If you’re anything like me, you’re going to want to balance your enjoyment of whiskey with ensuring you don’t take in too many extra calories. That’s why I decided to research the exact number of calories in whiskey and here’s what I found:
There are between 131 and 222 calories in a glass of whiskey that contains the standard neat pour of 2fl oz / 59.15ml. There are between 98 and 167 calories in a 1.5fl oz / 44.36ml shot of whiskey and between 196 and 333 calories in a double (two shots of) whiskey. And there are between 1,657 and 2,818 calories in a standard 750ml bottle of whiskey.
The reason why there’s such a wide variation is because the number of calories depends not only on the amount of whiskey but also on its alcohol content level. I’ll show you exactly how to calculate the number of calories in any amount of whiskey with any ABV, and I’ll show you my calculations for the most common volume – ABV scenarios where I’ve done all that work for you.
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How to Calculate the Number of Calories in Whiskey
It’s relatively easy to calculate the number of calories in whiskey because of the four sources of calories, whiskey has only one.
The four sources of calories are:
Since whiskey is made by converting sugars from the starches of a grain into alcohol and distilling the resulting liquid, all the fats, proteins and carbohydrates, (three out of the four sources of calories) are removed.
And since whiskey is made by converting sugars from the starches of a grain into alcohol and distilling the resulting liquid, one source of calories – alcohol, is created!
(Some carbohydrates are added in the form of sugar from the wood of the barrel the whiskey is matured in and any caramel coloring, but this amount is so small as to be insignificant – about three or four calories per bottle of whiskey.)
Now there are 7 calories per gram of alcohol, but since whiskeys have different alcohol content levels (anywhere between 40% and 68%) it can be tricky to calculate the number of grams of alcohol a given amount of whiskey contains.
To work out the number of grams of alcohol in an amount of whiskey you’ll need to know three things:
- The amount of whiskey in milliliters or liters (easy)
- The percentage of alcohol divided by 100 (also easy)
- The density of alcohol – it’s 0.78924 g/ml or 789.24 g/L
Then you need to use the following equation:
Grams of alcohol = volume x ABV/100 x density
So, for example if you want to know how many calories there are in a glass of 40%ABV whiskey that has the standard neat pour of 2fl oz / 59.15ml, you would do the following:
59.15 x 0.4 x 0.78924 = 18.67 grams of alcohol
which you would then multiply by 7 (the number of calories per gram of alcohol) to get 131 calories.
And if you’re dealing with liters, for example you want to know how many calories there are in a 3L bottle of 40%ABV whiskey, then you would use the g/L number for density of alcohol and the equation would look like this:
3 x 0.4 x 789.24 = 947.09 grams of alcohol
which you would then multiply by 7 (the number of calories per gram of alcohol) to get 6,630 calories.
This is all easy enough but because the amount of whiskey and its level of alcohol vary so much, as mentioned, in order to know the number of calories in whiskey you’ll have to either work it out each time or … use the following tables.
The Number of Calories in a Glass of Whiskey
Since there’s a standard amount for a neat pour, the only factor that varies when working out how many calories there are in a glass of whiskey is the ABV.
There are between 131 and 222 calories in a glass of whiskey that contains the standard neat pour of 2fl oz / 59.15ml.
The following table shows the number of calories in a glass of whiskey that contains the standard neat pour of 2fl oz / 59.15ml, for the most common ABVs.
|Number of Calories|
As you can see, the level of alcohol has a huge impact on the number of calories in a glass of whiskey, with each additional percentage of alcohol adding about 3 more calories.
This is important because some people prefer whiskeys with a higher ABV. This is because alcohol carries flavor compounds and although this doesn’t mean that whiskeys with a higher ABV will have more flavor it does mean that they will have a more intense and concentrated flavor.
So if you prefer a whiskey with lighter flavors you may be quite happy with a 40% and lower calorie whiskey, but if you want the richer flavors that only come out at higher ABVs or even at cask strength ABVs (52% and up) then you’ll be consuming far more calories.
The Calories in a Glass of Whiskey vs Other Foods & Drinks
It’s useful to compare the number of calories in a glass of whiskey with the number of calories in other foods and drinks.
The following table shows the number of calories in common foods and drinks of normal portion size.
|Number of Calories|
|Cup of coffee – 6fl oz||1|
|1 Graham Cracker – 7g||30|
|Slice of white bread – 25g||66|
|Serving of pasta – 57g||75|
|1 chocolate chip cookie – 16g||78|
|Large, boiled egg – 50g||78|
|Glass of coca cola – 8fl oz||88|
|1 medium apple – 182g||95|
|Cup of 1% fat milk – 8fl oz||96|
|Cup of orange juice – 8fl oz||112|
|Serving of tuna – 85g||112|
|Slice of cheddar cheese – 28g||113|
|Serving of vanilla ice cream – 66g||137|
|Portion of meat – 100g||143|
|Hot dog – 52g||151|
|Medium sized baked potato – 173g||161|
|Cup of white, long-grain, cooked rice – 158g||206|
|Portion of chicken – 100g||239|
|Slice of pizza – 107g||285|
|1 jelly doughnut – 85g||289|
As you can see a glass of whiskey has more calories than a glass of coca cola, a serving of tuna or a slice of cheese but less calories than a slice of pizza or a jelly doughnut.
A glass of 40%ABV or 43%ABV whiskey has about the same number of calories as a serving of vanilla ice cream, a glass of 46%ABV whiskey has about the same number of calories as a hot dog, a glass of 50%ABV whiskey has the same number of calories as a medium sized baked potato and a glass of 62%ABV whiskey has about the same number of calories as a cup of cooked rice.
The Calories in a Glass of Whiskey vs Other Alcoholic Drinks
It’s also useful to compare the number of calories in a glass of whiskey to the number of calories in other alcoholic drinks.
Of course, the number of calories in other spirits like vodka, rum, brandy and gin will be the same as for whiskey. Since they are also distilled, any calories will only come from the alcohol and as with whiskey, will depend on the amount of the drink in question and its level of alcohol.
Beer and wine on the other hand do contain carbohydrates and therefore have a second source of calories.
A regular beer (5%ABV and 12fl oz) has 156 calories and wine (12%ABV and 5fl oz) has between 122-129 calories. This means that even a glass of 40%ABV whiskey will have more calories than a standard glass of wine and that until you get to 48%ABV, a glass of whiskey will have less calories than a standard beer.
The Number of Calories in a Whiskey Cocktail
So far, we’ve been talking about the number of calories in a glass that contains only whiskey. Of course, if you add anything to it, the number of additional calories will depend on what you’ve added.
The following table shows some of the most popular whiskey cocktails, a common serving size and the number of calories assuming an ABV of 40%.
|Number of Calories|
|Scotch and Soda – 116ml||105|
|Hot Toddy – 116ml||130|
|Rob Roy – 64ml||145|
|Sazerac – 56ml||147|
|Old-Fashioned – 60ml||155|
|Mint Julep – 65ml||156|
|Whiskey Sour – 105ml||158|
|Jack and Coke – 180ml||161|
|Manhattan – 78ml||167|
|Rusty Nail – 74ml||187|
|7 and 7 – 211ml||188|
|Irish Coffee – 240ml||205|
Interestingly, some whiskey cocktails have less calories than a glass of neat whiskey (that has 131 calories). This is because the mixer is something low in calories like water which has 0 calories, and because the amount of whiskey is less – perhaps only 1.5fl oz.
Once you get to whiskey cocktails that have more alcohol or mixers that are higher in calories – I’m looking at you Jack and Coke, or drinks that are twice the size then the number of calories increases too.
And if you use a better-quality, higher ABV whiskey for your cocktail, you’ll be increasing the number of calories further. This is another reason why we save our good whiskeys for when we’re drinking whiskey neat.
The Number of Calories in a Shot of Whiskey
Working out the number of calories in a shot of whiskey is a bit more difficult because this time there are two standard pours not just one – 1fl oz and 1.5fl oz. There’s also a double whiskey which unsurprisingly is 3fl oz.
There are between 65 and 111 calories in a 1fl oz / 29.57ml shot of whiskey, between 98 and 167 calories in a 1.5fl oz / 44.36ml shot of whiskey and between 196 and 333 calories in a double (two shots of) whiskey.
The following table shows the number of calories in a 1 fl oz and 1.5 fl oz shot of whiskey, and a 3 fl oz double whiskey for the most common ABVs.
|1fl oz / 29.57ml||1.5fl oz / 44.36ml||3fl oz / 88.72|
Since the standard pours for a shot of whiskey are less than that for a glass of whiskey, the number of calories will be less too. A 1fl oz shot of whiskey is half the standard pour of a neat glass of whiskey and a 1.5fl oz shot three quarters, so the number of calories will be half and three quarters respectively.
On the other hand, with less whiskey in a shot – especially if it’s only 1fl oz and since shots are drunk quickly, you may have more than one and end up consuming the same number of calories or even more than in a glass of whiskey.
The Number of Calories in a Bottle of Whiskey
You’re obviously not going to be drinking a whole bottle of whiskey in one go, but it can be useful to know how many extra calories you took in over the period it took you to finish it. Working out the number of calories in a bottle of whiskey is tricky because although there are standard bottle sizes, there are a lot of them.
There are between 1,547 and 2,630 calories in a standard 700ml bottle of whiskey and between 1,657 and 2,818 calories in a standard 750ml bottle of whiskey. There are between 3,867 and 6,574 calories in a standard 1.75L bottle of whiskey and between 6,630 and 11,270 calories in a standard 3L bottle of whiskey.
The following table shows the number of calories in three regular sized bottles of whiskey (700ml – a standard size in the EU, 750ml – a standard size for the US and 1L) for the most common ABVs.
The next table shows the number of calories in two large sized bottles of whiskey (1.75L and 3L) for the most common ABVs.
The final table shows the number of calories in five miniature sized bottles of whiskey (50ml, 200ml, 350ml – common in the EU, 375ml – common in the US and 500ml – common in Europe but discontinued in the US) for the most common ABVs.
List of Popular Whiskeys & the Number of Calories They Have
Having said all the above, it would also be useful to have a list of popular whiskeys and the number of calories they have in a neat pour of 2fl oz / 59.15ml (the first calorie amounts in the coming list) and a shot of 1.5fl oz / 44.36ml (the second calorie amounts in the coming list).
I hope this doesn’t put you off your favorite whiskeys.
- Jim Beam Bourbon (40%ABV) – 131 & 98 calories
- Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 (40%ABV) – 131 & 98 calories
- Jameson (40%ABV) – 131 & 98 calories
- Glenfiddich 12 (40%ABV) – 131 & 98 calories
- Johnnie Walker Black Label 12 (40%ABV) – 131 & 98 calories
- Chivas Regal 18 (40%ABV) – 131 & 98 calories
- Glenmorangie The Original 10 (40%ABV) – 131 & 98 calories
- Highland Park 12 – Viking Honour (43%ABV) – 141 & 105 calories
- The Macallan Double Cask 15 (43%ABV) – 141 & 105 calories
- The Glenlivet 18 (43%ABV) – 141 & 105 calories
- Glenmorangie 18 (43%ABV) – 141 & 105 calories
- Dalwhinnie 15 (43%ABV) – 141 & 105 calories
- Bowmore 18 (43%ABV) – 141 & 105 calories
- Angel’s Envy Bourbon (43.3%ABV) – 141 & 106 calories
- Maker’s Mark Bourbon (45%ABV) – 147 & 110 calories
- Buffalo Trace Bourbon (45%ABV) – 147 & 110 calories
- Woodford Reserve Bourbon (45.2%ABV) – 148 & 111 calories
- Ardbeg 10 (46%ABV) – 150 & 113 calories
- Bruichladdich Scottish Barley – The Classic Laddie (46%ABV) – 150 & 113 calories
- Glenfiddich Project XX (47%ABV) – 154 & 115 calories
- Laphroaig Quarter Cask (48%ABV) – 157 & 118 calories
- Knob Creek Bourbon 9 Year Old (50%ABV) – 163 & 123 calories
- Bowmore Vintner’s Trilogy: 18 (50.2%ABV) – 164 & 123 calories
- Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon (50.5%ABV) – 165 & 124 calories
- Laphroaig Càirdeas Port & Wine (52%ABV) – 170 & 127 calories
- Ardbeg Uigeadail (54.2%ABV) – 177 & 133 calories
- Aberlour A’Bunadh (59.9%ABV) – 196 & 147 calories
- Glenfarclas 105 (60%ABV) – 196 & 147 calories
- Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon (66.4%ABV) – 217 & 163 calories
All these whiskeys can be found at drizly.com here.