Whisky and rum are two distinct alcohols dividing opinions of drink lovers across the board. Although having similar appearance, these two hard liquors have some key differences in terms of fermentation process, taste, and alcohol content. Whisky and rum also come with separate health benefits according to their respective fanbase. In today’s post, we look at all these differences and the amount of energy each drink offers.

Differences between whisky and rum

Both drinks are made through a process of fermentation, distillation and ageing. Whisky is made from fermented grains such as barley, rye, and wheat. On the other hand, rum is produced by fermenting byproducts of sugarcane, such as molasses, honey and sugarcane juice. Rum is often double distilled for removing the impurities and refine its taste whereas whisky is aged in wooden barrels for enhancing flavors.

Rum vs. Whisky taste

Each beverage is available in a variety of flavors and the taste of each batch can vary in terms of age, color and ingredients. However, rum and whisky have the following distinctiveness when it comes to pure taste.

-          Rums are spicy and rich and taste sweeter than whiskies

-          Whiskies are more aromatic and their taste and smoothness are reminiscent to the barrels used for ageing.

Alcohol content

Alcohol content varies from liquor to liquor; however, whiskies normally have an alcohol by volume of 40 to 60 percent. Most popular whisky brands in India, such as Royal Stag, Imperial Blue and Blenders Pride have 42.8% ABV.

In contrast, rums have around 40% alcohol content. But some varieties of rums have also made their way into the list of most potent liquorsin the world, such as the Sunset Rum and Stroh Rum with ABV exceeding 80%.

Health Benefits associated with Whiskies and Rums

When drunk in moderate amounts, all good-quality liquorsoffer certain health benefits. Aged whiskies contain ellagic acid which can regulate glucose levels in our body. In case of rums, they are used in small amounts for easing arthritis and muscle , although no scientific study exists for backing the claim.

Amount of calories

For our calorie conscious drinkers, here’s a small comparison of calories carried by variants of whisky and rum.




Rum (80 proof*)

45 ml


Whisky (80 proof*)

45 ml


Rum (94 proof*)

45 ml


Whisky (94 proof*)

45 ml


“Proof” is a measure of alcohol content by volume. It is straight up two times alcohol by volume. So, a whisky that is 40 percent ABV is 80 proof and one that is 47 percent ABV is 94 proof. A liquor with 50 percent ABV or higher is called a “proof spirit” or 100 proof.

So, you can see that among generally available whiskies and rums, the calorie count is similar. However, rums are often mixed with other drinks such as soda or ginger ale, which increases the calorie value. On the other hand, whisky is savored neat or with water, and hence healthier if you are watching your calories.

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