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

Review: Old Crow Reserve Bourbon

By Christopher Null | July 7, 2010 |

I get that the words “Old Crow” and “Reserve” don’t immediately make sense together. Though it was first ever sour mash whiskey, dates back to the 1830s, and counts U.S. Grant among its famous drinkers, it’s still a budget brand, sold by the handle for $10 or less, a simply bourbon that gets the job…

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Review: Early Times 150th Anniversary Edition Kentucky Whisky

By Christopher Null | June 22, 2010 |

“The whisky that made Kentucky whiskies famous” is now 150 years old, and to celebrate, the folks at Early Times are putting out a special edition bottling of their canonical (update: not quite a) bourbon. Don’t get too excited. Early Times is not exactly a top shelf whiskey, and this special edition marks only a…

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Tasting the Wild Turkey Whiskey Lineup with Eddie and Jimmy Russell (2010)

By Christopher Null | June 18, 2010 |

I had the pleasure to be led through Wild Turkey’s six whiskeys, courtesy of an online tasting with Jimmy Russell (of “Russell’s Reserve” fame) and his son Eddie Russell, the two men responsible for distilling Wild Turkey today at Austin Nichols distillery. Both of the new Russell’s Reserve whiskeys have been re-released in new packaging…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Ginger Splash

By Christopher Null | June 6, 2010 |

Jack Daniel’s has several pre-mixed, ready-to-drink cocktails on the market. This one, which promises the classic combination of JD and ginger ale, is its latest. Mind you, this is simply a (naturally) flavored malt beverage (at a mere 5 percent alcohol), but at least it looks the part, with a moderate caramel color on offer.…

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Tasting Report: Whiskies of the World Expo San Francisco 2010

By Christopher Null | March 29, 2010 |

Was it the crowds (insane), the heat (manageable), or the rumor that some lady had thrown up near the buffet an hour into the event (just gross, yet credible)? Whatever the case this year I found myself not in the whiskey groove at the ordinarily smashing Whiskies of the World San Francisco event. It was…

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Drinking Bourbon with Tom Bulleit

By Christopher Null | March 27, 2010 |

Bulleit Bourbon is incredibly popular in San Francisco, and yesterday I got to spend a little time with the man behind the brand, Tom Bulleit. A Vietnam vet and reformed attorney, Bulleit waxed philosophical on his whiskey, an adaptation of a mid-1800s recipe passed down from his great great grandfather. Bulleit is a spicy, citrus…

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Review: Four Roses 2010 Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon

By Christopher Null | March 18, 2010 |

Our third single barrel Four Roses review in as many years (see 2008, 2009 here), Four Roses is commemorating its 100th year of operation with this release. Congrats, but we’re the real winners here. With this heady, 110-proof (est.) bourbon, expect a deeper and more sultry Four Roses than you might be accustomed to. Crafted…

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Review: Maker’s 46 Bourbon

By Christopher Null | March 18, 2010 |

When people drink bourbon (and they’re not drinking Jack Daniel’s), they turn to Maker’s Mark in droves. Millions of bottles of Maker’s are sold each year, each with the familiar red wax seal. Now Maker’s is finally realizing that there might be something to the idea of additional expressions of its whiskey, and soon it…

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Review: Parker’s Heritage Collection Golden Anniversary Bourbon Whiskey (2009)

By Christopher Null | March 5, 2010 |

Malt Advocate‘s John Hansell called this whiskey the “American Whiskey of the Year” (2009), a heavy honor from a man who samples hundreds of whiskies a year and certainly knows his stuff. I finally tracked down a bottle — not an easy task — to see what all the fuss was about. The idea: To…

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Recipe: The Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Cocktail

By Christopher Null | January 28, 2010 |

Our friends at came up with this one, to be “unveiled” at la.venue in New York on Saturday, January 30. It is presented here without comment. The Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ Cocktail Recipe from’s Stephen Dennison & Tom Fischer Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey Evan Williams Honey Reserve 1 Bottle of Hefeweizen beer Bottle…

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