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
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Buffalo Trace’s Single Oak Project

Review: Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Bourbon Round Three

By Christopher Null | December 14, 2011 |

We’re now 36 whiskeys into the 192 to be produced as part of Buffalo Trace’s Single Oak Project. Check out our coverage of Round One and Round Two to catch up if you’re unsure what this series of very limited-release Bourbons is all about. How does this round measure up? This time, all of the…

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evan williams single barrel 2002

Review: Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon 2002 Vintage

By Christopher Null | December 11, 2011 |

One of the highlights of the Drinkhacker year is always the arrival of the Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon release, which is invariably just coming out of cask from a bit over nine years earlier. We’ve reviewed EW Single Barrel since the 1999 release and, even better, I’ve got all four bottles on hand to…

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Drinkhacker’s 2011 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 24, 2011 |

Happy Thanksgiving! While you’re enjoying your turkey, stuffing, and pie, many a thanksgiver’s thoughts turn to booze. Specifically, what one might buy for a favored loved one come holiday time. I’ve collected all my favorite spirits from 2011 here for you, but this is just a small sampling of what’s worthy on the market right…

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“Chasing Pappy” Seeks Whiskey, Funding

By Christopher Null | November 18, 2011 |

Pappy Van Winkle is one of the most legendary brands in Bourbon today… so why not make a movie about the whiskey’s fans, who often have to hunt high and low to find the Bourbon they love so much? That’s what Mark Casey is up to, and he’s trying to raise $3,000 to get his…

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Tasting Report: WhiskyFest San Francisco 2011

By Christopher Null | October 28, 2011 |

WhiskyFest remains the whiskey enthusiast’s festival to beat. With hundreds of whiskeys, it is a mad dash for all sorts of great stuff — if only you can find it in the scattered auditorium and muscle your way to the front of the line. Don’t worry, you can do it, and even though the 2011…

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Review: Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon

By Christopher Null | October 26, 2011 |

Firefly’s Sweet Tea Vodka was a pioneer in the tea-flavored vodka space. The South Carolina-based company has since expanded with multiple varieties (peach, mint, lemon, low-cal)… and now there’s this: Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon. This category already exists (Jeremiah Weed has a stellar one), so the company has competition. Firefly’s version blend’s Buffalo Trace whiskey…

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Review: Parker’s Heritage Collection Cognac Finished Bourbon 10 Years Old (2011)

By Christopher Null | October 18, 2011 |

One of the most hotly anticipated new whiskeys to come out each year is the annual bottling of Parker’s Heritage Collection. Each year, Parker Beam puts together something dangerous and delicious, a blend of rare whiskeys, odd finishes, or just plain good Bourbon. For this release, the fifth Heritage bottling, Beam turned to an unusual…

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Review: Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2011 Edition

By Christopher Null | October 11, 2011 |

Like all of us, Old Fo keeps getting older, and this year it’s a 12-year-old bottling of 98 proof whiskey drawn from 62 barrels at the Old Forester rickhouse. Can 2011’s Birthday Bourbon measure up to 2010’s masterpiece? Sadly, I’ve none of the ’10 left for comparative purposes, but the 2011 immediately strikes me as…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2011 Edition

By Christopher Null | October 4, 2011 |

We’ve been writing about Buffalo Trace’s awe-inspiring Antique Collection for longer than I can remember, and each year it seems like these five Bourbons are better than the last time out. This year that streak seems to be taking a breather, with a mixed bag of very good and merely “OK” whiskeys. I’d still drink…

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Review: Henry McKenna Single Barrel Bourbon 10 Years Old (2011)

By Christopher Null | September 29, 2011 |

Henry McKenna is a value-priced Bourbon from Heaven Hill with serious street cred: Single barrel and bottled in bond (100 proof), it’s aged 10 years and sold to retailers, who pick out their own barrels and sell them direct. This is common with many distilleries, but not at these prices. This McKenna is the 9th…

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