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Bourbon vs Whisky: Setting the Record Straight [Infographic]

on 22/10/13 at 11:16 am

Booze News

imagesAre you familiar with the differences between bourbon and whisky? It’s time to set the record straight—once and for all. All bourbon is whisky, but not all whisky is bourbon. All bourbon must be made in America and the grain mixture must be at least 51 percent corn. Bourbon must be stored in new, charred containers—and it must be distilled to no more than 160 proof. With whisky, the law actually states that “the distillate must possess the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to whisky.” Whisky is a spirit distilled from grain that must be stored in oak containers. It must be distilled to no more than 190 proof.

Legally, there is no oak-age requirement for either whiskey or bourbon. If it’s younger than four years, the age must be labeled. Aging a day might make it whisky, but it doesn’t make it good. With whisky, some spell it with the “e” before the “y”—but Maker’s Mark spells it without to honor the Samuels’ Scottish Heritage. Not all whiskey is created equal. The general flavor profile for bourbon whisky is vanilla, oak and caramel notes. Whisky can be a sweet, nutty, spicy or softer vanilla flavor.

It takes approximately 5.75-7 years to become Maker’s Mark. “Maker’s Mark finishes forward on the palate, giving you access to a whole range of notes you might not get otherwise,” says Greg Davis, Maker’s Mark Master Distiller.

Thirsty for more information about bourbon and whiskey? Check out the full comparison infographic by Maker’s Mark!