• Wes Farno

To "E" or not to "E"

Discovering the multiple spellings of whiskey and a tid bit of history behind the spelling.


Perhaps you have come to notice that some labels spell whisk(e)y with an “E,” and others do not. This differentiation can be traced back centuries to Scottish and Irish producers who desired to set themselves apart from one another.


While there is no hard rule on whether to spell whiskey with or without the “E,” a general rule of thumb is as follows. If the nation of origin contains the letter “E,” it is used on their labels. Countries such as the United States, Ireland use an “E.” In contrast, nations such as Japan, Scotland, Canada, and others do not.


There are a few notable exceptions. Makers Mark and Old Forrester, both American bourbon distillers, have chosen to forgo the “E” to pay homage to their Scottish descent.


Ultimately to “E” or not to “E” is up to the individual distiller. Still, now you know the story behind the fifth letter of the alphabet in the ongoing whiskey story.

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