Bourbon 101

Bourbon Barrel 101: Aging And Construction

Bourbon barrels play a critically important role in the flavor of finished whiskey. Understanding all the unique elements of the barrel will give you a better idea of where all those flavorful notes come from and what goes into that distinctive taste in the bottle.

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Why You'll Never Find The "Smoothest Bourbon"

It is unlikely that the phrase “smooth bourbon” would have achieved such notoriety if it didn't have at least some relevance. Exploring what "smooth" really means when classifying a bourbon will help enlighten your own perceptions and perhaps eliminate it’s validity in the future.

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Non-Chill-Filtered Bourbon

A great number of bourbon distillers care about the “shelf appeal” of their product, and so – chill-filter their bourbon to prevent any inconsistent visual anomalies that may happen in temperature extremes.

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Whiskey vs Rum: History And Differences

Both are dark in color, rich in flavor, and wildly popular on any bar shelf. Whiskey's notes are more reminiscent of the barrels it's aged in, while rum is distinctly sweeter with a spicy kick. The differences between whiskey vs. rum run much deeper, though, beginning all the way with their origination

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Gin vs Vodka: Main Differences

Gin and vodka can both be made from nearly any fermented food. Possible ingredients include corn, potatoes, rye, wheat, sugar beets, sorghum, barley, carrots, and grapes. Regardless of the base, the resulting ferment must be distilled to produce either gin or vodka

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Toasted And Charred - Bourbon Barrel 101

Toasted bourbon barrels are exposed to less extreme temperatures than barrels charred in a fast burn. Toasted barrels are most commonly used for wine. Bourbon aged in a toasted barrel is a special treat that's more difficult to find

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How Vodka Is Made

The next 30% of the product is known as the "heart." This is the best part of the distillation and therefore the only liquid that will go on to the next steps. The last 35% is the "tail." Some vodka makers will keep the tail for further distillation in the next batch to get a little more product from it. The tail is still too impure to use as-is.

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Connecting Bourbon Street With Bourbon Whiskey

Bourbon Street (or Rue Bourbon, as it was called then) sits in the heart of the city's French Quarter district, spanning 13 blocks from Esplanade Avenue to Canal Street. It also runs through portions of the Marigny neighborhood. The early Bourbon Street featured homes, stables, and a small brewery, and many of the current structures feature the unique architectural style for which New Orleans is known and revered.

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Whiskey vs Whisky: What's The Difference?

The differentiation of whiskey versus whisky comes from Irish and Scottish Gaelic dialects of the words, "uisce beatha," which mean the "water of life." During the 18th century, Irish immigration to America was on the rise. Some people believe Irish whiskey producers were looking for a way to differentiate themselves from Scotch distillers at that time

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The Four Grain Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Most distillers stick to the typical three grain mash bill to produce their bourbons. Some very bold distillers are experimenting with four grains to produce very original and very complex straight bourbon whiskeys

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Bourbon vs Rye: Main Differences

When you ask a bartender for a Manhattan, they will ask you a simple question — rye or bourbon? While both dark liquors have a long history in North America, specifically in the American South, their varied ingredients create two very different flavor profiles. Understanding the difference between rye and bourbon can go a long way toward making the perfect cocktail

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Scotch vs Whiskey: Main Differences

The ingredients are what really set apart whiskey and Scotch. Whiskey is a spirit distilled from a combination of grains like barley, wheat, rye, and corn. The types and amount of grains used in the production process will vary depending on the type of whiskey.

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How Bourbon Is Made

By definition, the mash bill for bourbon is at least 51% corn. The prominence of this large grain in the mash bill is the reason for bourbon's characteristic sweetness compared to other types of whiskeys, and many distilleries opt to use a much larger proportion of this large grain — 70%, 80%, or even 90%...

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Bourbon vs Whiskey: Key Differences

Bourbon vs Whiskey? Is there a real difference? Though bourbon is a type of whiskey, there are specific criteria it has to meet to qualify as bourbon, and these contribute to the unique characteristics of the drink. Aside from the grain compositions, several other key characteristics separate bourbon from other types of whiskey...

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Exploring Double And Triple Malt Bourbons

What is a double malt bourbon? A single malt whiskey? What about a four-grain triple malt bourbon - a single grain whiskey, or a single malt scotch? These terms can be very confusing, and rightfully so. 

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Four Grain Bourbon

But, what about a four grain bourbon? What might a mash bill for a 4-grain bourbon look like? A four grain bourbon is one which includes four distinct grains or, possibly contains three or more grains with grain processing variations. Here is an example mash bill

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Top 10 Traits Of A "Best Bourbon"

To state it simply, great bourbon – or what some might call “the best bourbon” simply tastes great. Bourbon drinkers have different preferences when it comes to flavor, but they can usually agree on certain taste characteristics, such as how balanced or complex the flavors of a particular bourbon are.

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Bourbon vs Whiskey vs Scotch

Imagine you enter a liquor store, and hanging signs mark the aisles. You look up and see "whiskey," "bourbon," and "scotch" above one aisle whose shelves hold hundreds of gleaming bottles of straw-colored, amber, or brown spirits. With that much choice, you may wonder which bottle is the one for you or even what distinguishes these types — whiskey, bourbon, and scotch — from one another. If you've ever found yourself in this dilemma, this guide may be helpful to you.

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How Whiskey Is Made

Despite many differences, what all whiskeys have in common is the care and mastery involved in their production. The making of whiskey is a long-held tradition that has taken centuries to refine, and we get to enjoy that refinement in a multitude of forms today.

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P.X. Sherry Cask Finished Bourbon: History and Distilling Process

Pedro Ximénez (sometimes Pedro Ximinez, Ximénès, Jimenez, PX, or P.X.) is a description for naturally highly-sweet dessert wines. These wines are actually created with a  grape variety with the same name. 

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History Of The Mint Julep

When the weather turns warm, you can expect to see more mint juleps in the hands of home mixologists and bar patrons. The frosty, perspiring cup with its mound of ice and sprig of mint peeking over the brim represents pure refreshment and well-executed simplicity.

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What Is A Barrel Pick?

The term “single barrel” has been thrown around quite frequently in modern whiskey times. It became a huge craze over the past decade and shows no signs of declining in popularity.

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