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: Four Roses 2011 Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon

By Christopher Null | April 8, 2011 |

Another unique winner of a vintage single barrel bourbon from Four Roses, this rendition of its annual release a 12-year old bourbon from barrel code OBSQ (click here to see what this means), the distillery’s rye-heavy whiskey recipe. The preview sample of the 2011 Single Barrel is hot — 118 proof, though this will change…

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Review: Woodford Reserve Bourbon (2011)

By Christopher Null | April 5, 2011 |

Woodford Reserve is a near-ubiquitous brand on the back bar of virtually any drinking establishment, and if you’re in a bind it’s a solid go-to bourbon when you’re unsure about the rest of the booze on offer. This Kentucky Bourbon is a hot 90.4 proof and benefits greatly from a healthy splash of water, which…

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Tasting Report: Whiskies of the World Expo San Francisco 2011

By Christopher Null | April 2, 2011 |

The San Francisco Belle was packed but the crowds were manageable at this year’s San Francisco Whiskies of the World event. With much more room to move around than last year’s cramped fest, lots more seating, and plenty of whiskey, guests seemed to be having a great time, myself  included. Who knows what venue will…

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Recipe: Take Me Out To the Ballgame

By Christopher Null | March 30, 2011 |

This bizarre recipe comes to us from our pals at Wild Turkey in celebration of baseball’s opening day today. Now you can buy your pals some peanuts (well, hazelnuts and almonds, anyway) and Cracker Jack, and have a good time doing it. Take Me Out To The Ballgame (The Peanuts & Cracker Jack Cocktail) 2…

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Review: Col. E.H. Taylor Old Fashioned Sour Mash Bourbon

By Christopher Null | March 4, 2011 |

Is there anything better than a Bourbon whiskey named after an old dude with initials for a first name? And this one’s a Colonel, people! Funnin’ aside, Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr., was a real guy — he introduced climate-controlled warehouses in Kentucky in the 1800s and patented his own sour mash technique — and…

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Review: Jim Beam “Devil’s Cut” Bourbon

By Christopher Null | February 25, 2011 |

In whiskeymaking, you lose a large amount of spirit to evaporation as it sits in barrels for years. This is an accepted part of the process, and the spirit that vanishes into the air is known, poetically, as “the angel’s share.” With tongue firmly in cheek, Jim Beam is (soon) releasing this new whiskey: Devil’s…

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Review: Early Times Kentucky Whisky and 354 Bourbon

By Christopher Null | February 9, 2011 |

Early Times is one of the biggest names in inexpensive whiskey… and now it’s trying to creep upmarket. Today we look at the (only) ET that’s been on sale since the 1980s, and the new Early Times 354 Bourbon, which debuts this month. Early Times Kentucky Whisky – Note carefully, it’s not “Bourbon.” It’s “Kentucky…

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Review: Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon 2001 Vintage

By Christopher Null | December 23, 2010 |

Every year Evan Williams produces a single barrel version of its classy Bourbon. Incredibly affordable, these bottlings feature outstanding quality and are regularly snapped up soon after release. For 2001, Evan Williams a quieter whiskey than last year’s masterpiece, which, compared to this year’s expression, has a spicier backbone and a racier structure. Lots of…

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Review: Angel’s Envy Bourbon

By Christopher Null | December 1, 2010 |

Angel’s Envy is, put simply, a new concept in Bourbon making. The brainchild of longtime distiller Lincoln Henderson, each year Angel’s Envy will be released with a new recipe and a new method of manufacture. The inaugural batch — called Expression 10/10 — is already unorthodox. It’s aged in oak and finished in vintage and…

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Review: Benjamin Prichard’s Tennessee Whiskeys and Sweet Lucy Liqueur

By Christopher Null | November 12, 2010 |

It may not be canonically “Bourbon,” but the state of Tennessee is responsible for the best-selling whiskey in the world: Jack Daniel’s. But Jack isn’t the only whiskey going in Kentucky’s next-door neighbor. Benjamin Prichard has been producing a variety of spirits — including a whole family of rums — for ten years now. We…

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