What Is the Difference Between Bourbon & Whiskey?

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The difference between bourbon and whiskey is that whiskey can be made from wheat, barley, rye or corn and aged in any type of wood, while bourbon must have 51 percent corn and be aged in charred oak barrels. Discover how bourbon is only made in America, while whiskey can be made in different parts of the world, with information from a professional bartender in this free video on liquor.

Part of the Video Series: Liquor & Mixed Drinks
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Video Transcript

Okay, the difference between Bourbon and Whiskey. Standard Whiskey is made from one of four, well, one or more of four ingredients from grains. That being either wheat, barley, rye, or corn. Any combination of them really and you've got a whiskey, no matter what the percentage. This is Seagram's Seven, just a pretty standard Canadian, or American whiskey I should say. Now what makes a bourbon a bourbon. A bourbon is a whiskey but a bourbon has strict guidelines. Generally speaking a bourbon is made from fifty-one percent or more corn and that gives it a very distinct flavor. Also bourbon must be aged in charred oak barrels. Whereas a normal whiskey is normally aged in oak but, can really be aged in any type of wood. So, there are some other guidelines for what a bourbon whiskey must be but just by looking at them in a glass you would not be able to tell the difference. They have the same color, they're usually aged in the same type of wood, and but they do have very, very different flavors and bourbon by definition is made in America.

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