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Whisky (or whiskey) is an alcoholic beverage distilled from grain, often including malt, which has then been aged in wooden barrels.

The spelling ‘whisky’ is generally used for those distilled in Scotland. No whiskey brewed outside of Scotland may legally not have an E although brands from Canada, and Japan have in the past tried. The use of no ‘e’ denotes the Scottish exclusivity in international law just as ‘Champagne’ has to come from France. ‘Whiskey’ (with an ‘e’) is used for the spirits distilled in Ireland and the United States, but there are exceptions. The Welsh version is wysgi. The name evolved from the Gaelic uisge beatha (water of life). (Other countries also have their own ‘water of life’: see the Danish Akvavit, derived from the Latin aqua vitae.) Irish whiskey is typically distilled three times from a mash of several grains. Scottish whisky, properly called Scotch, is typically distilled twice, either from barley malt alone (see single malt whisky), or from barley malts and other grain malts which are then mixed together.

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