Whiskey is one of the most popular spirits out there, and it comes in many different forms. There’s bourbon, Scotch, Irish whiskey, Canadian whiskey, and so many others that it can be a bit confusing to understand exactly what makes each one unique. A lot of people are familiar with blanton’s full set bourbon as it’s one of the most well-known types of whiskey. However, even people who know quite a bit about alcohol might not know exactly what sets bourbon apart from other whiskeys. This article will explore the main differences between bourbon and other types of whiskey, including Scotch and rye. Keep reading to learn more!
What is Whiskey?
As you might imagine, “whiskey” is a spirit made from the fermentation of grains, typically corn, rye, barley or wheat. The term whiskey can refer to any distilled alcoholic beverage made from grain, including American whiskey and Irish whiskey. The main difference between whiskey and other spirits is how it is made. While most spirits start with a base of fermented grain mash, then are distilled to turn it into alcohol, whiskey is made by fermenting and distilling fermented grain mash that has also been fermented with yeast and bacteria. This process creates a liquid that is much thicker than other spirits and is often aged in oak barrels to mature. In the case of buffalo trace, the whiskey is made from a fermented grain mash that has been distilled and then aged in oak barrels.
Bourbon is a type of whiskey made from a specific corn mash and distilled to no more than 80% alcohol by volume (ABV). These guidelines determine whether a spirit is bourbon or not, so if a whiskey isn’t made according to these rules, it cannot be called bourbon even if it is made with corn. Bourbon is named after a region in Kentucky, where it was first made and aged in oak barrels. It also used to be made with rye as the second grain in its mash bill, with corn as the primary grain. Most bourbons still use corn as their primary grain, with rye as the second grain. And while some craft distilleries have begun to experiment with making rye-based bourbons, they are very rare. The Weller Special Reserve is a rye-based bourbon that is worth trying if you can find it.
The Difference Between Bourbon and Whiskey
The first thing to understand about the difference between bourbon and whiskey is that the two are not the same thing. Bourbon is a type of whiskey, but not all whiskeys are made from corn mash and are therefore not bourbons. In general, the main difference between bourbon and whiskey is the mash bill. The Johnnie walker collection includes a variety of bourbons and whiskeys, each with its own distinct flavor profile. Bourbons are made with a mash bill of corn and rye, while whiskeys can be made with any of those grains, or a combination of all three. This means that bourbons have a specific flavor profile that is different from other whiskeys and from other spirits made with all-grain mash bills. Therefore, while there are some similarities between bourbons and whiskeys, they are ultimately very different.
Scotch vs. Bourbon
The main difference between bourbon and Scotch is that Scotch is a style of whiskey, while bourbon is a type of whiskey. Bourbon is a type of whiskey made with a mash bill of at least 51% corn and aged in new oak barrels. Scotch is made with fermented grains other than corn, like barley and rye. Bourbon and Scotch both generally have a sweet, caramel-like flavor and are made to be enjoyed neat or on the rocks, but some Scotches are also aged in oak barrels. This aging process gives Scotches some of the same flavor characteristics as bourbons and often leads people to mistakenly think that Scotch is a type of bourbon.
Rye vs. Bourbon
Rye is often used as a secondary grain in mash bills for other whiskeys, but is more commonly used in the mash bill for a type of whiskey called rye whiskey. Rye whiskey is very similar to bourbon, but has a spicier flavor that comes from using rye as the second grain in the mash bill. Rye whiskey is sometimes called Canadian whiskey because Canada is the biggest producer of this type of whiskey.
Other Distinguishing Factors
Although the main difference between bourbon and whiskey comes down to the specific mash bill, there are some other notable differences. Age: Kentucky bourbon must be aged at least two years. Scotch can be aged up to 30 years, while Irish whiskey must be aged three years. ABV: Bourbon must be distilled to no more than 80% ABV. Scotch must be distilled to no more than 94.8% ABV. Irish whiskey must be distilled to no more than 78% ABV. Barrel Type: Bourbon must be aged in new oak barrels, while Scotch and Irish whiskey must be aged in used oak barrels. Terroir: Bourbon is often associated with a specific region and the terroir of that region. Scotch and Irish whiskey can also be associated with specific regions.
Bourbon is one of the most popular types of whiskey in the world, but it’s also one of the most misunderstood. People often mistakenly use the terms bourbon and whiskey interchangeably, or they think that all whiskeys are bourbons. While bourbon and whiskey are both types of whiskey, they are very different. Bourbon is a type of whiskey that must be made with a specific mash bill of corn and rye, be distilled to no more than 80% ABV, and must be aged in new oak barrels. These are the main differences between bourbon and whiskey.