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.

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Tips, Tricks, and Advice on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail
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Buffalo Trace’s Single Oak Project

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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Red State Bourbon vs. Blue State Bourbon: Which Will You Choose?

By Christopher Null | December 30, 2011 |

As political season heats up, our friends at Heaven Hill have a question for you: Are you a Blue State or a Red State kind of guy? The idea is pretty genius: Two Bourbons, one called Blue State and one called Red State, complete with appropriate donkey/elephant imagery. Can the political leanings of the country…

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Big Bottom Whiskey 3 Year Port Cask Bottle Image

Review: Big Bottom Whiskey Port Cask Finish 3 Years Old

By Christopher Null | December 22, 2011 |

I liked Big Bottom’s 2 Year Old Port Cask Finished Whiskey so much I named it my top American whiskey of the year. What could be better then than Big Bottom Port Finished Whiskey, one year older? With this second batch of whiskey, the Bourbon is older (3 years, one day) before it went into…

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rebel yell whiskey

Review: Rebel Yell Bourbon (2011)

By Christopher Null | December 21, 2011 |

Will Rebel Yell have you crying, “More, more, more?” Admittedly the name does not instill the confidence of high quality. Like Fighting Cock, perhaps, it connotes a rough and tumble Old West style. I poured a glass and prepared to be burned in more ways than one. I was surprised to find that Rebel Yell…

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jack daniels winter jack

Greetings from Frankfurt, Germany

By Christopher Null | December 18, 2011 |

I’m spending a week in southern Germany and just finished a wonderful meal with Lenz Moser of Laurenz V at the Schlosshotel in Kronberg. Check out what I encountered earlier today at Frankfurt’s mammoth Christmas fair. Anyone else ever seen this? Off to the Rheingau tomorrow!

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