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.

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Tips, Tricks, and Advice on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail
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Review: Square 6 High-Rye Bourbon and Rye

By Christopher Null | March 27, 2023 |

Square 6 is a new brand from Heaven Hill, produced at its new artisanal distillery on Louisville’s Main Street. Some background: Square 6 designates the original plot of land where Evan Williams built Kentucky’s first commercial distillery in 1783, sharing the same block on Louisville’s Whiskey Row where the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience first opened…

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Review: Smooth Ambler Founders’ Cask Strength Series – Bourbon 2022 and Rye 2021

By Christopher Null | March 6, 2023 |

Smooth Ambler is one of the OG craft distilleries, and like many it started with sourced stock while it got its own in-house production up and running. The company is one of the few that has successfully finished that transition in total, and while it still offers sourced products — they call them “procured whiskeys”…

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Review: Kings County Blended Bourbon

By Christopher Null | March 4, 2023 |

Having launched in 2010, Kings County is one of the oldest craft distilleries in the U.S. — and today it’s the largest distillery in New York City. Kings County has pumped out a vast array of spirits over the last 13 years, but bizarrely we’ve never formally reviewed them. Today however we’re taking a deeper…

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A Visit to Garrison Brothers Distillery

By Christopher Null | March 2, 2023 |

Garrison Brothers may not be the largest distillery in the world (or even in Texas), but damn if it isn’t one of the friendliest. Pull into Garrison Brothers’ Hye-based facility and you’ll find yourself immediately immersed in something more akin to a bourbon-soaked playground than a stuffy distillery experience. Wholly unserious, your experience begins on…

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Review: Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Black Label Premium Whiskey

By Drew Beard | March 1, 2023 |

Uncle Nearest will likely be catching its breath for a bit in 2023 after their rapid launch of new releases to close out 2022. We’ve already covered the trifecta of new rye whiskey offerings, the last of which was a single barrel distillery exclusive. As if to remind their adoring fans they hadn’t completely forgotten…

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Review: Rabbit Hole Founder’s Collection Raceking Bourbon (2023)

By Drew Beard | February 28, 2023 |

Raceking, first released in 2020 as part of Rabbit Hole’s limited-edition Founder’s Collection series, will now be an annual fall release for the brand, marking the first consistent ultra-premium offering in their portfolio. As a reminder, this whiskey is bottled at cask strength and made from a unique five-grain mashbill that includes a small portion…

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Review: Bardstown Bourbon Origin Series Bourbon, Bottled-in-Bond, and Rye

By Drew Beard | February 27, 2023 |

The wait is finally over. Fans of Bardstown Bourbon Co. can now partake in whiskey distilled and aged entirely at their state-of-the-art distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. This wasn’t exactly a surprise. BBCo. has been sharing small amounts of its estate-distilled bourbon since 2019 via the recently retired Fusion Series, which saw sourced whiskey married with…

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Review: Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Historic Barrel Entry

By Christopher Null | February 25, 2023 |

Woodford Reserve’s latest Master’s Collection release is upon us. Formally the Winter 2022 release, it’s hitting only now in February 2023, but who’s counting. The twist with this release is an interesting one. Of all the aspects of whiskeymaking, barrel entry proof tends to get the least amount of discussion, in part because it is…

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Review: Kentucky Owl Bourbon Batch 12

By Frank Dobbins | February 24, 2023 |

Kentucky Owl has had a lot to prove ever since handing over the reigns to their Master Blender John Rhea. Since Rhea took over in 2021 the former COO of Four Roses has overseen a flurry of activity in the form of new expressions and a number of limited edition offerings for the brand. The…

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Review: Ben Holladay Missouri Bourbon Bottled-in-Bond

By Christopher Null | February 24, 2023 |

Ben Holladay is Missouri’s oldest distillery, and after a $10 million renovation in 2015, it began distilling bourbon on-site for the first time in three decades. Seven years later, the first bourbon from those days was completed and bottled, having been released sometime last year. All production from mash (73% corn, 15% rye, 12% malted…

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