What is whiskey? Whiskey is simple, whiskey is brown. It's your classic brown spirit. It's a liquor derived from cereal grains. Things like barley, corn, wheat, rye. Generally comes out at about 40 percent of alcohol by volume, which is 80 proof American. It's a very accessible liquor for people who are looking to get into something a little more interesting than your classic vodka soda. I mean that, that in essence is your introduction to whiskey. As far as brands of whiskeys go you have a wide variety depending on your price point, your level of connoisseurship. Everything from dirt cheap, just brown liquor, all the way up through very expensive scotches, blends, and single malts.