Bourbon Whiskey 101: Everything You Need to Know

bourbon and whisky

Bourbon Whiskey store in Katy Texas are an American spirit with a rich history and complex flavor profile. If you're new to bourbon, navigating the different types, brands, and serving methods can be overwhelming. In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about bourbon whiskey, from the basics of what it is to how to enjoy it.

What is the Difference Between Bourbon and Whisky?

All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. The key difference between bourbon and whisky is that bourbon is made from at least 51% corn, whereas other types of whiskey, like scotch or Irish whiskey, are made from different grains.

What is Bourbon Whiskey?

Bourbon whiskey is an American whiskey made from a mash of at least 51% corn, along with other grains like rye, wheat, or barley. It must be aged in new, charred oak barrels for at least two years and bottled at a minimum of 80 proofs (40% alcohol by volume).

How Do You Drink Bourbon Whiskey?

Bourbon whiskey is best enjoyed neat or on the rocks. When drinking bourbon neat, use a tulip-shaped glass to concentrate the aromas and flavors. Adding a few drops of water to your bourbon can release the aromas and soften the alcohol content.

How Much Sugar in Bourbon Whiskey?

Bourbon whiskey contains no added sugar, made from a fermented grain mash. However, the barrels used for aging can impart natural sweetness to the spirit.

How to Enjoy Bourbon Whiskey

To fully enjoy bourbon whiskey, take the time to savor the aroma and taste. Start by holding the glass up to your nose and taking a deep breath, allowing the aromas to fill your senses. Let a small sip rest on your tongue for a few seconds, allowing the flavors to develop. Swallow slowly and notice how the taste lingers on your palate.

Is All Whisky Bourbon?

No, not all whisky is bourbon. While bourbon is a type of whiskey, many other types are made from different grains and aged in different types of barrels.

Is Crown Royal Bourbon or Whisky?

Crown Royal is a Canadian whisky, not a bourbon. It is made from a blend of corn, rye, and barley and is aged in oak barrels for at least three years.

Is Maker's Mark Bourbon or Whisky?

Maker's Mark is a bourbon whiskey made from a mash of corn, wheat, and barley. It is aged in new, charred oak barrels for six years and bottled at 90 proof (45% alcohol by volume).

What Can You Mix with Bourbon Whiskey?

Bourbon whiskey is a versatile spirit that can be mixed with various ingredients to create delicious cocktails. Some popular mixers for bourbon include ginger ale, soda, lemonade, orange juice, and vermouth. Classic bourbon cocktails include the Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and Mint Julep.

How many Calories in Bourbon Whisky

According to the USDA, one fluid ounce of bourbon whiskey contains approximately 97 calories. However, the calorie count can vary slightly depending on the specific brand and proof of the bourbon.

What Grain is Usually Fermented to Produce Bourbon Whisky?

Bourbon whiskey is typically made from a mash bill with at least 51% corn. Other grains, such as rye, wheat, and barley, may also be used.

How do you Make Bourbon Whisky?

The grains are first ground and mixed with water to create a mash, which is heated to convert the starches in the grains to sugars. Yeast is added to the mixture and fermented for several days. The resulting liquid, known as "distiller's beer," is then distilled to increase its alcohol content. Finally, the distilled spirit is aged in new, charred oak barrels for at least two years to develop its characteristic flavor and color.

How Long can Bourbon Whisky Last?

Bourbon whiskey does not age in the bottle, so its shelf life is essentially indefinite as long as it remains unopened and is stored in a cool, dark place. Once opened, however, the whiskey will slowly oxidize and lose its flavor over time.

How to Pronounce Bourbon Whisky?

The proper pronunciation of bourbon whiskey is "BUR-bin WIS-kee."

How to Serve Bourbon Whisky?

Bourbon whiskey can be served in various ways, depending on personal preference. Some people enjoy it neat, at room temperature, while others prefer it on the rocks (with ice).

What Bourbon Whisky to use with Manhattans?

When choosing a bourbon whiskey in a Manhattan cocktail, many people prefer a high-rye bourbon with a spicier flavor that compliments the sweet vermouth and bitters in the drink. Some popular choices include Bulleit Bourbon, Wild Turkey 101, and Four Roses Small Batch.


Bourbon whiskey is uniquely American, with a rich history and complex flavor profile. It can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails. Whether you are new to bourbon or a seasoned enthusiast, understanding the basics of bourbon whiskey can enhance your enjoyment of this classic American spirit.

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