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Whiskey (the spelling with "ey" indicates production in Ireland and the USA) is produced by fermenting a grain mash and subsequent distillation.
Storage in wooden barrels gives the spirit its classic aroma.
The distillate, also known as the water of life, is produced all over the world from different types of grain and stored in a large number of different barrels. The respective barrel makes up 2/3 of the product in terms of taste.
Malt whiskey is made from barley malt and distilled on so-called pot stills. Grain whiskey uses different types of grain and is industrially distilled.
Bourbon is at least 51% corn and Rye is at least 51% rye. The blending of several whiskeys is called a blend. The minimum alcohol content for Whisk(e)y is 40 percent by volume.