Best bourbon whiskeys in the country
Have you ever wondered what is bourbon whiskey, how it is made, how it is different, is it better, etc.? If yes, you are on the right page. This article intends to expand your knowledge about the country’s most popular whiskey, bourbon.
What is bourbon?
- Bourbon is one of the most popular types of whiskey today and is made from maize and rye.
- It originated in the mid-19th century and its making process is a coveted business built around tradition, especially in Kentucky.
What makes a whiskey bourbon?
The following are the rules that make a whiskey bourbon:
- It must be made in the country, and 95% of American bourbon is made in Kentucky.
- Bourbon must be aged for at least two years in a new, charred, oak barrel to be considered straight bourbon. The use of new oak barrels that haven’t aged other spirits before is a key to the unique bourbon flavor. Distillers can age it longer but not for less than 2 years.
- It must be made of at least 51% of corn. Wheat, rye, and other cereal grains can be used in different proportions for the desired flavor, but their percentage cannot go over 49%. If it does, then it no longer remains bourbon.
- It should be distilled at less than 160 proof.
- It must enter the barrels at no greater than 125 proof.
- An unadulterated flavor is a must, as nothing that is flavored or has anything other than water added to it can be labeled as bourbon.
How is Bourbon to be tasted?
Do you know that there is a right way to taste bourbon, and there is a difference between drinking and tasting bourbon? Drinking bourbon is the way you like to drink it, which could be neat, on the rocks, or in a mixed drink. Tasting bourbon, on the other hand, is to sip it without diluting the flavor by mixing anything else and paying attention to its aroma and texture. Therefore, it is imperative that you already know different bourbon terms and details. Here are the steps you can follow to taste bourbon properly:
- Step 1: Observe the color, which could be a light to rich amber. If the color is lighter, it would be light in taste.
- Step 2: Set your nose just barely in the glass and then breathe in with your lips slightly parted. Experience the unique aroma and let your sense of smell feel the vibe.
- Step 3: Sip the bourbon and don’t swallow it fast. Rather, swirl it around in your mouth and kind of chew on the bourbon. The act of chewing allows your palate to experience bourbon and its taste aptly.
- Step 4: Note the finish that lingers on in your mouth after you have gulped it. This will sum up your bourbon tasting experience as short-lived or simply perfect.
What are some of the best bourbon whiskeys in the country?
The following are some of the best bourbon whiskeys you can try:
- Bulleit Bourbon 10 year old: Aged in charred American white oak barrel, this decade-old bottle of Kentucky bourbon is short, sweet, and feels like heaven on the tongue. It gives an incredibly smooth sipping experience.
- Blanton’s Original single bottle bourbon whiskey: Well, not just bourbon, you will not forget its bottle as well. The grenade shaped bottle holds single-barrel bourbon coming from Kentucky. It has a creamy vanilla flavor with hints of nuts, orange, caramel, and light chocolate.
- Elijah Craig® small batch: Reverend Elijah Craig was the first drink pioneer who utilized charred oak barrels for aging whiskey, and the result is what we know as bourbon today. This bourbon stands out for two main reasons, which are great taste and affordability.
- FEW American Bourbon: The brand FEW is known for pioneering an outstanding range of spirits, including bourbon.
- Maker’s Mark® cask strength bourbon whiskey: Don’t forget to taste this surprisingly smooth bourbon.
What are a few surprising facts about bourbon?
- They say all bourbon is whiskey but not all whiskey is bourbon.
- It doesn’t necessarily have to be made in Kentucky; it can be made anywhere in the country.
- The barrels should be new and charred.
- Un-aged bourbon is called “white dog”.
- Its home distillation is illegal.
- The seasons help add flavor.
- Not every bourbon is straight.