When it comes to calorie content and nutritional values, most people tend to overlook the fact that alcoholic beverages are not exempt from having them. Not many dwell on the fact that like most foods and drinks, alcoholic beverages too have their own varying degrees of calories. This includes whisky, vodka, brandy, rum, wine and of course beer.
While beer does have quite the reputation, spirit based beverages don’t often have to deal with this level of scepticism, or scrutiny from weary consumers. The common notion often taken at face value by many whisky lovers is that whisky has little to no calories. That is in fact an inaccurate presumption, and only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to myths, misconceptions and misconstrued facts about calories and whisky.
Today, our team at The Whiskypedia sits down to discuss and dispel some of these myths about calories and nutritional content for whisky. We will also be sharing the calorie contents of some popular types of whiskies such as Single Malt Scotch, Blended Scotch, Irish whiskey, Bourbon whiskey and Indian whiskies.
Additionally, we will also share the calorie contents of five universally beloved whisky cocktails such as the Old Fashioned, the Whisky Sour and more. We begin my dispelling five of the most common myths around this topic;
Whisky has no calories
Surely it made sense to begin with the most obvious myth that revolves around this subject. Many believe that spirits do not contain calories, and it is safe to consume as much as they want. This is definitely a myth because whisky does contain calories, and sure it might not be on par with some lagers, ales and stouts but they are most certainly not calorie free.
In fact, just 10g of alcohol contains 69 calories, although it does not contain any macronutrients. 10g of alcohol is roughly 31ml, which means a typical dram of 90ml could easily amount to over 200 calories for you!
All whiskies contain the same amount of calories
Some people might refute that whisky contains any calories, others could be under the impression that all types of whiskies have the same calorie content. This is also a common myth, and can be easily busted.
The calorie content of a whisky depends as much on what region it belongs to, like a Scotch or a Bourbon, and can also differ based on what type of whisky it is; blended, single malt or grain whisky. This distinction, although miniscule, can be quite high if one also considers the fact that the ABV of a whisky also determines its calorie count.
Another false belief among many veterans of the whisky drinking world. Many believe that drinking whisky without cola, or any other kind of mixers like ginger ale has no effect on their diet. This erroneously held belief also stems from our first myth, that whisky has no calories.
Sure drinking whisky with cola or ginger ale might deliver more calories into your body, but it does not mean that drinking whisky neat, or with water won’t either. It might cut down on your calorie intake by a lot, but will not eliminate calories entirely.
After we have busted the myths revolving around the subject of calories in whisky, we will now highlight some popular types of whiskies, and their calorie content. We shall use examples from these categories in order to help you understand these values better. The nutritional content does not differ much between different types of whisky, but breaking them down into categories might help one understand the concept better.
Single malt brands from Scotland include brands such as The Glenlivet, Aberlour, Longmorn and many more. According to the Aberlour single malt website, 100ml of their single malt contains as much as 221 calories!
Scotland has a number of historic whisky blending houses that have been around for centuries. Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Johnnie Walker, 100 Pipers are among the few very well-known blended Scotch whisky brands. According to Ballantine’s, around 30g, or 93ml of their blended Scotch contains around 207 calories.
This category includes Bourbon whiskey and other American whiskeys such as Tennessee whiskey brand Jack Daniels, Rye whiskeys such as Bulleit and Rabbit Hole Bourbon. The nutritional content shared by Jack Daniel’s claims 1.5oz (45ml) of their product has a calorie content of 97.
Among Irish whiskeys, no other brand has the popularity on par with Jameson. So for this category, we shall be taking Jameson Irish whiskey as our example. The brand website says that a 100ml of Jameson Irish whiskey contains 221 calories.
Indian whisky blends are very different from most whiskies in other parts of the world since they are a blend of Scottish malts with local grain whiskies. Among Indian whisky brands, Blenders Pride Reserve Collection is a standout blend. Around 35ml of Blenders Pride Reserve Collection whisky contains 72 calories, which is due to the slightly higher ABV for Indian whiskies at 42.8% ABV.
Now that we know the many varying calorie contents of different types of whiskies from around the world, let us learn about the calorie contents of some of our favourite whisky based cocktails such as the Old Fashioned, the Irish Coffee and many more.
Old Fashioned - 176 calories
The Old Fashioned is a classic whisky based cocktail, and has been very well-known for its simple and uncomplicated preparation. The low calorie content of this drink just seems like another one of its glowing qualities.
Whisky Sour - 163 calories
A wonderful whisky cocktail recipe built around the tangy and zesty flavours of the lemon. The Whisky Sour, like the Old Fashioned, is a perennial favourite among cocktail lovers all over the world.
Hot Toddy - 130 calories
Known for its soothing qualities and warming comfort on cold nights, the Hot Toddy is the perfect relief one can cherish before a good night’s sleep. Honey, cinnamon, lemon juice and whiskey combined with piping hot water make for one of the lowest calorie whiskey cocktails of all time.
Irish Lemonade – 137 calories
Like the Hot Toddy is a timeless hot whiskey concoction, the Irish Lemonade is a chilled one. Simple, straightforward and deliciously layered with flavours, it is one of those whiskey cocktails one would love to prepare in pitchers, not just glasses.
Irish Coffee - 228 calories
This universally beloved combination of coffee, whiskey and whipped cream naturally carries a slightly higher calorie content than the usual owing to the sugar and whipped cream content.
Did you know about these common myths associated with whisky and its nutritional contents? Will knowing the calorie contents of your preferred whiskies, or whisky cocktails affect your choices in the future?