How Many Calories in Whiskey? A Detailed Overview




How Many Calories in Whiskey? A Detailed Overview

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Whiskey is a beloved spirit enjoyed around the world. However, many whiskey drinkers are interested in tracking their calorie intake from whiskey for reasons like weight loss, weight maintenance, or medical conditions. Being aware of the calories in whiskey allows people to make informed choices about what and how much they drink. This article will explore the calories in the major types of whiskey, factors that influence calorie count, and ways to reduce calories when drinking whiskey.

Calories in Different Types of Whiskey

The number of calories in whiskey varies depending on the type and proof. Here’s a breakdown of the average calorie count per 1.5oz serving of common whiskies at 80 proof:

  • Light Whiskey – 64 calories
  • Blended Whiskey – 97 calories
  • Single Malt Whiskey – 105 calories
  • Rye Whiskey – 82 calories
  • Bourbon Whiskey – 88 calories
  • Corn Whiskey – Slightly more calories than rye whiskey

Keep in mind these are general estimates; the precise calorie count differs between brands and expressions.

How Many Calories in Whiskey

Calories can vary significantly between different types of whiskeys.

Factors That Influence Calorie Count

Many elements impact the calorie content of whiskey beyond just the type of spirit. Here are some of the key factors:

  • Alcohol by Volume (ABV) – A higher ABV means more alcohol, and thus more calories. For example, an 86-proof whiskey has fewer calories than a 100-proof whiskey.
  • Mixers – Adding sodas, juices, cream or ice to whiskey boosts calories. A blended cocktail has more calories than whiskey neat.
  • Aging – Longer aged whiskey generally has a slightly higher calorie count thanks to compounds extracted from the barrel.
  • Serving Size – The calories increase with more ounces consumed. Stick to standard 1.5oz pours to limit calories.
  • Grain Type – Since corn is higher in carbohydrates than rye, corn whiskey tends to have more calories per serving compared to rye whiskey.

Ways to Reduce Calories in Whiskey

If you want to enjoy whiskey as part of a healthy lifestyle, here are some tips for reducing calories:

  • Opt for lower-proof whiskies: the less alcohol, the fewer calories.
  • Drink whiskey on the rocks or with a splash of water rather than sugary mixers.
  • Choose lighter whiskies like Canadian or blended over higher-calorie bourbon or Scotch.
  • Make whiskey sours using fresh lemon juice and club soda instead of sweet & sour mix.
  • Stick to a standard 1.5oz serving size rather than free-pouring generous pours.
  • Share a tasting flight with friends so you sip smaller amounts of various whiskies.
How Many Calories in Whiskey?

Enjoy whiskey on the rocks to avoid adding sugary mixers.

Putting it All Together

When consumed in moderation, whiskey can absolutely be part of a healthy lifestyle for many people. The key is being mindful of calories by choosing lower proof options, avoiding sugary mixers, and sticking to reasonable serving sizes. Taking the time to understand and track the calories allows whiskey enthusiasts to make informed drinking choices.

Hopefully this guide gave you a helpful overview of calories across major whiskey types, factors impacting calorie count, and ways to drink whiskey while reducing calories. Bottom line, choosing quality over quantity when it comes to whiskey leads to greater enjoyment and less guilt. Cheers to mindful sipping!

How Many Calories in Different Whiskey Brands?

Curious about the calories in popular whiskey brands? Here’s a breakdown of the approximate calorie counts per 1.5oz serving of some bestselling whiskies:


  • Maker’s Mark – 123 calories
  • Jim Beam – 105 calories
  • Bulleit – 115 calories
  • Woodford Reserve – 129 calories
  • Knob Creek – 130 calories

Maker’s Mark bourbon has around 123 calories per serving.


  • Bulleit Rye -82 calories
  • Templeton Rye – 105 calories
  • WhistlePig Rye – 122 calories
  • High West Double Rye – 130 calories
  • Wild Turkey Rye – 111 calories


  • Johnnie Walker Red – 97 calories
  • Glenlivet 12 – 97 calories
  • Macallan 12 – 105 calories
  • Lagavulin 16 – 122 calories
  • Laphroaig 10 – 115 calories

Lagavulin 16 Scotch whiskey has approximately 122 calories per 1.5oz pour.

Factors That Impact Calorie Count in Whiskey

Many variables affect how many calories are in a whiskey drink. Being aware of these factors allows you to make lower calorie choices:

Alcohol Percentage

  • The higher the alcohol by volume (ABV), the more calories.
  • For example, an 80 proof whiskey has fewer calories than a 100 proof whiskey.


  • Adding juices, sodas or cream significantly increases calories.
  • Whiskey on the Rocks has fewer calories than a Manhattan or Old Fashioned.


  • Extra years in the barrel adds subtle flavor compounds and slightly increases calories.
  • A 12 year whiskey generally has marginally more calories than a younger whiskey.

Serving Size

  • Calories add up quickly if you overpour or have multiple drinks.
  • Stick to a standard 1.5oz pour to limit calorie intake.

5 Tips for Ordering Lower-Calorie Whiskey Drinks at Bars

Enjoying whiskey at the bar doesn’t have to ruin your diet goals. Use these tips to reduce calories on your next night out:

1. Go Neat or On the Rocks

Skip the sugary juices, sodas and syrups by sipping whiskey straight or over ice. You’ll avoid hundreds of empty calories.

2. Choose a Lighter Whiskey

Go for gin or vodka-based drinks over darker spirits like bourbon or Scotch, which are higher in calories.

3. Opt for Whiskey Spritzers

Cut calories by asking for whiskey with soda water or dry ginger ale. The bubbly water dilutes the whiskey’s richness.

4. Request Fresh Citrus Juices

When ordering cocktails, ask for fresh lemon or lime juice instead of sweet & sour mix to trim back unneeded sugars.

5. Be Wary of Specialty Cocktails

Avoid tempted by tempting but heavy cocktails like Manhattans, Sazeracs or Mint Juleps. Every ingredient adds more calories.

Enjoy whiskey on the rocks at the bar to limit calorie intake.

How many calories are there in a standard serving of whiskey?

A standard serving of whiskey typically contains around 70-80 calories. Whiskey is a distilled spirit made from grains or malt, and its calorie content can vary slightly depending on the proof and any additional flavorings in the drink.

Key Takeaways on Calories in Whiskey

The major whiskey types (bourbon, rye, Scotch) range from 80-130 calories per 1.5oz serving.

  • Factors like higher ABV, sugary mixers and overpouring increase calories.
  • Enjoy whiskey neat, on the rocks or in lighter cocktails to reduce calorie intake.
  • Choosing quality over quantity allows whiskey lovers to sip mindfully.

So go ahead and savour that glass of heavenly single malt or smoothly complex bourbon, but be mindful about what you mix it with and how much you consume. Sláinte!

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