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Difference Between Rye and Bourbon

whiskey-pdRye vs Bourbon

Rye and Bourbon are two types of whiskeys. Though Rye and Bourbon are made in almost the same way, they are different in many ways, such as their taste and alcohol content.

The first difference that can be seen between Rye and Bourbon whiskeys is in the grains used for their manufacturing. While Rye whisky is made from rye grains, Bourbon whiskey is made from corn.

Rye whiskey consists of at least 51 per cent rye, and is distilled at less than 80 percent alcohol per volume. It is stored in oak barrels for a minimum period of two years.

Bourbon contains at least 79 per cent corn. But if the content of corn exceeds this percentage, it is then called Corn whiskey, and not Bourbon. This whisky is also made by distilling it to less than 80 percent alcohol per volume. Like Rye whiskey, Bourbon whiskey is also stored for a minimum period of two years in oak barrels.

The name Bourbon has been derived from the territory name of Bourbon in Kentucky, where the first Bourbon whiskeys were distilled. Rye whiskies are distilled in Kentucky.

A big difference that can be seen between the two whiskeys is that Rye is more potent than Bourbon. When comparing the alcohol content, Bourbon whiskey contains a higher amount per volume than the Rye whiskeys. While Bourbon is a slightly sweet whiskey, Rye whiskey is a bitter one.

Rye whisky is also considered to be spicy and very sharp when compared to Bourbon, which is a soft whisky.

Rye whisky was the most popular of the two whiskies before prohibition, but once prohibition came into effect, Bourbon whisky became the choice. Though Rye whisky has made a come back, Bourbon whisky is still the favorite.

Summary:

1. Rye whisky is made from rye. On the other hand, Bourbon whiskey is made from corn.

2. Rye whisky is more potent than Bourbon whisky.

3. While Bourbon is a slightly sweet whiskey, Rye whiskey is a bitter one.

4. When comparing the alcohol content, Bourbon whiskey contains a higher amount per volume than Rye whiskeys.

5. Rye whisky is also considered to be spicy and very sharp when compared to Bourbon, which is a soft whisky.

6. Bourbon whisky is a more popular drink than Rye whisky.


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1 Comment

  1. The fourth paragraph doesn’t make sense: “Bourbon contains at least 79 per cent corn. But if the content of corn exceeds this percentage, it is then called Corn whiskey, and not Bourbon.”

    I think the author means to say that bourbon contains at least 51% corn. If the corn percentage exceeds 79% it’s then called called corn whiskey, not bourbon.

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