  • With Water is the most recommended way to drink whiskey. Taking a small sip of water after tasting whiskey helps to keep your tongue from going numb (and then not being able to taste any more whiskey, and that’s no fun).

We all have our own preferred ways of enjoying whiskey, but it’s entirely up to you. Pick whatever way tastes best, you’re the one that’s going to be drinking it, after all. And remember, it’s fun! Grab your Whiskey Wine & Wildlife tickets[hyperlink to ticket page] and enjoy all that our weekend event has to offer. We’ll see you at the whiskey bar!