What Is The Difference Between Whiskey And Bourbon

Whiskey & Bourbon Compared

The real difference between scotch, whiskey, and bourbon

Whiskeys are distilled spirits originating from grains, corn, barley, rye, or wheat. From these grains, various whiskeys are made. We have Scotch, rye whiskey, and American whiskey. There is also Tennessee whiskey, Irish whiskey, Japanese, Canadian, Blended, and bourbon whiskey.

Bourbon whiskey, as mentioned, is a type of whiskey commonly made in Kentucky. However, the difference between bourbon and regular whiskey lies mostly in the production process. Also, bourbon has that distinctive sweet flavor along with a somewhat raw taste attributed to aging.

  • You want sweeter notes to your drink.
  • You want to save money on a whiskey bottle.
  • You want a smooth or hard finish in your drink.

Scotch vs whiskey vs bourbon is quite hard to differentiate at first. However, once you get right into the drinks nitty-gritty, youll be able to identify them from each other.

Let us know in the comment section which characteristic of scotch and bourbon is a dead giveaway for you.

Whiskey Wisdom: The Difference Between Whiskey And Bourbon

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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It Doesnt Need To Come From Kentucky

You may have heard that in order to be a bourbon, the whiskey has to be from Kentucky. Thats not quite truebourbon can be made outside that state. But to be designated a Kentucky bourbon, the spirit has to be both distilled and aged in Kentucky. The name bourbon even comes from old Bourbon, what is now Bourbon County, Kentucky. Most bourbon is made in Kentucky, but not all, so it has become synonymous with the spirit, much as the Champagne region in France is synonymous with champagne, even though sparkling wine using similar methods is produced elsewhere. So next time you order a bourbon, you know that what youll be getting in your glass isnt just a whiskey, but a specific kind of whiskey.

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What Is The Difference Between Whisky And Bourbon

If youre not someone who drinks a lot of whisky, the difference between whisky and bourbon might not be noticeable. After all, they are both dark spirits that are aged in barrels, right? Wrong! Although the two drinks have a lot in common, they are worlds apart, which well cover off in this blog post.

So, what is the difference between whisky and bourbon? The first thing you should know is that, just like champagne is a type of wine, bourbon is also a type of whisky. So, all bourbon is whisky, but not all whisky is bourbon. Confused? Continue reading to discover all diferences.

Whiskey Vs Bourbon: Which Tastes Better

Bourbon Vs Whiskey Vs Scotch

This is completely subjectivethe reason there are so many different types of whiskey is because everyone has different flavor preferences.

Scotch lovers make fun of bourbon lovers because they cant handle the peaty flavor and opt for a sweeter liquor.

People from Europe will try Jack Daniels and think its disgusting.

And bourbon lovers will make fun of scotch lovers because their whiskey tastes like a soggy marsh.

But what I can tell you is that if you tend to like things on the sweet side, bourbon is for you.

If not, youll probably like a different whiskey like scotch better.

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Is Tennessee Whiskey Technically Bourbon

What a controversial question. Wars have been fought over this discussion.

Technically, the answer is yes.

This is because Tennessee Whiskey follows the legal guidelines for bourbon production and there isnt a law stating bourbon can only be made in Kentucky.

But Tennesseans and Kentuckians both dont want it to be called bourbon due to pride and whatever else.

What Is The Difference Between Whisky And Bourbon From Ingredients To Abv

Whisky ingredients vary depending on the style being made, the country where it originates, and a variety of other factors. However, in most cases the ingredients remain the same or similar. So, in those ingredients rely one of the answers to the question: What is the difference between whisky and bourbon?.

Whisky is manufactured using a tried and tested process. It uses fermented grain mash which can be barley, corn, rye, or wheat, and it is often aged in wooden barrels which help to give the whisky its distinct colour and flavour profile.

Bourbon, on the other hand, is distinct from other whiskeys in its ingredients, but also the way it is manufactured and aged. As per the American Bourbon Association, in order for a product to be sold or exported as Bourbon it must be made using a basic recipe of at least 51% corn this helps to give bourbon its distinct and sweet flavour.

As well as the ingredients, bourbon also must conform to the following standards:

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Are Bourbon Whiskey And Scotch The Same

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.

Whiskey Vs Bourbon Vs Scotch Abv Essentials

The difference between rye, bourbon, and scotch

If you still cant understand what the difference between whiskey and bourbon is, this should help. The good old Scotch Whisky Act guidelines state that a whiskey must be distilled at an alcohol by volume strength of less than 94.8% and have a minimum alcoholic concentration of 40% by volume to be considered a scotch. By American liquor standards, any bourbon higher than 125 proof shouldnt enter the barrel for maturation, and anything under 80 proof cant be bottled as bourbon.

We hope this article answers the age-old question, Whats the difference between bourbon and whiskey? to your satisfaction. Looking for a place to get Marsala or any other type of liquor you could possibly desire? Check out Arrow Liquormart, the nearest liquor store that can deliver straight to your doorstep!

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Rye Whiskey Vs Bourbon

Weve introduced bourbon and scotch as two cousins in the whiskey family, so what is rye whiskey?

Just like bourbon must be at least 51% corn, rye whiskey needs to be at least 51% rye to gain that classification. In the United States, just like bourbon, the rules mandate that rye whiskey must be aged in new oak barrels, previously unused.

Just as bourbon is sweet and scotch has a peaty flavor, rye whiskey is characterized by its light flavor profile and spiciness.

Whats The Difference Between Scotch And Whiskey

The main difference between scotch and whiskey is geographic, but it also involves ingredients and spellings. Scotch is whiskyno emade in Scotland, while bourbon is whiskey made in the U.S., generally in Kentucky. Scotch is made mostly from malted barley, while bourbon is distilled from corn. If youre in England and ask for a whisky, youll get scotch. But in Ireland, youll get Irish whiskey .

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How To Make A Simple Syrup

To make a rich simple syrup, boil 1 cup of sugar with ½ cup water and then allow it to cool. This syrup will add sweetness without watering down the drink.

You can use either cubes or syrup, but muddled sugar cubes add more body.

Just be sure that the sugar completely dissolves. It may take a few extra minutes, but at least you will have a couple of extra minutes to chat with your friends.

Each brand of bitters is made of different types of botanicals and will add subtle flavors to drinks.

In an Old Fashioned with bourbon, agostino bitters help round out the flavors without changing the overall character.

You only need a few drops as the flavors are concentrated, and while two or three will add some depth, too many can make the drink too bitter.

  • Orange garnish:

Cutting a perfect citrus twist is a skill you will use for many drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic alike.

This tiny but fancy touch takes an alcoholic drink like this one from good to great-in both flavor and beauty.

Does Bourbon Taste Different Than Whiskey


Bourbon has a bit of a sweeter, smoother taste then whiskey, with notes of caramel and vanilla. This is because it is always made from at least 51% corn, which is naturally quite sweet. Whiskey can vary in flavor depending on how long its has been aged, where it comes from, and how it is made, and can range from oaky and dry to a full-bodied caramel-like flavor. You definitely can’t go wrong with either!

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How To Enjoy Whiskey

Whiskey is a versatile beverage that can be enjoyed in many ways.

Most people drink whiskey straight or neat, which means by itself. Its typically recommended to drink whiskey this way at first to get a better idea of its flavor and aroma.

That said, adding a splash of water can help bring out its more subtle flavours. Additionally, you can drink whiskey with ice, commonly known as on the rocks.

If you dont like whiskeys taste by itself, you can try it in a cocktail.

Here are some popular whiskey cocktails:

  • Old Fashioned. This cocktail is made from a combination of whiskey, bitters, sugar, and water.
  • Manhattan. Made from a combination of rye or bourbon whiskey, bitters, and sweet vermouth , a Manhattan is typically served with cherries.
  • Classic highball. This drink is made from any style of whiskey, ice cubes, and ginger ale.
  • Mint julep. Typically served at derbies, a mint julep is made from a combination of bourbon whiskey, sugar , mint leaves, and crushed ice.
  • Whiskey sour. This cocktail is made from a combination of bourbon whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Its commonly served with ice and cherries.
  • John Collins. Made similarly to a whiskey sour, this drink also contains club soda.

Keep in mind that many of these drinks contain added sugars and can pack a lot of calories. Like any alcoholic or sweetened beverage, its best to enjoy these drinks sparingly.

Bourbon Vs Scotch: Which Is Better For You

Despite the fact that bourbon and Scotch have some differences, they are both made from grains and have similar nutritional profiles. Bourbon has a slightly sweet flavor with hints of vanilla, oak, caramel, and oak, whereas Scotch has a more intense smokiness. There is also a distinction between bourbons and scotches in terms of nutrition. Bourbon is made from corn, whereas Scotch is made from malted barley and has a slightly different flavor profile than bourbon. In general, bourbon is less popular than whiskey, but it is easier to drink.

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Bourbon Must Be Aged In New Charred Oak Barrels

Okay, so its not just about the corn. One interesting point of criteria is that all juice must be aged in new charred oak barrels. Mark that as your second bourbon clue.

Bourbon also must be aged in new charred oak barrels, and cannot include any additives or colorings. Other whiskeys can be aged in barrels previously used to age other spirits, and they dont necessarily need to be whiskey barrelsport, sherry, and rum casks are used in the aging process for non-bourbon whiskeys, . To be designated straight bourbon whiskey, bourbon has to have been aged in new charred oak barrels for a minimum of two years.

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Bourbon Vs Tennessee Whiskey: Which Is Better

Whatâs the difference between whiskey, rye, bourbon, and Scotch?

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:

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Learn The Difference Between Bourbon And Whiskey

Many people incorrectly use whiskey and bourbon interchangeably. While all bourbon is whiskey, not all whiskey is bourbon. Bourbon is held to some different standards than whiskey. For example, a true bourbon must be distilled from a mixture include at least 51% corn for that signature sweet flavor.

Bourbon must also be produced in America, while whiskey does not. It also cannot contain any additives, flavorings, or colors. The only thing in the bottle is pure bourbon!

What Is Rye Whiskey

Rye whiskey can be made anywhere in the world, but to be labeled rye in the United States it must adhere to certain rules: It must be made from a fermented mash of at least 51% rye grain . Like bourbon, it must be distilled to no more than 80% ABV, and proofed down to enter the barrel at no more than 62.5% ABV. It must be matured in new charred-oak containers, and bottled at a minimum of 40% ABV.

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How To Make An Old Fashioned

  • Add sugar cubes, water, and bitters to a lowball glass.
  • 2. Muddle the ingredients in the glass

    Use a flat bottom muddler to muddle together the sugar, water, and bitters until the sugar dissolves.

    3. Add bourbon whiskey to the glass, then stir everything to combine.

    4. Twist orange peel over the glass to get the oil out. Then, rub the twist over the rim of the glass.

    5. Add ice, stir, then serve!

    Bourbon Vs Whiskey What Is It

    Rye vs Bourbon: A Breakdown! â A Couple Cooks

    Whiskey is a spirit distilled from fermented grain mash, including various grains like wheat, rye, barley, and corn. Its then aged in wooden barrels or casks. Whiskey can be made worldwide, and there are many popular styles, including American Whiskey, Bourbon Whiskey, Scotch Whisky, and Irish Whiskey. Scotland is the original home of whisky, and its been produced there for hundreds of years- though youll find various tales of who produced it for the first time. We may never know the true story, but its fun to hear all the legends that have evolved over time. If youre curious about the details on how to make whiskey, check out our blog on the techniques, ingredients, and process that goes into producing it.Bourbon, made of grain, yeast, and water, is the namesake of its birthplace- Bourbon County, Kentucky, in the 1700s. It was produced in Kentucky and shipped down the Mississippi River to Louisiana, making its way to Bourbon Street. By tradition, true bourbon comes from distilleries in Old Bourbon County, but new laws allow the bourbon to be made anywhere in the US. However, the limestone water in Kentucky and the climate are two primary factors in determining the flavors. In honor of the tradition of real bourbon, most distilleries outside of Kentucky wont use the term bourbon in their whiskeys. If youre looking for a premium sipping bourbon, weve got you covered in our Bourbon of the Month Club.

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

    Liquor.com / 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.

    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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