Know the differences between bourbon and whisky? It’s important to set the record straight. All bourbon is whisky, but not all whisky is bourbon. Bourbon must be made in America with a grain mixture composition of at least 51 percent corn. It must be distilled to no more than 160 proof, which is 80 percent alcohol by volume. The actual law with whisky is that “the distillate must possess the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to whisky.” It’s a spirit distilled from grain that must be stored in oak containers. Unlike bourbon, whisky must be distilled to no more than 190 proof, which is 90 percent alcohol by volume.
Whisky can be spelled with an “e” before the “y,” but Maker’s Mark chooses to omit it to honor the Samuels’ Scottish Heritage. The general flavor profile for bourbon whiskey is vanilla, oak and caramel notes. Whisky flavor can vary widely and be of a sweet, nutty, spicy or softer vanilla flavor. It takes roughly 5.75-7 years to become a Maker’s Mark. According to Greg Davis, Maker’s Mark Master Distiller, “Maker’s Mark finishes forward on the palate, giving you access to a whole range of notes you might not get otherwise.”
Thirsty for more details? Check out the full comparison infographic below by Maker’s Mark!