Difference Between Rum vs Whiskey

Difference Between Rum vs Whiskey

There is a wide range of alcoholic beverages available these days. They are classified based on their ethanol content and method of production. Having this information at hand will help you decide how much of a particular drink to enjoy responsibly. Since the basic content of rum and whiskey is the same, they may have similar effects. That notwithstanding, they have some interesting differences as well.

In this post, we will be comparing and contrasting the basic difference between rum and whiskey. They are both distilled and contain a high percentage of alcohol, but preferences vary for a number of reasons.

Definition of Rum

Rum is defined as an alcoholic drink made using sugarcane molasses as its base, yeast to break down the sugar, and some water. Different manufacturers of this drink add varying amounts of yeast and other additives, which, aside from breaking down the sugar content, also determines its taste and color.

Typically, this type of drink goes through a distillation process to increase the ethyl alcohol concentration to a point above what can be obtained by mere fermentation.

After the distillation process, it is stored in specific containers like wooden barrels for some time, usually a year or more. This is to strengthen the properties of the drink before it is bottled and distributed for consumption. A basic rum vs whiskey difference can be seen in their types. Rum comes in these forms.

  • Premium is made of the highest quality of raw ingredients possible.
  • Dark is named so because it is stored for a longer period of time than usual.
  • Light has a lighter flavor and is mostly used for mixed drinks.
  • Spiced is made with added flavors like cinnamon, pepper, etc.
  • Gold is stored in oak barrels.

Note that the raw materials remain the same for the most part. The different types are determined by the processing method.

Definition of Whiskey

Whiskey is defined as a distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. Some of the most common types of grains used for producing this drink include malt, rye, wheat, and barley. The type of grain used determines the type of end product obtained.

Basically, in the whiskey vs rum comparison, the materials for the former go through a distillation and fermentation process to improve the alcoholic content of the drink. After the production process, the manufacturer will usually store it in white oak barrels and allow it to age for a while.

There are two basic grades of whiskey—malt and grain. The former is made from malted barley while the latter is made from any type of grain. They are generally categorized into different varieties of whiskey.

  • Single malt is made from a single type of grain.
  • Blended whiskey is the result of grain that is combined with malt, color, spirits, and flavoring.
  • Blended malt is a mixture of different whiskey grades.
  • Single cask is a drink that is stored and aged in a single cask.
  • Cask strength whiskey is a drink poured directly from the cask at the highest concentration.

Main Differences Between Rum vs Whiskey

In addition to the descriptions above, here is a detailed summary of the difference between whiskey and rum in a tabular form. Note that the color and taste of these products are determined to a great degree by their production process.

Basis of ComparisonRumWhiskey
DefinitionAn alcoholic drink made using sugarcane molasses as its base, yeast to break down the sugar, and some waterA distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash
Alcohol contentMay vary by country; usually within the range of 40% to 60%Usually 40%
Raw materialsBy-products of sugarcane including molasses and honeyFermented grains like rye, wheat, and barley
Health benefitsCan gradually increase the mineral density in bonesProduces ellagic acid for regulating the body’s glucose level
TasteSpicy and rich and sweeter tooAromatic with a pleasant and distinctive smell

Difference Between Rum and Whiskey: Conclusion

Finally, you have a clear idea of the difference between these two. Despite being classified as high-level alcoholic beverages, their tastes differ, which is more than enough reason to choose one over the other. These products are available in different brands and varieties.