The Strange Maps column at Big Think has an interesting map of single malt flavors, and an equally interesting footnote re the word whisky -
Uisge beatha is the Scottish Gaelic term from which the word "whisky" evolved. It literally means "water of life." The Latin words for "water of life" are aqua vitae, from which comes the Scandinavian word akvavit (another potent distilled liquor). In French, "water of life" became eau de vie, (a fruit brandy).
And they note that the American and Irish drinks with similar names are typically spelled with an inserted "e" ("whiskey").