Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Characteristics of Bourbon

What makes a bourbon a bourbon?

After many distillery tours and conversations with different bourbon afficionados, we've learned there are some pretty specific guidelines to making bourbon... 

- Bourbon is made from at least 51 percent corn.
- Bourbon is made in the United States and all but a few are distilled in Kentucky.
- Bourbon is aged for a minimum of two years in new, white oak barrels that have been charred.
- Bourbon has no added colors or flavors, that's the effect of the charred oak barrel.

When we do a tasting, we compare the color, aroma, take into account its age and usually drink it neat (no ice or mixer).  We document our impressions in our bourbon journal (shown in Maggie's post).  If the bourbon is not to our liking, we add a cube of ice or a squeeze of lemon. 

Then we decide if the bourbon is a sipper or mixer...more on that topic next post!

Emily and Maggie

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