Among the many characteristics of bourbon that I love, arguably the most important is the price. Bourbon is definitely more affordable than most other whiskeys. This is because bourbon (by definition) must be made in America, which means that it is not imported like Scotch or Irish Whisk(e)ys are. In addition, to call a whiskey a “Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey,” the whiskey must meet specific guidelines, which means that there is a certain character and flavor profile that most bourbons will resemble in some way. In my mind, the similarity between different bourbons means that there are good bourbons, great bourbons, and EPIC bourbons.
Basically, bourbon is a whiskey (at least 80 proof) that is made of at least 50% corn mash, with the only other ingredients being grains (rye, wheat, or barley). Water is the only other ingredient that can be in straight bourbon. Then, the bourbon must be aged for at least four years in fresh charred American Oak barrels. These are the general specifications for straight bourbon whiskey, the purest of all whiskeys.
Please comment with questions or other aspects of bourbon (or any other kind of whiskey) that you would like me to discuss. We’d love to hear from you.