Whiskey and rum are two of the most popular alcoholic beverages that are consumed by people worldwide. Most social gatherings and meetings seem to be incomplete without the guests being served one of these drinks.

While they are similar in color and appearance, there is a great difference between rum and whiskey when it comes to taste and flavoring.

There has been a long debate on rum vs. whiskey when it comes to choosing the best alcoholic beverages.

Although there are devotees and haters of both drinks, most people don’t know what distinguishes them from each other.

Read on to learn more about the difference between rum and whiskey, their distillation process, varieties, and many more.

Rum Vs. Whiskey: What Makes Them Different?

Apart from the flavor and taste, there are some other things that distinguish them.

1. The Production Method

Rum is made from sugarcane juice or byproducts through a double distillation process.
During the fermentation process of rum, yeast and water are included in the sugarcane byproduct. These help to break down the sugars.

To obtain the color, rum must be aged for at least one year on a wooden cask. Some commercial companies use stainless steel tanks for aging to produce colorless rum.

On the other hand, whiskey is made from different fermented grains such as Barley, rye, corn, and wheat.

There are two types of whiskeys based on whether they are coming from grain or malt. Grain whiskey is made from any type of grain, while malt whiskey primarily comes from malted barley.

Malting occurs when the grain is put under germination, a process that requires the barley to be soaked in water for a certain amount of time.

After the fermentation, whiskeys must be put into a wooden barrel where they will be aged and strengthened. Once bottled, it does not continue to mature.

2. Origin

The origins of the modern-day rum are the Caribbean islands and Latin America. it is believed that the sugarcane plantation slaves were the first to discover that the byproducts could be turned into alcohol.

The whiskey distillation process can be dated back around the third century to the Greeks in Alexandria.

In the thirteenth century, whiskey was first distilled as a drinking medicine and alcohol in Italy. It became popular in Scotland as a beverage before spreading to other neighboring countries.

3. Nutrition Facts

In terms of nutrition, both the drinks are high in calories with zero or few carbs in them.
A 100 g serving of rum contains 231 kcal energy and zero carbs. It has a minimum amount of potassium, sodium, and zinc.

Whiskey is low in carbohydrates, saturated fats, and cholesterol. A 100g serving of whiskey has 250 kcal of energy.

Except for a high amount of alcohol, there isn’t much to whiskey. However, it is rich in ellagic acid, a powerful antioxidant that comes with a number of health benefits.

4. Alcohol Content

The alcohol content of these two beverages varies greatly. It is an important factor that makes rum and whiskey different from each other.

Rum: Rum usually contains an alcohol content of around 40%.

Whiskey: Generally, whiskey has an alcohol content of 40%. However, sometimes it can be stronger, going up to 60% in some rare cases.

5. Varieties

Both rum and whiskey can be divided into some categories based on their fermentation process.

The variations of rums include:

Light Rum

Light rum is clear or light in color and is often known as white rum. It has a very mild flavor and is normally used to make cocktails.

Dark Rum

Dark rum has been aged for a long time in a charred wooden barrel. It has a dark color, such as brown, red, or black. It comes with a sweeter and stronger taste than the other rum varieties.

Gold Rum

Gold rum is produced by aging it in a white oak barrel that gives it an amber color. It is stronger in flavor and taste compared to light rum.

Spiced Rum

This type of rum has a dark color and comes with added flavoring like cinnamon, pepper, and aniseed.

Flavored Rum

This one comes in different flavors like banana, citrus, or coconut.

Premium Rum

Premium rum is made with the best raw materials and has been carefully aged. It has more aroma and flavor than the other varieties making it a bit pricier.

Whiskeys can be classified under the following categories:

Single Malt

Single malt whiskey is made from a single type of grain and in a single distillery.

Blended Malt

This one is a mix of different malt whiskeys from different distilleries.

Blended Whiskey

Blended whiskey is a mix of different malt and grain whiskeys with added neutral spirits, caramel, and flavoring.

Cask Strength

Cask strength is a rare type of whiskey that is bottled directly from the cask. It is mostly undiluted or only a little diluted.

Single Cask

Each bottle of this whiskey comes from an individual cask. The cask number is labeled on the bottle.

6. Taste

Both whiskey and rum have different flavors and tastes depending on their age, color, and added ingredients.

Whiskey’s aroma and flavor depend on the barrel and how it was aged. The taste of this aromatic beverage depends on the raw materials used to make it.

Rum is spicy and rich and is sweeter than whiskey.

7. Health Benefits

While higher consumption of alcohol can lead to severe health damage and even death, moderate consumption can help treat different health problems.

Rum is quite healthy if you drink it in moderation. It has been found to treat arthritis, increase the mineral density of bones, manage type-2 diabetes, and even prevent cancer.

Whiskey develops an antioxidant called ellagic acid during the aging process. This antioxidant can help regulate glucose levels.

Besides, whiskey can help reduce obesity, protect the heart, prevents dementia, and reduce internal blood clotting.

Bottom Line

With so many flavors and tastes, it’s difficult to choose the best alcoholic drink. You can try a few samples to find your favorite one.

While rum can be a great ingredient to create cocktails, whiskey is mostly consumed neat with some ice.

However, alcoholism and binge drinking are extremely harmful to your health no matter which alcohol you choose. It’s important to be watchful of how much alcohol you consume.

If you tend to drink a small amount of any alcoholic drink every day, your tolerance will increase and you will feel the urge to drink more until you feel that “buzz.” This habit is extremely dangerous for your health.

To get the best result, try to drink a little amount of rum or whiskey based on your preference.

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