When I first started on my journey it took a bit of research for me to figure out how many different types of Whisky there are. The terminology was a bit confusing and I couldn’t get a sense what differentiated them. This illustration is a simplified way of describing the different types of Scotch Malt Whisky. This doesn’t cover other styles of whisky but if you understand this then you are starting from a sound basis.
Other notable types of whisk(e)y are…
Irish Pot Still: Main differences to Scotch Whisky is the addition of barley that has NOT been malted and the spirit is distilled 3 times.
Bourbon: Main difference to Scotch Whisky is the use of virgin (first time used) american oak barrel and at least 51% corn instead of being predominantly barley. The remaining ingredients can be a mixture of wheat, rye and barley. Wheated whiskies or rye whiskies are another variation where at least 51% of the main ingredient is wheat or rye. Adding colouring to bourbon is not permitted and due to the climate in the US you tend not to find many bourbons aged as long as scotch single malts.