Bourbon

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: Knob Creek Bourbon 9 Years Old (2008)

By Christopher Null | July 28, 2008 |

The unofficial well Bourbon at Drinkhacker HQ? Knob Creek. It’s 100 proof, so it can get a little hot when drinking straight, but add a touch of water and KC mellows out nicely. “The Creek” has everything you want in a Bourbon without being too complicated. Mild vanilla and toasty oak notes, backed up with…

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Review: Basil Hayden’s Bourbon

By Christopher Null | July 16, 2008 |

The crazy paper-and-metal-holding-ring label system doesn’t make Basil Hayden’s taste any better, but it does at lease make for a nice conversation piece. The thing looks like it belongs in an Old West saloon, but Basil Hayden is a far cry from rotgut firewater. This is classy, easygoing bourbon, pure and simple. Basil Hayden’s is…

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Review: Corner Creek Bourbon

By Christopher Null | June 25, 2008 |

All week people have been asking about the odd, brown wine on the Drinkhacker “to review” shelf. It ain’t Chardonnay. It’s Corner Creek Reserve Bourbon Whiskey, which is sold in a traditional white wine bottle, much to the confusion of passers-by. Corner Creek is an artisan bourbon, aged eight years in oak, bottled at 88…

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Review: Gentleman Jack (2008)

By Christopher Null | January 28, 2008 |

Few liquor brands are as heralded as Jack Daniel’s, but it’s never been a favorite of mine. Too harsh for sipping and lacking character even in a Coke, Jack has just not been a big winner for me. And not for lack of trying. You can’t go to a bar or a party without being…

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Review: Old Whiskey River Bourbon 6 Years Old

By Christopher Null | December 26, 2007 |

Looking for a bourbon you can knock back — the better part of bottle, really — and never notice you were drinking it? Meet your match. Old Whiskey River is perhaps the smoothest whiskey I’ve ever had. I was shocked to see it was 86 proof. It could have been iced tea for all I…

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Review: Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon (2007)

By Christopher Null | December 20, 2007 |

You’ll know it by the little horse and rider on the stopper and the grenade-shaped bottle. At $45 a bottle, you’ll often find this in the lockup at your local liquor store. As bourbons go, it’s unique: All bottles are single-barrel bottlings, which means that a glass will vary from state to state and store…

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Review: Bulleit Bourbon

By Christopher Null | November 28, 2007 |

I love the Bulleit guys. I have honestly never met friendlier people in the course of my travels. Gracious, honest, and plain spoken, I’d drink Bulleit even if it tasted like swill just because I think it would make me a better person. Fortunately, Bulleit’s “Frontier Whiskey” is plenty good going down the hatch. Bulleit…

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Review: Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon

By Christopher Null | November 25, 2007 |

This is a classic sipping bourbon. Once you get through the alcoholic heat (splash some water in the glass; at 100 proof it needs it), you’ll find a rich, oaky flavor, some maple syrup, some vanilla, and a nicely sweet finish. The vague herbal notes are interesting, and picking them out — sage? rosemary? it’s…

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Recipe: The Turkey Trot Cocktail

By Christopher Null | November 24, 2007 |

Need a pick-me-up to go with all those Thanksgiving leftovers? Try this — utterly holiday appropriate — little concoction. The Turkey Trot 1 1/4 oz. bourbon 3/4 oz. cranberry juice 1/4 oz. Licor 43 Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a cranberry. Add more bourbon for…

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Review: Wild Turkey American Spirit Bourbon 15 Years Old

By Christopher Null | November 10, 2007 |

I came to Wild Turkey’s latest bottling, American Spirit, with much excitement: It’s a 15-year-old bonded bourbon, 100 proof, produced in small batches, and limited to 24,000 bottles worldwide. What’s not to like? Unfortunately, there’s not much excitement once it hits the glass. This is an easy-sipping bourbon, but its vanilla, caramel, and woody flavors…

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