Difference Between Brandy and Whiskey

Brandy vs Whiskey

For a teetotaler, there is no difference between brandy and whiskey. This is because, to him, both are just alcoholic beverages meant to stimulate his brain and intoxicate him. However, to categorize brandy and whiskey as same would be injustice to not just the connoisseurs, but also to common people who are fond of alcoholic drinks. This article attempts to lay threadbare the real differences between brandy and whiskey that start from ingredients used to the manner or process, as well as, items added to pure beverage before drinking.


Whiskey is one alcoholic beverage that can be made from many different grains and barley is one of them. The product is distilled after adding water to wash it and after mixing yeast with it. Alcohol gets separated through distillation, and other substances are also removed from the mixture. The whiskey thus produced is put into wooden casks for aging that is believed to add flavor and taste to whiskey. There is also a variant called malt whiskey that uses malting where germination takes place through wet barley, which is spread out in the whiskey and takes 2-3 weeks. In this period, barley has to be turned manually frequently to ensure germination. Distillation of whiskey is done only after full germination. It is interesting to note that there are two spelling of whiskey; one that does not make use of E is a product not made in Scotland, which is the place where whiskey is believed to have originated. Scottish whiskey is also known as scotch where as whisky produced anywhere else in the world is just a whisky. This is similar to champagne that is produced in the champagne region of France. 


Brandy is a word that comes from a Dutch word meaning burnt wine. Brandy is made using white wine and grapes though technically it can be made using any fruit that can produce a sugary base. The juice of the fruit get fermented for 4-5 days after which it is distilled and put into casks, to develop the flavor for which brandy is so very popular around the world. Even when brandy is made from the juice of grapes, there are a lot of different varieties of grapes to make a difference in the final product. Some important varieties of grapes used for making brandy are folle blanche, colombelle, and ugni blanc. 


What is the difference between Brandy and Whiskey?

• Brandy is usually made from wine and fruits (mostly grapes) while whiskey is made from different grains (mostly barley)

• Fermentation is the scientific process for making brandy while it is the distillation in the case of whiskey

• Both brandy and whiskey are aged in wooden casks (oak), but the description of aging is different. Whiskeys simply mention years of aging, whereas brandy makes use of letters like VOP and VSOP to let the customer know how long it has been aged.

• While drinking, it is common to add water or soda to whiskey. However, water is never added to brandy, and it is taken alone.

• Whiskey is always a social drink while brandy is taken after dinner to go with a cup of coffee. Brandy is also believed to have medicinal properties.