Here’s How To Tell The Difference Between Bourbon And Tennessee Whiskey

Getty Image

Picking the best whiskey is never an easy task. And the first obstacle to finding the whiskey you love is understanding the regional differences that make each whiskey (or whisky) unique. First, there’s “whisky” from Scotland, Canada, Australia, mainland Europe, India, and Japan. Then there’s “whiskey” from Ireland and America. Then there’s a long list of variables within those regional constraints. Single malts, blends, single casks, bourbons, ryes, corn, white dog … the list goes on. It can all get a bit overwhelming.

We’ve parsed what makes Irish whiskey great; so, now, let’s dive into American whiskeys. Tennessee whiskey and Kentucky bourbon whiskey feel like very similar commodities. The two states are neighbors after all. Yet, Tennessee whiskey and bourbon are very different beasts. These are just different drinks that have rabid and divergent fan bases.

So, what makes Tennessee whiskey different from Kentucky bourbon? We’re here to break that down for you in detail so that next time you’re standing in the whiskey aisle at the liquor store you’ll be more informed. Let’s dive in.