I have been drinking whiskey and bourbon since I was 18 years old.  Simply put, its a man’s elixir and I enjoy that.  I’ve always been amazed at the answers I get when I ask people if they know the difference between bourbon and whiskey, hops, aging, barrels, etc.  If you are going to be a Rugged Male, then its probably good that we start with basics, understanding the general differences between these two manly spirits.

While Im sure there will be comments from whiskey aficionados out there, explaining in much more detail the differences, I will describe the generally accepted relationships.

  • Whiskey and bourbon are both made from a mixture of grains & mostly corn.
  • Whiskey and bourbon are typically bottled to at least 80 proof.
  • All bourbons are considered whiskey.
  • For a whiskey to be considered a bourbon it must be aged for at least 2 years, however most bourbons are aged for at least four years.
  • There are many trade and labeling requirements for a spirit to be sold as a bourbon internationally and in the US, but for the most part, in the US,  a bottle labeled bourbon means its origins are from Bourbon County in Kentucky.

Other things to note

  • Canadians, Scots & Brits use the spelling ‘whisky’, while Americans spell it “whiskey”.
  • While “scotch” is a common term for scotch whiskey in the U.S. and internationally, you will never hear the term used in Scotland, they will order a whisky, and its assumed they mean scotch.
  • Many people think Jack Daniels is bourbon. It’s not.  Jack is made in Tennessee, thats why Old No.7 says Tennnesee Whiskey on the label.

There are so many great whiskeys and bourbons out there, give ’em a shot, or in a snifter, or add a splash of ginger beer.   Some of the brands we like include, Bulleit, Rebel Yell, High West, Basil Hayden’s and of course Powers – John Power & Sons, Dublin Whiskey.


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