Scotch is the first powerhouse among the different styles of whisky. As its name implies, it comes from Scotland and is usually made from malted barley, and is sometimes made with other grains such as wheat or corn. Some of the most recognizable Scotches are peated, which means they are made with barley that has been dried over a peat fire (peat is decomposed vegetable matter that has been compressed in the earth over thousands of years), to impart an unmistakable smoky characteristic.
For scotch to be called scotch, after distillation the whisky must also be aged/matured in wooden barrels in Scotland for a minimum of three years. Oftentimes, scotch makers age their whisky in wooden barrels that previously held bourbon or sherry which contributes to the flavor, texture and aroma of the spirit.