The Difference Between Straight Bourbon and Bourbon Whiskey

Written by Mark Pringle |

What is the difference between Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Bourbon Whiskey? The difference is minimal. However, let's list some similarities before we get into the differences. Bourbon Whiskey and Straight Bourbon Whiskey have the following common traits.

The Similarities

  • Must be produced in the U.S.
  • Must be aged in charred new oak containers at 125 proof or less
  • Must be stored in oak containers
  • Must be distilled at 160 proof or below.
  • Both require a mash of at least 51% corn
  • Bottled at not less than 80 proof
  • If blended, they must be of the same type

Looking at these similarities, it is hard to imagine their differences. However, there are a couple of differences between the two.

The Differences Between Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Bourbon Whiskey

Bourbon Whiskey and Straight Bourbon Whiskey have different aging and additive requirements.

  • Bourbon Whiskey can be aged in charred, new oak containers for less than two years. Harmless coloring, flavoring, and blending materials may be added if less than 2.5% of the final product.
  • Straight Bourbon Whiskey must be aged in charred, new oak containers for at least two years. Harmless coloring, flavoring, and blending materials may not be added.

There you have it, the difference between Bourbon Whiskey and Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

Author: Mark Pringle
Smell IS taste. I am just a guy who has been hit with the bourbon bug and who has come to the conclusion that life is too short to drink average tasting bourbons. Go Gators!
My External Website (External Website Opens in New Window)


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Card image cap Mark Strick - unlike other classes of whiskey bourbon may not contain additives, regardless of whether its labeled straight.

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