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: Black Maple Hill Bourbon

By Christopher Null | December 4, 2009 |

Kentucky Straight Bourbon, y’all. Can you beat it? Black Maple Hill is a small batch distillery producing this simple spirit, with no age statement. The bourbon is extremely citrus in character, with big orange notes and nose leading into some wood tones. The finish is smooth and sweet, but not too much so. Overall it’s…

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Drinkhacker’s 2009 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 27, 2009 |

Booze: The gift that keeps on giving, whether you like it or not. It’s now tradition at Drinkhacker to look back at the best new spirits of the year, offering our suggestions on our favorite tipples — and the stuff that’s most likely to impress your holiday giftee should he find a neatly wrapped bottle…

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Review: Old Rip Van Winkle Family Reserve Bourbon 23 Years Old

By Christopher Null | November 24, 2009 |

23 years is epic for any spirit to sit idle in a barrel, but for bourbon it’s almost insane. Old Rip Van Winkle’s 23-year-old bottling (this sample is from the 2009 limited edition) is positively intense with wood character — and alcohol. It’s 114 proof, which is hefty, but I’ve had far higher-proof whiskeys that…

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Review: Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon 2000 Vintage

By Christopher Null | November 13, 2009 |

Here’s an outstanding return to form for Evan Williams’ Single Barrel bourbons, which the company’s been bottling for years, an amazing whisky that I highly recommend. The 2000 Single Barrel shares a lot of DNA with the 1999, but while last year’s version is noteworthy for its lightly bitter, wood and charcoal finish, the 2000…

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Review: Woodford Reserve Seasoned Oak Finish Bourbon

By Christopher Null | November 11, 2009 |

Just hitting the market this month comes Woodford Reserve’s latest limited-edition bourbon, aged in specially treated barrels to create a distinct flavor profile. With its Seasoned Oak Finish, Woodford Reserve ages the new make spirit in over-seasoned oak which has been exposed to extreme weather conditions for up to five years before being fashioned into…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2009 Edition

By Christopher Null | September 27, 2009 |

Once again Buffalo Trace brings us five limited-edition whiskeys, and for 2009 they carry the same names as last year. However, the formulations and barrels from which these whiskeys have been drawn are different, making them unique expressions that you’ll only get in 2009… and while supplies last. Sazerac Rye 18 Years Old 2009 –…

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Review: Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2009 Edition

By Christopher Null | September 21, 2009 |

Hey, who doesn’t like a birthday? The bourbon gurus at Old Forester like it enough that every year they celebrate by releasing a new, special-edition bourbon to celebrate the birthday of their founder (September 2), something they’ve done every year since 2002. For this 8th edition of the Birthday Bourbon, Old Forester offers a whiskey…

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Review: Jefferson’s Presidential Select Bourbon 17 Years Old

By Christopher Null | September 16, 2009 |

Produced in the final years of the Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, this high-end bourbon rounds out the Jefferson’s line of Kentucky whiskeys, though supplies will be limited, to say the least. Plus, it’s Jefferson’s Presidential Select, which means it was selected personally by Thomas Jefferson. Right? This is a big bourbon, fragrant with roasted nut…

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Review: Evan Williams Honey Reserve Liqueur

By Christopher Null | September 10, 2009 |

Watch out American Honey, there’s another bourbon-inspired honey liqueur on the market, and it’s gonna be breathing down your neck but quick. Evan Williams has turned in its own rendition on the honey-flavored liqueur, this one with the promise of “extra-aged bourbon” in the mix. It can’t be much — the color of this liqueur…

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Review: Four Roses Mariage Collection Bourbon 2009 Edition

By Christopher Null | August 27, 2009 |

Has it really been a year since Four Roses put out its first Mariage Collection bourbon? I was a huge fan of the 2008 edition, Four Roses again blends two batches of whiskey together to create a sophisticated blended bourbon. The two whiskeys this time out are a rye-heavy 10-year-old bourbon and an ancient 19-year-old…

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