Only the good stuff
Legend has it that The Rev. Elijah Craig chanced upon the technique of charring barrels after an accidental fire in his warehouse. The char imparts flavour into the whiskey such as Vanilla and Caramel.
White Dog: The colourless unaged distillate, just as it comes from the still and before it goes into the barrel for aging. Sometimes called “green whiskey” or “high wine” or “new-make”
Distillers are only required to put an age statement on the labels of Bourbons that are under 4 years old
Bottled in Bond whiskey must be the product of one distiller, in one distillery in one distillation season. It has to have been stored for at least 4 years in a federally bonded warehouse and bottled under supervision at 100 proof. The label must identify the distillery it was produced and where it is bottled
Does size matter? Makers Mark use 36 inch wide column stills to produce their whiskey. Buffalo Trace use an 84 inch wide continuous still. Regardless of the size, good stills are always made from Copper
In the 1800’s saloon bar owners would buy barrels of whiskey directly from the distillers and would water it down, sometimes adding tobacco juice to make it go further
Typically, the darker the whiskey, the older and higher proof it is
Some people recommend the use of hot sauce to train the tongue for higher proof Whiskey’s. We think it’s more fun to just train with Whiskey
Michter’s Distillery tells its customers that George Washington served its whiskey to his troops. This is rather unlikely as Michter’s didn’t exist then. The Distillert was probably the Shenks Distillery in Pennsylvania.
Bourbon has to be aged in new oak barrels. When a Bourbon barrels have been used once, they’re often sold on. One of the biggest buyers of bourbon barrels is Tabasco sauce who ages its products in them for a number of years
A bourbon warehouse is known as a rickhouse or rack house. Barrels from the same production batch could be placed in different parts of one of these vast warehouses, and for different lengths of time, and the resulting whiskeys can be vastly different
It’s ok to add a little water to your whiskey. It’s meant to be fun and enjoyable after all
Sour Mash isn’t exclusive to that famous Tennessee brand. It’s a common process used by the majority of distilleries
The corn used to make Bourbon is sold by the Bushel. A Bushel weighs 56lbs. That’s a lot of corn.
Bourbon should have Caramel notes. The char in the barrel imparts both Caramel and Vanilla in all Bourbon as it ages.
Bourbon has to be aged in New Oak barrels. It does not have to be American Oak although, the majority of time it is. It can be finished in other types of barrel but this must be stated on the label
The UK has Whisky and the Americans Whiskey. In fact, there is no proper spelling in the United States and Whisky can also be considered the proper spelling there. Don’t believe us? Go and look at a Makers Mark Bottle or any official US Government Whisky legislation where it’s still referred to as Whisky to this very day
It’s a fallacy that Bourbon can only be made in Kentucky. In fact, Bourbon can be produced in any North American State as long as it meets the very strict production standards set out by the Federal Government.
Bourbon has to be made with at least 51% corn. If it’s not, it’s not Bourbon.
Colonel EH Taylor and George T Stagg once sued each other’s companies in court. Both are now iconic brands under the Buffalo Trace label.
During aging, a percentage of distillate is lost, some to evaporation, some into the barrel. This is the Angel’s share and the Devil’s cut. The Restless Spirits
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"Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough." [Mark Twain]