What Makes Your Drink a Whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch or Rye?

October 27, 2017

Choose your poison!  If it's whiskey, that's where the real choices begin.

Just about every country is into whiskey production these days.  Here's how the top three stack up.

Scotland leads the world in the production of malt whiskey with over 80 distilleries in production. Brands like Jim Beam and Jack Daniels help the United States come in second in production, while Canada is ranked third, producing 22 million cases a year.

You may know the brands, and you may know the tastes, but what is it exactly that makes a drink a Whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch or Rye?

Bourbon comes from corn.  Well, at least 51% corn.  Bourbon also has to be stored and aged in charred oak containers and can't have any additives.

Whiskey is a very broad category and is made from fermented grain mash, which could be barley, corn, rye or wheat.

If it's Scotch, it's got to be from Scotland.  Malted barley is the main ingredient and it must be aged for 3 years or more in oak barrels.

Rye can be either American or Canadian and contains at least 51% rye and be aged for 2 years or more.

So, after all this, what's the most popular whiskey?  Truth is, it's a blend.  Blended Whiskey is the product of blending different types of whiskeys and sometimes also neutral grain spirits, coloring, and flavorings.  Blended whiskey enjoys 79% of the market share among whiskey fans.

Take a look at the infographic here - FindRareWhisky.com - and you'll learn a few more things!