The Difference Between Whiskey And Bourbon

Bourbon Vs Tennessee Whiskey: Which Is Better

We Finally Know The Real Difference Between Bourbon And Whiskey

There isnt a one-size-fits-all answer here.

The true answer depends on your taste preferences.

If you want an easy-to-drink whiskey with a modest flavor profile, go with Tennessee Whiskey.

You can enjoy it neat or mix it with whatever soda is nearby for an excellent drink.

If youre a whiskey connoisseur who loves tasting the complexity in their drink, go with bourbon and drink it neat.

If this describes you, I have a bunch of resources for you that will help you find the best bourbons for your budget and taste preferences.

I highly recommend checking out these articles:

Bourbon And Whiskey As Kitchen Aids And Collector’s Items

But, back to the pressing issue of what constitutes a proper Old Fashioned, it is perfectly fine to use either bourbon or whiskey. Both offer a smoky, sweet, and strong kick to the drink, and when mixed with sugar water and bitters, it becomes an age-old classic cocktail. But if you really want to take it back, Thrillist explains that it was first made with gin in an 1862 bartending book.

Still, bourbon and whiskey can be used for much more than mules and sours. Besides great cocktails, bourbon makes an excellent tenderizing marinade for chicken, beef, or whatever is on the menu. It’s also a great way to introduce a smoky and caramelized element to jams, sauces, and baked goods. Whisky, on the other hand, is great for desserts, according to BBC Good Food. Pudding, tarts, pies, and cake can all benefit from the savoriness of a splash of whisky.

Lastly, they are popular and expensive collector’s items. So, if you have a few extra dollars to spare, then you’re in luck. Some rare 1984 bourbons cost upwards of $30,000, but compared to a $1.9 million bottle of Macallan whisky, the first seems a little more doable. However, the most expensive whisky yet to be purchased is Isabella’s Islay a diamond and ruby-studded bottle selling for a mere $6.4 million, per Restaurant Clicks. A one-ounce cocktail of this would equal nearly $256,000. Who’s picking up the tab?

Difference Between Bourbon And Whiskey

April 17, 2011 Posted by koshal

Bourbon is a type of whiskey, but not all whiskeys are bourbon. The key difference between Bourbon and whiskey is that Bourbon is only produced in the United States, mainly using corn whereas whiskey is produced all over the world using various types of grains.

Since Bourbon is a type of whiskey, their production process is very similar. Its interesting to note that, in the earlier days, Bourbon was considered cheap, bitter, and very bad. However, with the recipe changing and years of hard work, bourbon has now become an expensive drink produced under the United States governments supervision.

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Must Be Aged In Charred Oak Barrels

In order for bourbon to be sold and exported as bourbon, it also needs to be aged oak barrels that have been charred on the inside.

There are no set rules on how long bourbon should be aged for inside the barrel, but its common practice for most bourbons to age for a minimum of two years. Most experts agree that the longer the bourbon is left to age in the barrel, the mellower it is to drink.

For a bourbon to be sold as straight bourbon whisky it needs to have been aged inside a charred oak barrel for a minimum of two years.

Whiskies, on the other hand, can be aged in barrels that were once used to age other spirits, and they dont need to be whisky barrels either rum or port casks are incredibly popular when ageing non-bourbon whiskies.

Scotch Vs Bourbon A Tasters Club Look Into Two Distinct Spirits

Do you know the difference between bourbon and whiskey?

Scotch vs Bourbon how different are they from each other, and which one is better for sipping? Besides their nutritional value and the fact that theyre both distilled from grains, Scotch and Bourbon are very different from each other, including where theyre produced, their ingredients, their flavor profiles, the legal requirements of each type, and even the spelling of their whisky categories.

Bourbon is whiskey, whereas Scotch is whisky. The spelling difference comes from the translation of words from the Scottish and Irish Gaelic forms, but now its used to distinguish whether a whisky is made in Scotland or not. Scotch whisky is made in Scotland, and Bourbon whiskey is made in America. Lets discover more about what makes these spirits unique in this guide through Scotch vs Bourbon.

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Popular Bourbon And Whiskey Cocktails

Now, the fun part is mixing these spirits into cocktails! Of course, bourbon cocktails are whiskey cocktails. But not all whiskey cocktails are bourbon cocktails. In other words, some whiskey cocktails call for bourbon specifically. Other whiskey cocktails you can use any style of whiskey, including bourbon. Usually Irish whiskey cocktails and Scotch cocktails are specific to that type of whiskey, so dont substitute bourbon.

When Would You Want To Use Each Type Of Whiskey

The most well-known whiskey cocktails, the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan, can be made with either bourbon or rye whiskey, according to the drinkers preference, as can the Whiskey Sour, the Hot Toddy, and the Boulevardier and its cousin, the Old Pal.

Some cocktails call specifically for one or the other. The Mint Julep, for example, is always made with bourbon, while the Sazerac is strictly rye-based .

When considering which whiskey to use, keep in mind that rye generally makes a drier cocktail, while bourbons oily mouthfeel can enhance the drinks body. Regardless of your choice, make sure the whiskeys proof is appropriate: Too strong and it will overpower the rest of the ingredients whereas at only 40% ABV, it could get lost. Whiskeys at 43% to 46% ABV hit the middle-of-the-road mark for most cocktails.

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Is Tennessee Whiskey The Same As Bourbon

The main difference between Tennessee whiskey and bourbon is their method of filtering. Tennessee whiskey is filtered through a process known as the Lincoln County Process whereby the whiskey is filtered through charcoal prior to being aged in charred oak barrells at no more than 125 proof .

Of course, this method of manufacturing is very similar to bourbon and does everything a bourbon does to be called a bourbon. In fact, the Lincoln County Process doesnt disqualify a whiskey being called a bourbon. However, the general consensus is that the Lincoln County Process makes Tennessee whiskey different enough from bourbon that it shouldnt be called bourbon.

The most famous Tennessee whiskey out there is Jack Daniels and it alongside other Tennessee distillers doesnt refer to its product as bourbon, although it does taste similar.

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How Are Scotch And Rye Different

The real difference between scotch, whiskey, and bourbon

The other two main types of whiskeys are scotch and rye, each with their own distinct flavor profiles and qualifications. To qualify as a scotch, the spirit must be made from malted barley. Often, barley, water, and yeast are the only ingredients used. The alcohol by volume must be between 40 and 94.8 percent, and it must be made 100 percent in Scotland. Rye is a bit more complicated to define. American ryes only need to consist of 51 percent rye grain, while Canadian versions can be labeled rye if it has some rye in it.

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Weller Bourbon Special Reserve Review

*Bourbon Culture is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Pappy Van Winkle frenzy has it roots starting all the way back to 1996 when it scored a 99 out of 100 from the Beverage Tasting Institute. Since then, it has racked up more and more awards and has become one of the most coveted labels in all of bourbon.

modern day Pappy Van Winkle products

This meant that the only difference between bottles of Pappy and Weller bourbon lay in who was selecting them. This led to a rush where all Weller 12 bottles were cleared from the shelves. Old Weller Antique followed shortly thereafter and finally, Weller Special Reserve vanished.

What Is The Difference Between Straight Bourbon And Bourbon Whiskey

The primary requirement that defines bourbon as straight is if the distillate has spent a minimum of two years stored in new charred oak barrels. The only exception to this rule is corn whiskey, which is aged in uncharred or used oak barrels. During the aging process, Bourbon oxidizes and penetrates the wood.

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What Makes Bourbon Different From Whiskey

Bourbon is always whiskey, but whiskey is not always bourbon. Bourbon has important distinctions that differentiate it from whiskey: it has to be made in the United States from at least 51% corn, be aged in new, charred American white oak barrels, and the finished product must be at least 80 proof.

Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky

Whiskey Wisdom: The Difference Between Whiskey And Bourbon

Bourbon Vs. Scotch: Letâs Understand the Difference?

This piece originally appeared as Bourbon vs. Whiskey on Purewow.

Theres nothing better on a cold winters eve than curling up in your buffalo-checked onesie in front of a fire and sipping a nice glass of bourbon. Or is it whiskey? Is there really a difference? Does it matter?

In short, all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. And now that we know these essential distinctions, we can really taste the difference.

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Is It Whiskey Or Whisky

The answer to this question is purely a matter of preference. Both are technically correct. American and Irish brands will most often use the âWhiskeyâ spelling, while Scotland, Canada, and a large portion of the EU tend to use the âWhiskyâ spelling.

We prefer to use the Whisky spelling to refer to both our own and the entire spirit category unless we are speaking about specific brands that call themselves whiskey.

Whiskey Vs Bourbon Mash Bill Requirements

To produce any type of whiskey, the whiskey maker must first create a grain mash the distillers equivalent to beer brewing. The mash is created by grinding cereal grains and adding them to water, cooking the mixture to convert the starches to sugars a process called saccharification then cooling the liquid and pitching yeast and allowing the brew to ferment to create a terminal beer of about six percent ABV .

The mixture of grains used in this process and their overall proportions is called the mash bill.

Distillers of bourbon and other types of American whiskey may use lab-produced enzymes to create their mash. While malted barley is traditionally used in nearly all large bourbon brands, craft producers have begun to utilize synthetic diastase to induce saccharification during the cooking phase. Therefore, they can skip malted barley, which is used in nearly all types of traditional whiskey-making for its enzymatic properties.

A distiller of another type of whiskey from some other countries for example, Scotland would be barred from using these lab-produced enzymes, making them beholden to the traditional use of malted barley or other malted grains to produce beer with high enough alcohol content to allow distillation. But American distillers may choose to skip this step.

The type of grains used by distillers either by tradition or legal mandate goes a long way in determining the flavor profile of the finished whiskey.

Answer: Yes.

Answer: No.

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What To Know About These Two Styles Of Whiskeyand Where Tennessee Whiskey Fits In / Laura Sant

Newcomers to whiskey often wonder what distinguishes a bourbon from a rye. After all, the two brown liquids often smell and taste quite similar, they can be used interchangeably in many cocktails, and theyre impossible to tell apart on sight alone.

But there are significant differences between bourbon and rye that impact their flavor and, ultimately, how a drinker might want to enjoy them. This is what to know about the two major American whiskey styles, and how they are similar and different.

Are Bourbon Whiskey And Scotch The Same

The Difference Between Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey

No, bourbon, whiskey, and scotch are not the same. However, some types do overlap a bit, but well get into that later. Basically whiskey is the original version of the spirit. Bourbon and scotch are types of whiskies with different regulations and rules that make them different from whiskey. Each spirit is made from a specific grain mash that might include corn, barley, rye, and wheat. They are all distilled the same way with a couple of exceptions.

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Difference Between Scotch Bourbon And Whiskey

Scotch, bourbon, and whiskey are all types of distilled spirits, but they differ in terms of ingredients, production processes, and flavor profiles.


Scotch is a type of whiskey made in Scotland with malted barley as the primary grain. The barley is usually dried over a peat fire, which imparts a smoky flavor to the whiskey. In addition to barley, other grains, such as corn, wheat, and rye, may be used.

Bourbon is a type of whiskey made in the United States with at least 51% corn as the primary grain. It may also contain other grains, such as rye, wheat, and barley. The grains are usually mashed and fermented with yeast before being distilled.

Whiskey is a broad term for any type of spirit distilled from grain mash. It is made all over the world, with different countries having their own unique regulations and recipes. Whiskey can be made from barley, corn, rye, wheat, and other grains.

Production Processes

The production process for scotch, bourbon, and whiskey is essentially the same. The grains are first mashed and fermented with yeast to create a liquid known as wash. The wash is then distilled to produce a clear liquid known as distillate. Finally, the distillate is aged in oak barrels for several years to develop flavor.

Scotch must be aged in oak barrels in Scotland for at least three years. The barrels are usually charred before they are filled with the distillate. This charring gives the scotch a smoky flavor.

Flavor Profiles

Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey 2022 Holiday Blend

Average Price:$46

The Whiskey:

This high-rye bourbon from out in Colorado was blended especially for the holiday season this year. The juice is rested for three years high up in the mountains before its batched and cut with that iconic Colorado Rocky Mountain glacial water for bottling.

Tasting Notes:

Theres a real sense of fresh butterscotch on the nose with a sense of orange dark chocolate balls, apple cider, and a nice sharp cinnamon and clove spiciness. The palate has an echo of that orange dark chocolate with a brown sugar sweetness and a touch of powdery white pepper and ground cinnamon. The end has a slight minerally edge with a dash more pepper and butterscotch next to apple cider spiked with cinnamon and orange.

Bottom Line:

This is perfectly nice. Its like a warm wintery spiked drink with a bourbon kick thats a perfect stocking stuffer bottle.

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Can You Taste The Difference

Whiskeys flavor will vary depending on what type of whiskeyIrish, Japanese and so onso its tough to provide exact tasting notes for whiskey.

Bourbon usually has strong notes of vanilla, oak and caramel. These pleasant, often smooth notes make bourbon tasty enjoyed neat or on the rocks, as well as in cocktails.

Bourbons made with a higher amount of wheat , tend to be mellow and softer. Makers Mark is a popular example. Bourbons with a higher amount of rye will be spicier, like Bulleit bourbon.

Bourbon Vs Whiskey Whats The Difference

What, Exactly, Is the Difference Between Bourbon and Whiskey?

Bourbon vs whiskey what are they, and whats the difference between them? You might be interested to know that each of these popular spirits originated from opposite sides of the world during two different centuries. It seems people have had an affinity to ferment grains for hundreds of years, and today, we get to sip the benefits. So lets explore these two spirits, what makes them different and similar, and the best way to enjoy them.

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What About Bourbon Whiskey

What constitutes bourbon whiskey differs from country to country. However, it always refers to whiskey that is made from a mash containing at least 51% corn.

The definition that matters the most is the American one because bourbon has a long history in the deep south of the United States. Distilleries have been making bourbon in Bourbon Country, Kentucky since the late 18th Century after distilling was brought to the region by European immigrants.

The Americans mastered the production of bourbon so much that it is considered the birthplace of the spirit. In fact, the name Bourbon is thought to have come from either Bourbon Country or from Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

So what is American bourbon whiskey? It is a whiskey that is:

  • Made in the United States
  • Made from a mash that contained at least 51% corn
  • Aged in new, charred oak barrels
  • Distilled to no more than 160 proof
  • Placed into the container for aging at no more than 125 proof
  • Bottled at 80 proof or more

There is no minimum aging period for bourbon, so it can reside in a cask for as little a couple of months before being bottled. The exception is straight bourbon whiskey, must be aged in a charred new oak barrel for at least two years. Straight whiskeys must not contain any added flavoring, coloring, or other additives. Any bourbon that is aged for less than 4 years must specify so on its label.


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