What’s the difference between rye whiskey and bourbon? It’s more than just an outdated term. Before we proceed, you must know what is meant by the names of these two specific categories. That being said, there are quite a few differences between them. Let’s take a look at what those are so you can make the most informed decision possible when choosing which one to drink.
The Basics of Whiskey Distillation
Whisky is the name of the distilled beverage made from fermented mash, grains, or potatoes. It is produced using one of several distillation processes. The type of grain and the pot used to ferment the mash will determine the type of whisky produced.
There are many varieties of whisky, including single malt, single pot, and blended whiskies. Single malt whiskies are those made from a single kind of grain. Single-pot whiskies are those made from a single pot, grain, or mash. They usually contain a combination of several grains, and blended whiskies are produced using a mixture of several types of grains.
Rye Whiskey Distillation Process
Unlike bourbon which is made from both rye and malted barley, rye whiskies are distilled from only rye. Rye whisky is typically distilled at a lower proof than bourbon because of its higher alcohol content. At its purest, rye whisky is distilled to 52% alcohol by volume (80 Proof). The rye whisky distillation process starts with rye.
As the rye is fermented, the majority of the ethanol and wood compounds are removed and replaced with more flavourful elements such as esters, caramel, and toasted grain notes. After the distillation process is complete, the rye is mixed with yeast and bacteria to further break down the remaining components and create a smoother, rounder flavour profile.
Bourbon Distillation Process and Ingredients
Unlike rye whiskies, bourbon is made from both rye and malted barley. At its core, bourbon is simply whiskey that is aged in new, charred American oak barrels. Many bourbons are also filtered through a charcoal-based process that removes some of the impurities that may exist in the liquid during fermentation.
The majority of bourbon is distilled at a low-proof and then usually lightly coloured, sweetened, and filtered. Bourbon is produced using a large number of ingredients, though the most important are sourced from American corn and malted barley. The corn distillates are used to produce the majority of bourbon’s sweetness, while the barley delivers rich, malty flavours. Other bourbon ingredients include yeast, water, and barrel-dried American oak.
Rye Whiskey Production and Trends
If you have been drinking rye whiskey for the past decade, then you have undoubtedly noticed an increase in its popularity. It is for good reason too, as rye whiskey is a great alternative to bourbon. Rye whiskeys are distilled from only one grain, rye, and are therefore much more flavourful than bourbon. They are also much more expensive than bourbon, which makes them a great choice for those who want to enjoy whiskey, but do not want to spend as much money as bourbon drinkers.
Bourbon Production and Trends
Bourbon is a type of whiskey that is produced in the United States. It was first produced in the early 1700s and it became a popular drink in the United States during the antebellum period, which was the time when it was intended to be consumed as a medicine. It is produced using a variety of ingredients, including American corn, malted barley, wheat, and rye.
The majority of bourbon’s sweetness comes from the use of American corn. After fermentation is complete, the bourbon is then distilled to lower the alcohol content to about 80 proof, before it is filtered and coloured before being bottled.
Bourbon producers have been experimenting with new and unique flavours as of late. Bourbon producers have been experimenting with new and unique flavours as of late. One trend that is increasing in popularity is the use of fruit in the flavouring of bourbons.
Difference Between a Rye Whiskey and a Bourbon?
As you can see, there is a significant difference between rye whiskey and bourbon when it comes to the distillation process, ingredients, and style of drink. So, what is the difference between the two? The difference between rye whiskey and bourbon lies in the type of grain and pot used to produce the drink. Rye whiskey is distilled from only rye and is therefore much more flavourful than bourbon.
The majority of bourbon is made from American corn and other ingredients, whereas rye whiskey is distilled from only rye and therefore has a much richer flavour. In terms of drink preference, rye whiskey is more similar to bourbon in terms of its drink style but also has a much richer flavour. Bourbon is a bit sweeter and smoother, while rye whiskey is more robust and robust.
Rye Whiskey vs. Bourbon – Final Thoughts
These two specific kinds of whiskey are very different from one another. Indeed, rye whiskey is made from only rye, while bourbon is made from both rye and corn. However, they both share the common trait of being distilled from grain and therefore share a lot of similarities.