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What Makes Your Drink a Bourbon, Whiskey, Scotch Or Rye? [Infographic]

by Melissa Lobo

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Whiskey, we know, is mainly produced in grain cultivating regions. From malt to grain, blended and barrel proof, the production process typically defines different types of whiskeys. The finished product accordingly varies in terms of taste, base flavor and quality. 

Global whiskey market is growing steadily. A compound annual growth rate of 3.7% over the course of next five years is very much in sight, says ResearchandMarkets.

This clearly signifies how much people love their drink all over the world. The trend is not just with whiskey but also with other alcoholic drinks. For instance, wine, which is equally popular, saw a total consumption of 242 million hectolitres previous to last year.

What’s interesting is the fact that people who drink whiskey and enjoy cocktails, know very little about it. Yes, of course, they know how a brand tastes like but nothing beyond that. Even the people who’ve been into whiskey business, trade or hospitality sector for years, aren’t exactly aware of some of its most enthralling facts.


There are millions of decade-old whiskey barrels still preserved around the world. Jack Daniels and Pike Creek have kept it safe over the time. Experts say that a bottle of whiskey never goes out of taste and quality if it stays unsealed and away from sunlight.

Just like most other drinks, the quality of the water matters as much as that of the grains and other ingredients used in its production. People also debate on things like whether to put ice in it, have it in one shot or follow the art of drinking slow. However, it all turns out to be a matter of personal choice.

People may well be aware of international brands, prices, and availability today. but when it comes to knowing small things like what makes their drink a bourbon, whiskey, scotch or rye, many may not have a clue. And just in case you’re one of them too, it’s time to spare a minute and go through this wonderful infographic. It explains the difference between the types of whiskeys beautifully well.





The Bourbon name originated from “Old Bourbon” in Kentucky and is a whiskey that’s distilled from corn.

For a whiskey to be considered a bourbon, the grain mash must be at least 51 percent corn. By law, the mixture must be stored in charred oak containers and cannot contain any additives. 




Whiskey is produced stateside and in many countries, they spell it “whisky”.

This distilled alcoholic beverage is made from fermented grain mash (barley, corn, rye, or wheat) and typically aged in charred white oak casks, giving it a distinctive brown color. 

Whiskey is a broad category of liquor, with distinct variations in color, taste, and smell.




Scotch is whiskey that must be produced in Scotland. It is made from mostly malted barley and aged in oak barrels for three years or more.

The number following the name on a bottle of Scotch depicts for how long it was aged. 

Some Scotch taste like bourbon, but with a signature smokiness that lingers at the tail-end of a tasting. For this reason, some people avoid it, but for others, the acquired taste only makes the experience better.




Rye whiskey can refer either to American whiskey, which must be distilled from at least 51 percent rye and aged two years or more, or Canadian whiskey, which may or may not actually include any rye in its production process.

Full in body and spice, rye – which had been playing second fiddle to its closest cousin, bourbon, ever since the U.S. corn production increased in the decades following prohibition – has been making a steady comeback.


Now that you know your drink, experience that kick and punch like you have never before!

Pair the best-quality whiskeys with scrumptious food on a culinary and cultural holiday!

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