Why Is Vodka Cheaper Than Whiskey?

Have you ever had that debate with your drinking buddies—the one where they insist whiskey is usually more expensive than vodka? We’ve all been there.

Or maybe you’ve found yourself mindlessly sipping on a vodka tonic and wondering why vodka is often cheaper than its counterparts from different distilleries, like Scotch whiskey and bourbon.

From making to marketing, there are many factors that influence the price of any given spirit.

In this article, we’re going to explore why vodka is generally cheaper than whiskey.

So, Let’s dive in!

Differences Between Vodka and Whiskey

When it comes to spirits, there’s no denying that vodka is often the cheaper option compared to whiskey.

But why is that? While the two drinks may share some similarities, there are some key differences between them that are responsible for their varied pricing.

First of all, vodka is made from potatoes, grains, and other starches.

These items are not only easier to obtain than whiskey which is made from malted grain or rye, but also take less time to process.

On the other hand, whiskey has more complex production processes due to its aging requirements in wooden casks and its need to be distilled often several times before bottling.

Another difference between these beverages is that whiskey contains additional flavorings from the wood used during its aging process.

This adds complexity and character to the whiskey and additional costs for ingredients and storage.

Vodka on the other hand does not require aging or distillation and can therefore be produced more quickly and cheaply than whiskey.

To sum up, it’s clear that there are some fundamental differences between vodka and whiskey which account for their varied prices – mainly due to the different production processes involved with each drink.

So next time you’re at a bar debating what drink you should get next, you’ll know why one might cost a little bit more!

The Production Processes of Vodka and Whiskey

Just as a classic martini could never be made without vodka or a Manhattan without whiskey, the world of distilled spirits could never be the same without both.

But why is it that vodka can often seem much cheaper than whiskey? It’s all thanks to the production processes for each spirit.

Vodka starts out as a neutral grain like corn, wheat, or barley.

This grain is then mashed and fermented into a liquid, which is still far from the drinkable vodka we know and love.

This liquid then gets distilled—this process further cleans and filters the alcohol, increasing its alcohol by volume (ABV) and stripping it of taste and smell.

Finally, this distillate can either be added to water or filtered again to reduce the ABV in order to reach the standard for vodka: 40%.

Whiskey, on the other hand, uses fermented grains that are mainly malted barely —different from how beer is made.

This mix gets heated up in highly-controlled conditions before being cooled in large vats to create a mash.

The mash is then fermented over a few weeks before going through distillation, resulting in a clear liquid known as “white dog.”

Finally, barrels are used for aging and imparting flavor —from one year for bourbon to two years for Scotch whisky—turning the white dog into what we know as whiskey today.

The production processes for each spirit explain why vodka tends to cost less than whiskey—from ingredients down to time spent aging them—allowing you one more reason to appreciate your next martini or Manhattan all that much more!

Cost Differences Between Vodka and Whiskey

When you walk into a liquor store, you might have noticed that vodka is almost always cheaper than whiskey. But why is this? To understand this difference in cost, there are two main factors to consider: production and taxation.

· Production Factors

When it comes to production, vodka, and whiskey are produced very differently.

Vodka is generally made with grain-based spirits like wheat or rye, which are usually cheaper and more commonplace than the malted barley used for whiskeys.

Whiskey is generally produced in small batches, so there’s a limited amount coming out—which can make it more expensive.

On the other hand, vodka is distilled in large batches and has fewer regulations around its production, which makes it much cheaper to produce.

So as a result of these factors, it’s much less expensive to produce vodka than whiskey, and these savings can be passed on to consumers at the liquor store.

· Taxation Factors

Another aspect of the price difference between vodka and whiskey is the tax rate that’s applied in different countries around the world.

For example, in many countries around the world like Canada or Australia, spirits like vodka have a lower excise duty applied than whiskeys do.

Tax on vodka can range from 10 – 20%, on the other hand, tax on whiskey can be as high as 70%.

This means that even after production costs are taken into account, it’s still much cheaper to purchase a bottle of vodka compared to a bottle of whiskey due to taxes.

· Aging

Another factor that affects pricing is aging time.

Whiskey must age in oak barrels for at least three years before being sold, whereas flavored vodkas don’t require any aging–saving a lot of time and money during production.

To sum up, when comparing why vodka is often cheaper than whiskey at your local liquor store consider these main factors: production costs, taxation rates, and aging.


To sum up, the discrepancy in price between whiskey and vodka has several factors at play—but the biggest difference comes from the production process.

While whiskey takes time to age and develop the full-bodied flavor it’s known for, vodka is distilled multiple times and does not have to be aged.

This allows vodka to be made much faster and cheaper.

Ultimately, it comes down to preference.

If you like a smooth, clean, and crisp drink, go for vodka.

If you prefer a complex and richer flavor, whiskey is the way to go.

Either way, understanding the difference in production and why vodka is cheaper than whiskey will help you get your drink of choice at the right price.




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