6 Things You Should Know About Bourbon
We want all of our customers to have a good time, relax and enjoy their favorite beverage. While many people know something about how wine and beer are made, there is a little mystery surrounding one of our most beloved drinks – bourbon – so check out these fast facts:
- To be called bourbon, it has to be made in America. 95% of the world’s bourbon comes from Kentucky. One of the rules is that the majority of the grain ingredients need to be corn. (Distillers have different recipes, but the corn has to make up at least 51%.) And very important: a brand new barrel has to be used every time bourbon is aged. Crazy, right? One time use!
- Kentucky is where most bourbon is made because the climate is ideal for aging: it has hot summers and cold winters. Also, Kentucky has limestone water which contains no iron. (Bourbon turns black if there is iron in the water and nobody wants iron in bourbon.)
- Bourbon picks up the color and flavor of the barrel. In the heat of those sweltering Kentucky summers, the barrel expands and the liquid gets pushed into the wood. When the temperature gets cold, the barrel contracts and that moves the liquid out. These interactions with the wood sweeten the bourbon, giving it 75% of its great flavor as well as a wonderful aroma. Ah – I can smell it now!
- Like many wines, bourbon gets better with age. It moves in and out of the wood barrel each season. During that aging process, some volume is lost to evaporation but that’s OK: the remainder is more concentrated, and that’s a good thing! That’s how you get the woody, sweet flavor of really good bourbon.
- Bourbon is an acquired taste. The first time you try it, we recommend that you cut it with water or ice. When you’re ready, try it neat. (That means without any water or ice – order it that way and you’ll seem very sophisticated and impress your friends!)The best way to find out which bourbon you prefer is by ordering a flight. This side-by-side tasting of 4 different brands lets you make immediate comparisons. (Have a pretzel or cracker in between sips!)
- The bourbons we serve and like best are Uncle Nearest, WhistlePig, I.W. Harper, and Old Elk. Come in and order a flight! You’ll discover your new favorite in no time.