American Whiskey

American whiskey comprises a huge swath of sub-categories, and most of the whiskeys you’ll encounter fall into one of these. Bourbon (distinguished by its 51%-or-greater corn mashbill) is undoubtedly the largest of these, with Rye (at least 51% rye) arguably second. Tennessee Whiskey (a subset of Bourbon, made in Tennessee and charcoal mellowed) is another major, with Wheat Whiskey, Corn Whiskey, and Malt Whiskey all having their adherents. White whiskey (unaged whiskey) is another segment growing in size. Other categories, including Blended Whiskey, Light Whiskey, and Spirit Whiskey can also be found occupying this broad catch-all category.

Top American Whiskey Categories:

Bourbon
Tennessee Whiskey
Rye
Wheat Whiskey
American Single Malt

Book Review: Bourbon: The Evolution of Kentucky Whiskey

By Christopher Null | August 21, 2011 |

Those expecting a sun-dappled romp through the state of Kentucky in Sam K. Cecil’s Bourbon: The Evolution of Kentucky Whiskey we be in for a bit of a surprise. Cecil, who got started in the Bourbon industry four years after Prohibition ended in 1933, has written a tome which dutifully outlines how Bourbon is made,…

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“Batching” Bourbon with Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris

By Christopher Null | August 10, 2011 |

Recently I had the opportunity to make my own Bourbon. No, I didn’t distill it, age it, or bottle it. I did the hard part: Batching it. Woodford Reserve’s Master Distiller Chris Morris was in town to talk shop, and I had the good fortune to be able to attend an experiment that, for Morris,…

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Review: New Holland Hatter Royale Hopquila

By Christopher Null | July 31, 2011 |

Tequila for rabbits? No. New Holland, based not in Holland the country but rather Holland the city in Michigan, takes a double-distilled mash of 100% malted barley, then steeps Centennial hops in it. It’s not aged, but it comes out a Chardonnay-yellow from the hops Hopquila, then, is not a funky tequila but rather a…

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Review: Buffalo Trace 2011 Experimental Collection – 1989, 1991, and 1993 Rediscovered Vintages

By Christopher Null | July 3, 2011 |

Buffalo Trace is a monster distillery, with 150,000 barrels of whiskey in inventory at any given time. 1,500 of those are “experimental” — wild stabs at genius from whomever’s manning the still that day — and every now and again Buffalo Trace sifts through the ricks to see what’s out there. Sometimes they even sell…

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Review: Craft Distillers Low Gap White Wheat Whiskey

By Christopher Null | July 2, 2011 |

The white whiskey craze continues to rumble along, and artisan producers keep driving the trend. Our friends at Craft Distillers offer this spirit, distilled from Bavarian hard wheat (wheat with a higher protein content) and fermented to an 8.8% alcohol beer. It’s then double-distilled in a copper pot still and bottled at about 90 proof,…

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Review: Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon

By Christopher Null | June 30, 2011 |

Wild Turkey is famously — perhaps infamously — hot, coming in at a blistering 101 proof. Now our friends at WT have released a cooler, lighter, and smoother version of the same Bourbon, weighing in at a mere 81 proof. (It just wouldn’t be Wild Turkey without the extra 0.5% alcohol.) First things first: Wild…

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Review: High West Barreled Manhattan “The 36th Vote”

By Christopher Null | June 18, 2011 |

If a cocktail requires no fresh juices or other highly perishable ingredients, why not just bottle it outright? That’s the idea behind High West’s Barreled Manhattan: It’s a Manhattan cocktail pre-bottled and ready to go. Now this isn’t some rotgut nonsense, 10 percent alcohol bullshit in a single-serve bottle. It’s the real deal, and top…

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The Kentucky Bourbon Trail: Tips, Tricks, and Advice for the Traveler

By Christopher Null | June 10, 2011 |

In Kentucky, Bourbon is a religion. They have plenty of real religion here, too, but based on the statues, plaques, and other honorifics on every corner and wall, Bourbon is second only to Jesus. Any whiskey fanatic owes it to himself to visit at some point America’s most hallowed home of the stuff: Bourbon country.…

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Review: Big Bottom Bourbon – New White Oak and Port Cask Finish

By Christopher Null | May 21, 2011 |

It’s hard not to think of Big Bottom without immediately jumping to Spinal Tap, but after a few sips of this distillery’s products, my thinking is finally changing. The company produces two very young whiskeys largely in the Bourbon style (though they aren’t billed as Bourbon). The whiskey is actually made in Indiana, then it…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Bourbon Round One

By Christopher Null | May 16, 2011 |

Explaining exactly what is behind the 12 bottles reviewed below would take me all night. So I’m going to let Buffalo Trace explain its Single Oak Project for itself: On Friday, April 29th, Buffalo Trace Distillery unveiled its latest endeavor to a select group of spirits writers from around the world; a line up of…

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