Educational Post – Bourbon
Some of my friends who read my blog (all 9 of you) arent entirely sure what “bourbon” even is….
And to be honest with you, it can be a little confusing. Here are some pointers and myths i hope i can debunk.
Myth 1 – Bourbon is different than whiskey.
Fact – All bourbons ARE whiskeys. But not all whiskeys are bourbons. Bourbon is a specific type of whiskey, like scotch. What makes a bourbon a bourbon?
Myth 2 – Bourbons are bourbons because of where they are made.
Fact – Ahh yes…the age old myth that i was believing for a looong time. Bourbons do NOT have to be made in Bourbon County, Kentucky. They do however, have to have THESE requirements to be a bourbon:
- Must be a minimum of 80 proof and cannot exceed 160 proof
- Fermented mash must be at LEAST 51% corn
- Must be distilled in NEW charred oak barrels
There are other smaller, trite and completely menutae’d details that i wont bore you with, but those three things are the pith of it.
Basically, its differences in those 3 things i listed above that differentiates other types of whiskies too, as well as other interesting nuances:
Scottish Whiskey or Scotch – Primarily made of barley malt, unless its blended.
Canadian Whiskey – Cannot be less than 3 years old nor contain more than 50% of the STRAIGHT grain.
Tennessee Whiskey – Is filtered through charcoal that was made from the sugar of a maple tree.
That all adds to my favorite part of bourbons, and that is the characteristics you get from different distilleries despite having requirements and limitations via regulations. Some bourbons have a butterscotch aroma, some smell like leather or tobacco. Some are smoky, some are buttery and fairly sweet. Some are better neat, some are better over ice.
Someday, ill get to them all, and youll read about it.