What Makes Bourbon, Bourbon?

What Makes Bourbon, Bourbon?

Let’s talk bourbon Kentucky Bourbon.

What makes Kentucky Bourbon so special? Lots of things standout when it comes to bourbon vs. whiskey, and also when it comes to Kentucky Bourbon vs. the rest of the world.

First off, Whiskey vs. Bourbon:

You might have heard a saying that “All bourbon is whiskey is but not all whiskey is bourbon.”

Why is that though? Is it all of the barrels can never have been used before? Maybe it’s that extra corn? It could even be the Angel’s Share?

Bourbon stands out for all of these reasons. Whiskey can reuse charred barrels, where bourbon must be barreled in a new barrel each time.

If you are familiar with bourbon, you are probably familiar with the Angel’s Share. To be considered Bourbon, it must be aged for at least two years, but on average most bourbons are aged between 8 – 15 years (depending on if contains more rye or wheat)! Let me tell you, I hope I am one of these Angel’s because they are tasting some good stuff!

With bourbon aging for so many years, some of the spirit is lost to evaporation from the barrel into the air as it ages. This process does also happen with whiskey, but not as much is lost since the aging process is usually shorter.

Kentucky Bourbon vs. Everyone

Is it the climate, that creates a distinct all four seasons? Weather has a huge impact on the aging process, each distillery has their own tricks of the trade, it really comes down to a simple process.

When it is hot, the barrels expand and when it is cold the wood condenses. The higher the barrel in the rickhouse the hotter it is, closer to the ground, the colder, (I think you get the idea). So throughout the year the spirit is being tossed around, which effects the taste of each final product.

But did you know that Kentucky offers a special water that stands apart?

Don’t get me wrong, the four seasons in Kentucky does make an impact, but we can all thank limestone water for the 95% of bourbon that is made in Kentucky. Limestone makes our state beautiful, and also helps create the one drink we crave either year around or the first Saturday in May.

Iron can taint the flavor, but here in Kentucky the iron is filtered out of the water as it flows over the rock and becomes a sweet-tasting mineral water. Other areas of the country have all four seasons, but they do not have Kentucky water.

So, thank you Limestone .. we wouldn’t have Kentucky bourbon without you!

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