For whiskey enthusiasts, there is nothing quite like sipping a glass of rye or bourbon. Both are popular American whiskeys that have been produced for centuries, but they each have their own distinct features and flavor profiles. Today, we’ll take a look at the main differences between rye whiskey and bourbon whiskey so that you can decide which one is right for you.
What is Rye?
Rye whiskey is an American spirit made from mash that contains at least 51 percent rye grain. It has a spicy, peppery taste with notes of clove and nutmeg that give it a unique flavor profile. Rye whiskey has been around since the 1700s and was popular in the colonial era until it was largely replaced by bourbon during and after Prohibition. Today, rye whiskey is making a comeback as more people become interested in its unique flavor notes and history.
What is Bourbon?
Bourbon whiskey is also an American spirit that must be made from mash containing at least 51 percent corn grain. It has a sweeter taste than rye with notes of vanilla and caramel, which makes it more approachable to those who are just getting into drinking whiskey. Unlike rye whiskey, bourbon does not have quite as much of a long history—it was first developed in the early 1800s following the invention of the steam engine, which allowed distillers to heat up their stills quicker than ever before.
The Differences Between Rye and Bourbon
The biggest difference between rye and bourbon whiskeys is the type of grain used to make them—rye uses rye grains while bourbon uses corn grains. This difference in grains gives each whiskey its distinct flavor profile; rye tends to have spicier flavors while bourbons tend to have sweeter flavors with softer notes. Another major difference between these two whiskeys is their alcohol content; rye typically has higher levels of alcohol than bourbon, ranging anywhere from 40% to 55%. Bourbons usually clock in at 40% alcohol by volume or lower due to laws regulating their production process. Finally, when it comes to price, bourbons tend to be cheaper than ryes because they use less expensive grains during production.
When choosing between these two whiskeys, your decision will come down largely to personal preference since both offer distinct flavor profiles that appeal to different palates. If you’re looking for something bolder with spicier notes then try out some rye whiskies; if you’re looking for something sweeter then go for a good quality bourbon instead! No matter what your preference may be, once you find your favorite type of whiskey there’s no doubt you’ll never forget it!