Bourbon is the second powerhouse in the whisk(e)y world and it’s made in America primarily from corn. Unlike in Scotland and Ireland where whisk(e)y is made primarily from the same grain, American whiskeys are often made from a mix of different grains, known as mash. In fact, it’s quite common for an American whiskey to made up of corn, wheat, rye and barley.
For bourbon to be called bourbon, it must be made from a minimum of 51% corn, must be distilled to an ABV of no more than 80%, and must be aged in new charred-oak barrels. The charred-oak barrels and corn are easily the biggest factors that differentiates bourbon from other whisk(e)ys, as it gives the whiskey a much sweeter flavor and smoother texture than barley.