Whiskey and bourbon

The Differences between a Whiskey and Bourbon are given here. Whiskey is an alcoholic beverage that is obtained by distilling fermented malt from cereals such as wheat, barley,

Difference between whiskey and bourbon
Difference between whiskey and bourbon

rye, and corn and then aging it in wooden barrels. Bourbon is a class of whiskey that is characterized by being aromatic and with a caramel flavor. It is made with corn with a concentration of between 50 and 70%.

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This term comes from the Scottish Gaelic “uisge-beatha” which means water of life. It is a distilled alcoholic beverage obtained from the fermented malt of cereals such as barley, rye, corn, and wheat. It is distilled and later aged in wooden barrels, usually white oak.

It is characterized by having an alcoholic content of between 40 and 60% by volume

The first writing on this drink dates from 1405 when it was distilled by the monks. It was also mentioned in Scotland in 1496. However, it is believed to have existed for several hundred years.

It is assumed that it was invented in China in the late 13th century as a medicine to cure the bubonic plague. The recipe was exported all over the world and over the years, the Scots perfected the process until they managed to make the whiskey that we all know.

The process begins by malting the barley, for which it is soaked and drained several times at 13ºC for three days. Then, it is transferred to drums where it is allowed to germinate for six days. When germinating, the starch in barley turns into sugar. Then, it is dried in ovens with peat smoke for three days at 70ºC. The barley acquires a dark tone and a unique aroma and is now known as malt.

The dry malt is roasted and ground and mixed with hot water in a tank. The water can come from specific springs to give the whiskey a unique purity. This mixture of malt and water is known as wort.

Yeasts are added to the must and it is left to ferment for 3 days at 33ºC. Then, it goes to distillation, it is distilled twice, in a pot still and spirit still stills.

Finally, aging follows. Each type of whiskey uses a type of barrel. They can be new or used, burned, or not. Single malt whiskeys use oak barrels that have held sherry or bourbon wines.

The wood provides aroma, flavor, and tannins. Whiskey only matures on wood and not in bottles.

Types of whiskey:

  • Malt whiskey.
  • Single Malt.
  • Vatted malt.
  • Grain whiskey.
  • Blended whiskey.


It is also known as Bourbon whiskey. It is a variety of highly aromatic whiskey with a caramel flavor originating in the United States.

It must be made with a corn base with a concentration of 50 to 70%. It is usually mixed with malted wheat, barley, or rye.

It has a minimum of two years of aging although, as a general rule, it is matured for a period of 5 years in oak barrels, either new or toasted.

It owes its name to the place in the USA where it is originally produced, Bourbon County in Kentucky.

suggested video: Whiskey vs Bourbon

Differences between a Whiskey and Bourbon

  • The term whiskey is usually associated only with Scottish, Irish, and Canadian whiskey.
  • Bourbon is a whiskey of American origin.
  • Scottish whiskey is classified into two main types: Single Malt (which includes only barley) and Single Grain (which includes barley and other cereals)
  • Bourbon is made from corn.
  • Scottish whiskey remains in used oak barrels for at least three years.
  • The bourbon remains in new American oak barrels.
  • Scottish whiskey must not exceed 40% alcoholic volume.
  • Bourbon can be a minimum of 40% to be marketed.
  • Scottish whiskey admits several distillations.
  • Bourbon is only distilled once.

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