How Is Whiskey Different From Other Distilled Alcoholic Beverages?

Whiskey Drink

Over the last few years there has been a boost of interest in distilled alcoholic drinks, especially ones aged in oak barrels . Having a much higher alcohol content than those that are fermented, the distilled drinks provide an incredible selection for people to enjoy. In particular, whiskey has taken the world by storm in the past decade with local and international sales boosting through the roof. The industry has grown so much that you can now make and age your own whiskey at home with this kit, offered by a company called Top Shelf Barrels

If you are new to whiskey, then you may have a few questions. For example, how is whiskey different from other alcoholic beverages. Let’s take a moment to answer this questions and see how other distilled alcoholic beverages are different.

Fermented vs. Distilled

The first thing you should know is that the majority of alcohol falls into two categories based on how it is produced. Fermented alcohol includes beer, wine, and cider and is created through a fermentation process. Generally, the alcohol content of these drinks is pretty low. Distilled alcohol on the other hand has a significantly higher alcohol content. Distilled alcohol includes things like whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, and brandy.

What Is Unique To Whiskey?

In particular, what makes whiskey unique is that it is distilled from already fermented grain mash. The distillation process for whiskey is unique to its creation, providing a wide range of flavors that are only expanded due to the number of different grain mashes that can be created in a small whiskey barrel. There are around a dozen different types of whiskey along with unique national flavors that depend highly on the climate where they were created. Whiskey is aged in barrels made of oak.

How Is Whiskey Different From Other Distilled Alcohol?


Unlike whiskey, gin is created primarily from juniper berries. Any distilled beverage where the juniper berry taste is most prevalent is considered a gin. Whiskey does not include berries in its grain mash.


Vodka is created through fermenting and distilling cereal grains or potatoes. In addition, they have a minimal alcoholic proof of 80 or 40% alcohol by volume. Whiskey will typically be on the lower end of 40% making vodka far more alcoholic by volume.


Rum is a distilled beverage made directly from sugarcane byproducts or from heavily sweet things like molasses.


Brandy is produced by distilling wine which itself is fermented from grapes.

Where Does This Leave Us?

As you can tell, there are many differences between whiskey and other forms of distilled alcoholic beverages. What you ultimately decide to drink is up to you. If you choose whiskey, then now you will know just how it is different from the other options available. Get a whiskey barrel here.