What is the Difference Between Brandy and Whiskey

Difference Between Brandy and Whiskey

The main difference between brandy and whiskey is that Brandy is a spirit distilled from fermented wine, while whisky is a spirit distilled from brewed malted cereals such as wheat, barley, corn, and rye.

Brandy and whiskey are two popular alcoholic beverages. Many people around the world have been drinking brandy and whiskey for many centuries. Although both beverages share some similarities, there are many differences between brandy and whiskey, based on their manufacture, content, and flavor.

What is Brandy

Brandy is a distilled liquor made from grapes. In simple words, brandy is distilled wine. The name brandy has originated from the Dutch term “brandewijn” meaning “burned wine.” Apart from grapes, manufacturers also use other fruits such as apples, peaches, and apricots to produce brandy.

The alcohol content of Brandy is around 35–60%. Many people consume brandy usually after dinner as a  digestif. Brandy is an alcoholic beverage that comes with a fruity and little sweet flavor to it. It is possible for brandy to bring flavor notes of oak by aging it in wooden casks. The taste of brandy turns more complex and mellow as it ages. To consider a brandy as matured, it needs to age for more than two years.

Brandy has a beautiful caramel shade. This can be a result of leaving it to age in oak barrels or a result of the colorings mixed during the process of manufacturing. If you consume brandy in moderation, it is possible to include it in a healthy diet plan. However, similar to many other alcoholic beverages, brandy gives your body neither a substantial amount of vitamins nor minerals and has a quite limited amount of visible health benefits.

What is Whiskey

Whiskey is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage produced using fermented grain mash. Manufacturers use different types of grains such as corn, barley, wheat, and rye to produce whiskey. Similar to brandy, whisky is also left to age in wooden casks, usually made with white oak.

Generally, whiskey takes a  shade that is a result of the aging process inside the wooden barrels. The longer the whiskey is inside the wooden barrel, the darker the color may get. In contrast to brandy, it takes more than three years for all whiskeys to mature. During the aging process inside the barrel, the whiskey undergoes a chemical process that improves its malty, briny, and smoky flavor, color, and aroma. Furthermore, the alcohol content of whiskey usually ranges from 40% to 50%.

Similarities Between Brandy and Whiskey

  • Many people around the world have been drinking brandy and whiskey for many centuries.
  • Moreover, both these alcoholic beverages undergo a fermentation process that involves the conversion of sugar into ethanol. It is this process that gives both the spirits their alcohol content.
  • Brandy and whiskey undergo aging in wooden barrels for several years before consumption.

Difference Between Brandy and Whiskey


Brandy is a spirit distilled from fermented wine and is left to age for different time periods in oak barrels, while whisky is a spirit distilled from brewed malted cereals such as wheat, barley, corn, and rye.

Ingredients Used

Brandy is produced with fermented wine or fruit juice, while whiskey is made with a fermented grain mash.


The origin of brandy is 15th-century Italian winemakers, while the origins of whisky lie in 15th century Scotland and Ireland.

Flavor Profile

Brandy usually has a milder and sweeter flavor than whiskey. When you drink brandy, you may come across a variety of fruity and flowery flavors ranging from prune, vanilla, dried fruit, and caramel to fig, apricot, banana, and rose petal. In contrast, whiskey has a stronger flavor with malt, oak, or tobacco notes to it.


In conclusion, the main difference between brandy and whiskey is that brandy is produced from fermented wine while whisky is distilled from brewed malted cereals. Furthermore, brandy has a fruity and flowery taste to it, while whiskey has a malty and complex flavor and is stronger than brandy.

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