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

four roses single barrel 2012

Review: Four Roses 2012 Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon

By Christopher Null | April 21, 2012 |

Four Roses’ annual Single Barrel release is almost here. Based on the OESK recipe, I was surprised that this 2012 Limited Edition was from the lower-rye mashbill (just 20% of the grain mash blend), bottled at 12 years old. You can really taste the rye, and the finish has the spicy kick you’d expect from…

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Review: Breckenridge Vodka and Bourbon

By Christopher Null | March 27, 2012 |

You don’t have to be in Kentucky to make Bourbon. Breckenridge Distillery is found high in the mountains of Colorado, where it creates whiskey and vodka at 9600 feet (it claims to be the world’s highest), using Rocky Mountain meltwater to craft its spirits. We tasted both. Thoughts follow. Breckenridge Vodka – Distilled from grain…

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Barenjager Honey & Bourbon

Review: Barenjager Honey & Bourbon

By Christopher Null | March 19, 2012 |

You just can’t kill this honey+whiskey trend. It’s so popular that now they’re coming at it from the honey side: Barenjager, one of the original honey-flavored liqueurs (if not the original honey liqueur), is adding Bourbon (from Kentucky, but of otherwise unknown origin) to its recipe to create a hybrid spirit just like, well, all…

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Recipe: Shamrock Sour

By Christopher Null | March 11, 2012 |

Most St. Patrick’s Day cocktails are nasty concoctions of Midori and other mystery liqueurs. This recipe from Julie Reiner has nothing remotely Irish in it, but it actually sounds good. Shamrock Sour 2 parts Basil Hayden’s Bourbon 1/2 part Green Chartreuse 1/2 part Lemon Juice 1/2 part Grapefruit Juice 1/2 part Agave Syrup (to make,…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Bourbon Round Four

By Christopher Null | February 20, 2012 |

Once more into the breach? We’re a quarter of the way into the Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project, with the fourth round of 12 Bourbons released this month, bringing the total to 48 out of 192. Need previous coverage or a baseline of what this experimental series is all about? Find it here: Round One…

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woodford reserve double oaked bourbon

Review: Woodford Reserve Double Oaked (2012)

By Christopher Null | February 2, 2012 |

Like Maker’s Mark before it, Woodford Reserve has been known for producing one whiskey and — it’s annual, limited edition, special release whiskeys notwithstanding — one whiskey only. Then Maker’s launched Maker’s 46, leaving Woodford the only solo shop. Now Woodford is joining the club with Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon. It’s a complicated process,…

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john b. stetson bourbon

Review: John B. Stetson Bourbon

By Christopher Null | January 26, 2012 |

Don’t let the New Jersey office location of Vision Wine & Spirits, the owner of this new whiskey, give you a scare. It’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon, through and through. Crafted using both rye and wheat in the mashbill (in addition to corn and barley, of course), the whiskey is double distilled in traditional copper pot…

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EH Taylor Tornado Surviving Warehouse C Bourbon

Review: Col. E.H. Taylor Jr. Warehouse C Tornado Surviving Bourbon

By Christopher Null | January 25, 2012 |

On April 2, 2006, a storm ripped through Kentucky, tearing apart two of Buffalo Trace’s warehouses. One was empty. One, Warehouse C, was full of 24,000 barrels of then-young, far-from-release E.H. Taylor Bourbon. The walls and roof were ripped open, but the whiskey survived. But this did expose the barrels inside to the elements (see…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Oat Bourbon and Rice Bourbon

By Christopher Null | January 15, 2012 |

God bless Buffalo Trace. Some of the most interesting and intriguing whiskeys in the world are coming out of this massive outfit, many of which are branded, appropriately, with “Experimental Collection” on the label. These two oddball whiskeys are BT’s last Experimental Bourbons from 2011, and they arrived at Drinkhacker HQ with quite a bit…

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red stag honey tea spiced with cinnamon

Review: Jim Beam Red Stag Honey Tea and Red Stag Spiced with Cinnamon

By Christopher Null | January 3, 2012 |

Red Stag — black cherry flavored Bourbon whiskey — was a bit pioneering on its own. And while it isn’t the only flavored whiskey we’ve encountered, now try this on: Two new versions of Red Stag (which is still based on a standard, four-year-old Bourbon), one with honey and tea flavors, one with cinnamon. I…

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