Difference Between Rye Whiskey and Whiskey

Rye Whiskey vs Whiskey

Whiskey is one alcoholic beverage that is very popular in all parts of the world. It is made by fermentation and distillation of different types of grain such as malt, barley, rye, and even corn and wheat. There are different kinds of whiskeys available in the market with one particular label reading rye whiskey to confuse the lovers of this alcoholic drink. Many feel that the two are one and the same, and there is no difference between whiskey and rye whiskey. This article attempts to find out the differences between rye whiskey and whiskey.


Whiskey, or whisky as it is called in UK, is an alcoholic drink that can be made by fermentation of many different kinds of grains. This causes differences in strengths and tastes of different whiskeys. The world knows about Scotch being the finest whisky that originates from Scotland though there are also the Canadian whiskey as well as American whiskeys. No matter what the grain base used to make whiskey, the basic procedure of whiskey formation remains the fermentation of the grain mash, its distillation, and then aging of the produce in wooden oaks or casks.

Rye Whiskey

Rye whiskey is a type of whiskey that is made using fermentation of a grain called rye. However, another whiskey originating from Canada is also referred to as rye whiskey even though it may not have been made using rye. If it is American rye whiskey, it has to be made from a grain mash that contains at least 51% rye. There are also requirements of distillation of proof up to 160 and aging into charred barrels. However, the foremost requirement for a whiskey to be called rye whiskey is to have rye as the predominant grain mash.

Whiskey vs Rye Whiskey

• If you compare malt whiskey or barley whiskey with rye whiskey, you will find rye whiskey to be spicier and fruitier in smell and flavor than the rest of the whiskies around the world.

• Rye whiskey is more popular in US and Canada, and it requires no less than 51% of the grain mash to be rye to be labeled as rye whiskey.

• The Canadian rye may not even be a whiskey made with rye.

• Whiskey is a generic term whereas rye whiskey is a term reserved for whiskey made with the grain called rye.


You may also be interested in reading:

1. Difference Between Bourbon and Whiskey

2. Difference Between Rum and Whiskey

3. Difference Between Brandy and Whiskey

4. Difference Between Cognac and Whiskey

5. Difference Between Irish whiskey and Scottish Whisky (Scotch)

6. Difference Between Jim Beam and Jack Daniels

7. Difference Between Single Malt and Blended