Wine, Spirits & Liquor – What’s the Difference?

If you’ve noticed, we say “Spirits” and “Wine” at Bill’s Package Store. But what about liquor or alcohol? We will try to explain.


What do they have in common? Bills-Package-Store-Wine-Spirits-Clarksville

  • The answer is alcoholic fermentation, a process that all these beverages undergo.
  • The one important distinction is the level of alcohol content.
  • This results from different treatments in the production of spirits, liquor, and alcohol.


Spirits vs. Liquors – the technical stuff:

  • There is a point during the distillation when the liquid is referred to as spirit.
  • The liquid is flavorless and has a very high ABV. (Alcohol By Volume)
  • Malt whisky’s ABV can be as high as 75%.
  • Grain whisky can have 95% ABV.
  • Only after the spirit is reduced, matured, bottled, and ends up in your glass does it become liquor.


Spirits AND Liquor

  • This is the ‘hard’ stuff.
    • Vodka, brandy, whisky, rum, or tequila, all have around 40% ABV or higher.
    • These are all liquor or spirits.
  • These beverages reach very high volumes of alcohol in the distillation process.
    • This is when a fermented liquid goes through a still. Which is where it vaporizes, leaving alcohol.
  • Following this, the alcohol condenses and goes through evaporation, becoming more concentrated with every repetition.
  • It is then reduced to 40% ABV before bottling.
  • This is how your vodka and whisky are produced.




It can be very confusing.

Wine, beer, and cider are all alcohol but are not spirits or liquor. Bill’s Package Store thinks you should enjoy what you like and leave the process to the experts. If you have a question about wine or our spirits, please ask one of our knowledgeable staff.

At Bill’s Package Store, we offer superior quality, top-shelf brands of your favorite liquors and wine at the lowest prices in Clarksville, TN. Call (931) 647-5566 or visit us at 1651 Fort Campbell Blvd Clarksville, TN.

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