Difference Between Rum, Brandy and Whiskey

Main Difference – Rum vs Brandy vs Whiskey

Rum, Brandy, and Whiskey are all spirits made by the distillation process. The main difference between Rum, Brandy and Whiskey can be seen in the main ingredients used in their products. Rum is made from sugarcane juice or by-products. Brandy is made by distilling wine. Whiskey is made from fermented grain mash. Apart from this main difference, other differences can be noted in their properties and distillation process.

What is Rum

Rum is a sugarcane-based alcoholic beverage; it is either directly made from sugarcane juice or sugarcane byproducts, by a process of fermentation and distillation. The distilled product is then generally aged in oak barrels. There are various grades in rum. Light rum is commonly used in cocktail mixtures. Dark rum is consumed straight; it is also used for cooking. Premium rum is consumed with ice or straight.

Rum is primarily produced in the Caribbean and Latin America. Aside from these regions, countries like Spain, Australia, Austria, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, and India, etc. also produce rum. Rum plays an important part in the history and the culture of West Indies, the Maritimes, and the Royal Navy.Main Difference - Rum, Brandy vs Whiskey

What is Brandy

Brandy is a type of an alcoholic beverage produced by distilling wine. The name brandy comes from the Dutch brandewijn, meaning “burnt wine.” While brandies are often made by wine, it can be also produced by fermented fruit juices. Brandy typically contains 70 – 120 proof. Brandies are aged in wooden casks, and caramel coloring is sometimes added to brandies to reproduce the effect of aging. Some brandies are made by using both aging and coloring processes.

Brandies are typically taken as an after-dinner drink. Different varieties are found all over the world. Cognac and Armagnac are among the most popular Brandy varieties.Difference Between Rum, Brandy and Whiskey  -1

What is Whiskey

Whiskey (Whisky) is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from grain mash. A variety of cereal grains such as corn, rye, barley, wheat, etc. are used in the fermentation process. The distilled beverage is then aged in wooden casks, typically made of charred white oak.

Whiskey can be classified into many classes and types. They are classified according to the type of grains, distillation process, aging and the region. Single malt whiskey, Bourbon, blended whiskey, Scotch is some fine examples of various whiskeys.Difference Between Rum, Brandy and Whiskey

Difference Between Rum Brandy and Whiskey


Rum is produced by fermenting sugarcane.

Brandy is produced by distilling wine.

Whiskey is produced by fermenting and distilling grain mash.


Rum varieties include golden rum, dark rum, white rum, etc.

Brandy varieties include Cognac and Armagnac.

Whiskey varieties include Scotch, Bourbon, and Single malt whiskey.

Image Courtesy:

“Rum” by Drew Stephens (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

“Armagnac-img 0465″ by Rama – Own work. (CC BY-SA 2.0 fr) via Commons

“CanadianWhisky” by Original uploader was Hammersbach at en.wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia. (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons

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