Bourbon

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

Drinkhacker’s 2012 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 23, 2012 |

You’re full of meat and pie and perhaps meat pie. Now it’s time to think of your loved ones. Were they naughty? Nice? Do they deserve a fancy tipple when the giving season arrives? For your most favored loved ones, Drinkhacker offers this collection of our favorite spirits from 2012, just a small sampling of…

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Review: Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection “Four Wood”

By Christopher Null | November 1, 2012 |

Every year Woodford Reserve launches a limited edition (and quite expensive) whiskey that shows off the creativity of its master distiller, Chris Morris. This is Woodford’s seventh iteration of the Master’s Collection. As the name implies, Four Wood is a Bourbon with a unique finishing program. Standard Bourbon, finished in newly charred American oak, is…

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Tasting Report: WhiskyFest San Francisco 2012

By Christopher Null | November 1, 2012 |

Another sold-out show this year for WhiskyFest San Francisco, and yet it didn’t feel overly crowded. I missed out on some of the whispered highlights by arriving late, when the rarities were all gone. (John Hansell has some coverage, which I hope to catch up with in coming months.) Otherwise, good times all around. While…

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george dickel rye

Review: George Dickel Rye

By Christopher Null | October 29, 2012 |

Everyone is getting in on the rye game, and the latest to join the party is George Dickel, which has crafted this whiskey from 95% rye and 5% malted barley, then aged it for five-plus years. Sourced from Indiana (where plenty of rye is being produced for just about everyone), it’s still made to Tennessee…

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Bourbon Battle: Booker’s vs. Baker’s (2012)

By Christopher Null | October 19, 2012 |

Booker’s and Baker’s can often be found side by side on the back bar, and even seasoned Bourbon fans are apt to confuse them. This is understandable. Allow me to explain. For starters, there’s the name thing. Baker’s. Booker’s. You might think one was attempting to mislead drinkers by tricking them with a sound-alike, but…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Unaged Tennessee Rye

By Christopher Null | October 16, 2012 |

How do you know when white whiskey has become a Big Thing? When Jack Daniel’s, the largest spirits brand in the world, gets into the game. By way of backstory, Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 uses a fairly traditional Bourbon-style mashbill, 80% corn, the other 20% rye and malted barley. This is the way it…

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old forester birthday bourbon 2012

Review: Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2012 Edition

By Christopher Null | October 9, 2012 |

Old Forester’s annual “Birthday Bourbon,” a limited edition release celebrating the birthday of one of Brown-Forman’s founders, is upon us. This year’s B-day Bourbon is 12 years old (its typical age), crafted from a single-day’s production of 82 barrels of whiskey. (The twist with this batch is that the mashbill included 2% extra malted barley…

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Review: Parker’s Heritage Collection Master Distiller’s Blend of Mashbills Bourbon (2012)

By Christopher Null | September 28, 2012 |

Every year Heaven Hill puts out a limited edition — and highly sought-after — Bourbon, each with a unique spin under the Parker’s Heritage Collection label. Invariably they are awesome. This year, the 6th edition of the Parker’s Heritage Collection is a unique release called the Master Distiller’s Blend of Mashbills. As the name implies,…

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Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2012

Review: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2012 Edition

By Christopher Null | September 25, 2012 |

There are a few things you can count on in the whiskey world, and one of them is the annual release of Buffalo Trace’s always-anticipated Antique Collection, a compilation of five very old and very rare American whiskeys that pretty much sell out immediately once they land on store shelves. (I’ve seen bars where these…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Giant French Oak Barrels Experiments Bourbons

By Christopher Null | September 20, 2012 |

With all the hubbub over small whiskey barrels going on, it almost went unnoticed that Buffalo Trace released a whiskey that went the opposite direction: Aged in oversized French oak barrels for a long, long time. To be sure, the 135-gallon barrel (likely a “puncheon” as terminology goes) is not the largest wooden barrel out…

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