Bourbon is the unquestioned king of American whiskey, its production dating back to the 1700s. While bourbon is invariably associated with Kentucky, where 95 percent of all bourbon is produced today, in reality it can be produced anywhere in the U.S. (though only Kentucky Bourbon can include the name of the state on the label). By U.S. law, bourbon must be made from a mash of at least 51% corn; be aged in new, charred oak containers; distilled to no more than 160 proof, entered into barrel at no more than 125 proof, and bottled at a minimum of 80 proof. Contrary to popular opinion, there’s no minimum aging requirement for bourbon, although straight bourbon must be aged for at least two years and cannot have added coloring. One of the most popular spirits in today’s drinking world, bourbon prices have been on the rise as stocks have dwindled — although massive investments in the industry promise to ease those supply pressures in coming years.

Top Bourbon Posts:

Tips, Tricks, and Advice on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail
Top 10 Bourbons Under $20
Buffalo Trace’s Single Oak Project

Penelope Valencia bourbon

Review: Penelope Valencia Bourbon

By Frank Dobbins | November 19, 2022 |

Penelope Bourbon has quickly become a small sensation in the American whiskey world. By taking the familiar non-distilling producer formula of sourcing whiskey and then blending or finishing it to create a new product they’ve seen great success since they got their start back in 2018. Penelope’s founders were known in the brand’s early days…

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Review: Calumet Farm Bourbon 16 Years Old Single Rack Black

By Frank Dobbins | November 19, 2022 |

Here at Drinkhacker we’ve previously covered Calumet “Single Rack Black” at 15 years old, which hit in 2021. Now, the whiskey’s a year older, and the label has been updated appropriately. At the time Monica noted two things that continue to be true – the company behind this expression isn’t very well known and offers…

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Review: Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Bourbon – Limited Edition (2022)

By Christopher Null | November 11, 2022 |

Every year, Angel’s Envy drops a barrel proof version of its iconic Port-finished bourbon, and while the proof changes slightly from one year to the next, the overall through-line doesn’t vary all that much. 2022’s release is no surprise, its burgundy-hued color a treat for the eyes, before you ever dip into it. Big and fiery…

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Review: Kentucky Owl Bourbons – Confiscated and Takumi Edition

By Christopher Null | November 8, 2022 |

Stoli keeps meddling with its Kentucky Owl brand — releasing both The Wiseman releases (for the masses) as well as a growing number of “Innovation Series” bottlings which nod only to that sub-brand with a tagline reading, “The Wise Man’s Bourbon.” Today we look at two releases from its limited editions, Confiscated and Takumi Edition,…

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Garrison Bros. Laguna Madre Package

Review: Garrison Brothers Laguna Madre Bourbon (2022)

By Frank Dobbins | November 4, 2022 |

Noting, as others so often do, that “everything is bigger in Texas” speaks directly to the flavor profile of most whiskeys coming out of the Lone Star State. Because of Texas’ intense heat, the influence that oak has on these whiskeys tends to be far more pronounced at a younger age than comparable products from,…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2022 Edition

By Christopher Null | November 4, 2022 |

Stagg is back, baby! With the latest release of one of the most highly coveted whiskey collections produced anywhere, the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection returns to its full complement of five whiskeys, including the big daddy Bruiser, George T. Stagg. Details follow for each of the offerings, but if you’d like to read some past…

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Review: Bardstown Bourbon Rye Finished in Infrared Toasted Cherry Oak

By Frank Dobbins | November 3, 2022 |

Bardstown Bourbon Company‘s calling card is innovation. It’s what they’ve been known for since they were founded back in 2014, and it’s what they continue to stake their reputation on as they add a cavalcade of unique blends and finished products to their ever-expanding portfolio. The latest entrant in that portfolio continues the tradition by…

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Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch C922 (September 2022)

By Christopher Null | November 3, 2022 |

The final of three Elijah Craig Barrel Proof releases for 2022 has arrived, with C922 landing at 62.4% abv, continuing the string of expressions landing in the 120-ish proof level. How does this last release from the venerable 12 year old stand up to its forebears? Let’s find out. The nose immediately engages when the…

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Review: Knob Creek Bourbon 18 Years Old

By Christopher Null | November 2, 2022 |

Can it have already been 3 years? Actually, not quite: It was only 2020 when Knob Creek’s 15 Year Old expression became the oldest whiskey in its lineup, and now there’s a natural follow-up (also a limited edition), Knob Creek at a full 18 years of age, which is presumably bottled from slightly different stock.…

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Review: Southern Star Paragon Bourbon, Bottled-in-Bond, and Cask Strength Single Barrel

By Drew Beard | November 1, 2022 |

Over the summer, we took a look at a bourbon and rye from North Carolina-based Southern Star Distillery, each of which included a portion of whiskey distilled at Ross & Squibb (formerly MGP). We mentioned then that the distillery had recently launched a line of entirely house-distilled bourbon dubbed Paragon and promised that we’d get…

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