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

Drinking Bourbon with Four Roses Master Distiller Jim Rutledge

By Christopher Null | October 1, 2010 |

Having reviewed nearly a dozen different expressions of Four Roses bourbon, I’m well familiar with its famed “10 recipes” claims… but I’ve never really stopped to think about what that really means. Why would you need 10 recipes of your whiskey? Jim Rutledge, Master Distiller at Four Roses for 40 years, stopped by San Francisco…

Read More

Review: Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon

By Christopher Null | September 22, 2010 |

Next January (yes, 2011), the iconic Knob Creek will be releasing a new whiskey, expanding a line that, like Maker’s Mark before it, has resolutely stuck to one single product for all its life — 20 long years. That product is Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve — a single barrel, higher-proof version of its incredibly…

Read More

Review: Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2010 Edition

By Christopher Null | September 15, 2010 |

The old bourbon masters at Old Forester never get tired of celebrating their birthday, and each year for the last eight years they’ve release a “Birthday Bourbon” in honor of the September 2 birth of George Brown (the namesake of Brown-Forman). This edition of Old Forester Birthday Bourbon went into barrels in October 1997, making…

Read More

Review: Jim Beam Black Double Aged Bourbon 8 Years Old

By Christopher Null | August 19, 2010 |

I’m on record as saying that Jim Beam is one of the most underrated bourbons on the market. It’s not just a quality product, it’s also dirt cheap, and even its higher-end products, like Distillers Series, are crazy inexpensive. As the label notes, Jim Beam’s new Black Label is “double aged” — double the age…

Read More

Review: Parker’s Heritage Collection Wheated Bourbon (2010)

By Christopher Null | August 13, 2010 |

The good folks at Heaven Hill’s Parker’s continue their annual bourbon blowout with this 4th edition of Parker’s Heritage Collection, a 10-year-old wheated mashbill whiskey, bottled at cask strength. (That strength will vary, but in the case of my sample, that’s 127.8 proof.) Last year’s Golden Anniversary bourbon was hot but full of gorgeous fruit…

Read More

Review: McAfee’s Benchmark Old No. 8 Bourbon

By Christopher Null | August 11, 2010 |

Benchmark Old No. 8 (from our friends at Buffalo Trace) has been winning awards right and left of late — and it’s easy to see why. At about $14 a bottle, it offers outstanding quality for a pittance. Benchmark, made with a fair amount of rye, has a deep amber color, and the nose is…

Read More

Review: Balcones Baby Blue and Rumble (2010)

By Christopher Null | July 25, 2010 |

The uninitiated may think of Texas as the frontier, a place where whiskey is probably as common as water. Not so: In fact, for years, Tito’s has been the state’s only legal distillery. Now a few upstarts are coming out of the skunkworks, and the state has its first whiskey since Prohibition. Operating out of…

Read More

Review: Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon 2010 Edition

By Christopher Null | July 15, 2010 |

Four Roses is back with another Small Batch release, of which a mere 3,600 bottles will be made, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the distillery’s Lawrenceburg structure. Crafted from three of Four Roses’ recipes, it includes whiskeys aged 15 years, 11 years, and 10 years, married together and bottled at barrel strength — 110.1 proof,…

Read More

Review: Old Crow Reserve Bourbon

By Christopher Null | July 7, 2010 |

I get that the words “Old Crow” and “Reserve” don’t immediately make sense together. Though it was the first ever sour mash whiskey, dates back to the 1830s, and counts U.S. Grant among its famous drinkers, it’s still a budget brand, sold by the handle for $10 or less, a simply bourbon that gets the…

Read More

Review: Early Times 150th Anniversary Edition Kentucky Whisky

By Christopher Null | June 22, 2010 |

“The whisky that made Kentucky whiskies famous” is now 150 years old, and to celebrate, the folks at Early Times are putting out a special edition bottling of their canonical (update: not quite a) bourbon. Don’t get too excited. Early Times is not exactly a top shelf whiskey, and this special edition marks only a…

Read More