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(Smithsonian Magazine)   How do you tell the difference between whiskey and bourbon? Ask scientist TOM COLLINS   (blogs.smithsonianmag.com) divider line 63
    More: Amusing, distillates, Bourbon Street  
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6932 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Sep 2013 at 5:17 PM (45 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-10 04:53:12 PM
How do you tell the difference between whiskey and bourbon

Really, submitter?
 
2013-09-10 05:00:28 PM
Because bourbon is a whiskey, but not all whiskey (or whisky) is bourbon?

/you can keep your disgustingly sweet corn whiskeys
 
2013-09-10 05:18:40 PM
Well, they're spelled differently.
 
2013-09-10 05:20:52 PM
More than 50% of the mash is corn and it's aged in charred unused oak barrels.

And no matter what those 'Tennessee Whiskeys' try to sell as marketing, it's the same stuff.
 
2013-09-10 05:28:12 PM
"The smokiness behind your favorite whiskey might all be thanks to chemistry."
"Bourbon is always whiskey, but whiskey isn't always bourbon."


holy fark youdontsay.jpg
 
2013-09-10 05:28:36 PM
I going to use wiki to summarize what makes a whiskey a Bourbon:

made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn.
aged in new, charred-oak barrels
distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof (80% alcohol by volume)
entered into the barrel for aging at no more than 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume) and be
bottled (like other whiskeys) at 80 proof or more (40% alcohol by volume).

Bourbon has no minimum specified duration for its aging period. Products aged for as little as three months are sold as bourbon.

Bourbon that meets the above requirements, has been aged for a minimum of two years, and does not have added coloring, flavoring, or other spirits may (but is not required to) be called straight bourbon.
Bourbon that is labeled as straight that has been aged under four years must be labeled with the duration of its aging.

Bourbon that has an age stated on its label must be labeled with the age of the youngest whiskey in the bottle (not counting the age of any added neutral grain spirits in a bourbon that is labeled as blended, as neutral-grain spirits are not considered whiskey under the regulations and are not required to be aged at all).

Bourbon that is labeled blended (or as 'a blend') may contain added coloring, flavoring, and other spirits (such as un-aged neutral grain spirits); but at least 51% of the product must be straight bourbon.
 
2013-09-10 05:32:12 PM
One of them isn't scotch, and the other one is even less scotch.
 
2013-09-10 05:32:31 PM
How do you tell the difference between whiskey and bourbon?

The taste?

If you can't tell the difference, please go back to drinking bud light and stop acting like you dig whisk(e)y to impress everyone.
 
2013-09-10 05:39:41 PM

adenosine: More than 50% of the mash is corn and it's aged in charred unused oak barrels.

And no matter what those 'Tennessee Whiskeys' try to sell as marketing, it's the same stuff.


Tennessee whiskey legally must use the sour-mash process, which is not required in bourbon (although most bourbon makers use it). There are only two Tennessee whiskeys other than micro-distilleries: Jack Daniel's and George Dickel; both use 80 percent or greater corn in their mash, and don't use any wheat. Some bourbons include a fair amount of wheat, some have more rye.

Personally, I like straight rye whiskey, but I'm not saying it's better.
 
2013-09-10 05:40:16 PM

EbolaNYC: How do you tell the difference between whiskey and bourbon?

The taste?

If you can't tell the difference, please go back to drinking bud light and stop acting like you dig whisk(e)y to impress everyone.


You sound snobbish.
 
2013-09-10 05:41:19 PM

unyon: Because bourbon is a whiskey, but not all whiskey (or whisky) is bourbon?

/you can keep your disgustingly sweet corn whiskeys


The ones like Bulleit that have a lot of rye in the mash aren't bad.
 
2013-09-10 05:47:16 PM

unyon: Because bourbon is a whiskey, but not all whiskey (or whisky) is bourbon?

/you can keep your disgustingly sweet corn whiskeys


Fine. You can have your iodine-flavored whiskys. Peat smoke: it's a bug, not a feature.
 
2013-09-10 05:49:08 PM
 
2013-09-10 05:52:53 PM
Bourbon tastes like ass, whiskey tastes like boiled ass.
 
2013-09-10 05:54:47 PM
Bourbon is a type of whiskey, but other kinds of whiskies are properly called whisky.
 
2013-09-10 06:00:45 PM
Where does scotch come in to this discussion? Or is it like champagne and just called scotch because its whiskey made in Scotland? Or it it akin to bourbon that all scotch is whiskey but not all whiskey is scotch. I do know that scotch is always better than bourbon.
 
2013-09-10 06:04:16 PM
I cant
 
2013-09-10 06:05:29 PM
Tom Collins is gin.  But that is pretty cool.

Zeno-25: Bourbon is a type of whiskey, but other kinds of whiskies are properly called whisky.


The Irish would like a word.
 
2013-09-10 06:08:44 PM
One has an Irishman stuck to it, and he hasn't opened the other one yet.
 
2013-09-10 06:09:02 PM

DubtodaIll: whiskey made in Scotland?


no such thing
 
2013-09-10 06:11:50 PM
The smokiness behind your favorite whiskey might all be thanks to chemistry.

Baloney.  Got dam science-ists!  Ever buddy knows it tastes like that a cause of the magical booze fairies.
 
2013-09-10 06:16:02 PM
Okay, I'll help.

Send me bottles of both. And I will tell you the difference.

You're welcome.
 
2013-09-10 06:21:15 PM
i think tom's fulla gin and shouldn't comment on this.
 
2013-09-10 06:23:47 PM
Mmm. Bourbon.
 
2013-09-10 06:25:10 PM
I want to be Tom Collins.
 
2013-09-10 06:27:07 PM

Chinchillazilla: Mmm. Bourbon.


THIS.
 
2013-09-10 06:28:35 PM
I'm going to Kentucky's whiskey trail this weekend so I'm getting a kick. . .
 
2013-09-10 06:28:36 PM
as long as its not from Kentucky you're safe.
 
2013-09-10 06:29:33 PM

megarian: Okay, I'll help.

Send me bottles of both. And I will tell you the difference.

You're welcome.


i105.photobucket.com
 
2013-09-10 06:33:08 PM
The label on the bottle.
 
2013-09-10 06:42:41 PM
Bulleit is very good or the price, and Blanton's is good as well.  Of course the standards Woodford and Maker's are tasty, but keep Beam as far away as possible.  The smell makes me nauseous.  Few bad experiences in the past.

That said, I'll take a good tequila over bourbon any day.  Warm, no salt no lime.

/owns Death Star bourbon ball ice maker
 
2013-09-10 06:44:10 PM
Rye > Scotch > Whiskey > Bourbon

In that order.
 
2013-09-10 06:51:59 PM
Seeing two of every single neon sign. You'll find me downtown, gracefully face down, wishing I could feel alright
 
2013-09-10 06:53:43 PM

CruJones: Bulleit is very good or the price, and Blanton's is good as well.  Of course the standards Woodford and Maker's are tasty, but keep Beam as far away as possible.  The smell makes me nauseous.  Few bad experiences in the past.

That said, I'll take a good tequila over bourbon any day.  Warm, no salt no lime.

/owns Death Star bourbon ball ice maker


Eagle Rare is a good, low-price go to, it runs about $23-$28 a bottle around here.  I just tried a new one, made in Buellton, CA, called Breaker.  It was surprisingly good.  I really miss the Elijah Craig 18-year, that had to have been the best value in bourbon for the year or so it was available.
 
2013-09-10 07:01:04 PM

timujin: CruJones: Bulleit is very good or the price, and Blanton's is good as well.  Of course the standards Woodford and Maker's are tasty, but keep Beam as far away as possible.  The smell makes me nauseous.  Few bad experiences in the past.

That said, I'll take a good tequila over bourbon any day.  Warm, no salt no lime.

/owns Death Star bourbon ball ice maker

Eagle Rare is a good, low-price go to, it runs about $23-$28 a bottle around here.  I just tried a new one, made in Buellton, CA, called Breaker.  It was surprisingly good.  I really miss the Elijah Craig 18-year, that had to have been the best value in bourbon for the year or so it was available.


Yeah, that Elijah Craig 18 was my favorite. Shame about it all selling out. Next time it come up, I'm going to buy a case.
 
2013-09-10 07:02:54 PM
Btw subby, good find on tfa. It was a good read.
 
2013-09-10 07:04:30 PM
www.beveragewarehouse.com
¡Hola, chicos! ¿Qué está pasando en este hilo?
 
2013-09-10 07:08:15 PM

Private_Citizen: timujin: CruJones: Bulleit is very good or the price, and Blanton's is good as well.  Of course the standards Woodford and Maker's are tasty, but keep Beam as far away as possible.  The smell makes me nauseous.  Few bad experiences in the past.

That said, I'll take a good tequila over bourbon any day.  Warm, no salt no lime.

/owns Death Star bourbon ball ice maker

Eagle Rare is a good, low-price go to, it runs about $23-$28 a bottle around here.  I just tried a new one, made in Buellton, CA, called Breaker.  It was surprisingly good.  I really miss the Elijah Craig 18-year, that had to have been the best value in bourbon for the year or so it was available.

Yeah, that Elijah Craig 18 was my favorite. Shame about it all selling out. Next time it come up, I'm going to buy a case.


From what I've read, it's not coming back.  And I've been hunting for it. I found two hipster bars here in L.A. that still had bottles, the people that normally frequent them are the type that order PBR tall boys...  Neither of them would sell them to me, dammit.
 
2013-09-10 07:08:52 PM
Too. Many. Words.

Pour an Angel's Envy. Enough said.
 
2013-09-10 07:21:47 PM

Cagey B: How do you tell the difference between whiskey and bourbon

Really, submitter?


First you become an adult.  After that, when you no longer crave crap like Zima, or PeachTree Schnapps, you'll know the difference immediately.
 
2013-09-10 07:44:36 PM
Anyone who can't tell the difference by simply tasting it probably isn't old enough to drink.
 
2013-09-10 07:53:57 PM

DjangoStonereaver: [www.beveragewarehouse.com image 368x746]
¡Hola, chicos! ¿Qué está pasando en este hilo?


My drink of choice - because the lovely Scotch and Irish whiskeys (and their peat influences) physic my tender bowels the next morning and I prefer not to suffer such indignities.

The best blend is to mix the Gold with the Select for a sipping blend.
www.examiner.com
 
2013-09-10 08:07:54 PM

CptnSpldng: DjangoStonereaver: [www.beveragewarehouse.com image 368x746]
¡Hola, chicos! ¿Qué está pasando en este hilo?

My drink of choice - because the lovely Scotch and Irish whiskeys (and their peat influences) physic my tender bowels the next morning and I prefer not to suffer such indignities.

The best blend is to mix the Gold with the Select for a sipping blend.
[www.examiner.com image 147x480]


Try this next time, from Puerto Rico:
thewinecountry.com

or this one, from Kauai:
www.tastingkauai.com
 
2013-09-10 08:10:17 PM

mbillips: Tennessee whiskey legally must use the sour-mash process,


Nope. Tennessee Whiskey does not exist as a legal classification, except for in trade agreements, which define the term as straight bourbon made in Tennessee. And no, the "charcoal mellowing" does not count as additional flavoring bourbon is prohibited from having. It counts as filtering, and many bourbons undergo the exact same process.

It's marketing. Nothing else. Legally, Jack Daniels is just overpriced bourbon. At least, I'm pretty sure there's a legal classification defining 4 year old bourbon that costs $20 as "overpriced shiat".


mbillips: unyon: Because bourbon is a whiskey, but not all whiskey (or whisky) is bourbon?

/you can keep your disgustingly sweet corn whiskeys

Fine. You can have your iodine-flavored whiskys. Peat smoke: it's a bug, not a feature.


YOU SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH!
 
2013-09-10 08:30:45 PM

mbillips: unyon: Because bourbon is a whiskey, but not all whiskey (or whisky) is bourbon?

/you can keep your disgustingly sweet corn whiskeys

Fine. You can have your iodine-flavored whiskys. Peat smoke: it's a bug, not a feature.


Irish doesn't taste like a bog, nor does it taste like corn syrup.
 
2013-09-10 08:41:39 PM

The All-Powerful Atheismo: One of them isn't scotch, and the other one is even less scotch.




You know what this whiskey needs? Dirt!

/i keed
 
2013-09-10 08:49:34 PM

Cagey B: How do you tell the difference between whiskey and bourbon

Really, submitter?


I see we are done here

/turn out the lights as you leave
 
2013-09-10 08:54:27 PM
FTFA: There are components that are barrel derived... some components that appear to be grain related, and there are also likely to be components that are derived from the yeast that are used do the fermentation."

So, to recap, there are components derived from all the ingredients and the container (barrel) in which it is aged.
The ingredients make up the final product.  Astounding science!
 
2013-09-10 09:08:14 PM

StoPPeRmobile: The All-Powerful Atheismo: One of them isn't scotch, and the other one is even less scotch.

You know what this whiskey needs? Dirt!

/i keed


It's not like much else grows in Scotland

and it's PEAT, not the same thing!
 
2013-09-10 09:21:14 PM
We should consult a scientician
 
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