How is Rye Whiskey Different From Bourbon?

 In whisky

Lately we’ve been writing a few blogs about the differences between the different whiskey types in the USA and what exactly makes each type different to the others.  With the massive growth in the Rye Whiskey industry in recent years, it would be remiss of us to leave it out.

So how is Rye Whiskey different from Bourbon Whiskey?

Well…not a lot actually.  It really comes down to the grain bill.  The distillation and ageing rules are virtually identical (you can read about the bourbon rules in our recent blog about whiskey and bourbon whiskey).  The key difference is the heavy use of Rye vs Corn…with both Rye whiskey and bourbon whiskey requiring 51% minimum of their respective grain.

Like Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey, Rye Whiskey must also be aged in new oak (charred) and is distilled to the same initial ABV limit of  80% (160 proof) and is not to be added to the barrel at higher than a 62.5% ABV (125 proof).

So really, the only real factor making Rye Whiskey different from Bourbon Whiskey is the grain bill used to create the wort.  It’s as simple as the difference between the minimum 51% Rye vs minimum 51% Corn used in the grain bill.

We recommend pouring your favourite Rye Whiskey and Bourbon Whiskey into one of these beautifully crafted whiskey glasses and testing the difference in tastes between the Rye Whiskey and corn based Bourbon Whiskey.


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