Difference Between Whisky And Bourbon

Are you someone who can’t stay off from whiskey for long? Did you know there are many whiskey lovers like you? According to research done, the volume of whiskey sales has significantly increased from year to year between 2010-2019, amounting to nearly 70 million cases.

If you are such an avid lover of whiskey, then bourbon whiskey is a must-try. Let us see how regular whiskey is different from bourbon whiskey in this article.

What Is The Difference Between Whiskey And Bourbon?

Regular Whiskey

Whiskey is a type of liquor that is made using a distillation process. It is produced by fermenting grains like corn, barley, wheat, rye, and also malt. The final product of whiskey, which is made out of fermentation and distillation, is stored and aged for years until desired age in oak containers.

Bourbon Whiskey

Bourbon is nothing but a type of whiskey. It is made out of the distillation of cereal grains similar to that of whiskey. However, at least 51 percent of it should be corn. The grains which are distilled must be proofed for up to 160 or less. When you store bourbon whiskey, you must keep it in new oak barrels at 125 proof or less. Bourbon whiskey should be free of any additives in it.

Bourbon whiskey has a slightly sweetish taste because of corn. It also tastes like vanilla, cinnamon, and toffee. We do get some smoky flavor when we drink bourbon as it is stored in oak barrels. Bourbon whiskey doesn’t need a minimum time to age.

The variation in the percentage of ingredients used makes a significant difference between whiskey and bourbon whiskey.

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Difference Between Scotch Whiskey And Bourbon

What’s The Difference Between Scotch Whiskey And Bourbon?

Scotch whiskey and bourbon are types of whiskey. The major differences between scotch whiskey and bourbon whiskey are:

Place of Production

Bourbon whiskey is a product which is produced in the United States.

Scotch whiskey is a product which is produced in Scotland.


Bourbon whiskey comprises a major percentage of corn, nearly 51 percent.

Scotch whiskey comprises malted barley in it.


Bourbon whiskey doesn’t have a minimum restriction on aging. Age it in new oak barrels. But if whiskey is aged less than four years, the bottle must be labeled with it.

Scotch whiskey must be aged for at least three years in oak barrels.


  • Straight bourbon: A bourbon whiskey is called a straight bourbon whiskey if it is aged for a minimum of two years.
  • Scotch whiskey is generally of two types:
    • Single malt scotch whiskey: For scotch whiskey to be called a single malt, it is made of water and barley at a single distillery. But it can contain whiskey from different barrels. It is a blend of different barrels of whiskey, which we make in a single distillery.
    • Single grain scotch whiskey: It talks about the whiskey made in a single distillery but pot stills. It doesn’t restrict ingredients; they can be corn, rye, or wheat, and they can either be malted or unmalted.

Alcohol Content

Both bourbon whiskey and scotch whiskey must be bottled at 80 percent, proof having an alcohol percentage of a minimum of 40.

Level of Nutrients

When we talk about the nutrient level we get when we drink bourbon whiskey or scotch whiskey, they are of the same level.

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The above categories help us to understand what are the differences between scotch whiskey and bourbon whiskey in a better way.

Difference Between Bourbon Whiskey And Tennessee Whiskey

What Is The Difference Between Bourbon Whiskey And Tennessee Whiskey?

Tennessee whiskey and bourbon whiskey are made in Tennessee and Kentucky and taste alike; we have some differences between bourbon whiskey and Tennessee whiskey. Time to see them.

To be called bourbon whiskey, it has to satisfy the following.

  • It majorly is made in Kentucky but can be produced in any place in the United States.
  • At least 51 percent of corn should be present in it. Corn shouldn’t be too much when we calculate the mash bill of corn; if it reaches 80 percent, it can no longer be called bourbon.
  • If the whiskey has to be called bourbon, you have to age it in new charred American oak barrels.
  • When we distill the whiskey, it has to reach alcohol by a volume percentage of 80.
  • When you bottle, it must have an alcohol by volume percent of 40.

For a whiskey to be called Tennessee whiskey, it has to satisfy the below conditions.

  • It should be made in Tennessee or should go for the filtration process.
  • It should be aged in new American oak barrels.
  • It should have 51 percent of corn in it.
  • After distillation, it should have 80 percent of alcohol by volume.
  • When bottled, it should have an alcohol by volume percent of 40.
  • Any whiskey to be called Tennessee whiskey should satisfy the above and go through the Lincoln County Process.
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What is the Lincoln County process?

It is a filtration process in which the fresh distilled liquid from stills gets filtered using maple charcoal ricks. The filtration is done days before the fluid is shifted into barrels for the aging process.

The filtration process makes significant differences between Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Whiskey Taste Better With Aging in Bottles?

No, whiskey doesn’t taste better with age when packed in a bottle. It can taste better if it has been in the oak barrels. The oak will break the complex flavors and make the liquid taste smoother. But once you open the barrels and shift the whiskey into a bottle and store it away for years on the shelf, it doesn’t make a difference in its taste.

Are All Whiskeys Bourbon?

It is a regular misconception which many have. It is the other way around; all whiskeys are not bourbon, but all the bourbons come under whiskey. Whiskey has many types like bourbon, screwball, rye, Canadian, and more. The whiskey’s variation in taste is because of the difference in ingredients and their alcohol by volume percentage.


To satisfy the taste buds of whiskey lovers, we have many whiskeys with different ingredients and unique tastes. Bourbon whiskey is a type of famous whiskey. This article will help you get a clear picture of how bourbon whiskey is different from other whiskeys. Do try bourbon whiskey today and tell us about your experience.