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Bourbon

Until the early 20th century, Bourbon was the predominant choice of the American drinker. The Scots, Irish, and other immigrants had adapted their distilling skills to American corn and the unique soil, climate, and limestone waters of Kentucky.

However, two events in US history devastated the Bourbon industry, the first of which was Prohibition. As smugglers brought in the lighter styled blended Scotch and Canadian Whiskies, American tastes changed. When Prohibition ended, Bourbon slowly began to regain its foothold in the market.

The entrance of the US into WWII interrupted this, though, causing American distilleries to halt spirits production and begin producing industrial alcohol for the war effort. After the war, Bourbon had a difficult time reclaiming its place at the forefront as, once again, Scotch and Canadian Whiskey had become the consumer's choice, particularly in the high-end category.

Thanks to the efforts of the Samuels family at Maker's Mark in the late 1950s and 1960s, Bourbon began its comeback. They bucked industry trends, believing the market was ready for a more expensive, well-crafted Bourbon and they were eventually proven correct.

Now, small-batch, single-barrel and other such categories fill the market and well-made Bourbon is in great demand. So sit back, relax, and grab your sipping glass to enjoy the renaissance with one of our fine Bourbons.

Bourbon is made from a mashbill of corn, malted barley, and rye or wheat as a flavoring grain. Federal standards state Bourbon must be:
  • made from grain at least 51% corn (most marketed today are at least two-thirds);
  • aged in new charred oak barrels (most today are aged at least 4 years);
  • distilled to no more than 80% alcohol by volume;
  • entered into barrel for ageing at no more than 62.5% alcohol by volume; and
  • bottled at 40% alcohol by volume or more.
Bourbon meeting these standards; aged at least 2 years; and containing no added coloring, flavoring, or other spirits may be called Straight Bourbon. If an age is stated on the bottle, it is of the youngest whiskey in the bottle.

Bottled-in-Bond
    This act in 1897 was established to guarantee a whisky's authenticity at a time when spirits could be a blend of who knows what. To be labeled as bonded:
  • ​Produced in one distillation season by one distiller at one distillery.
  • Aged in a federally bonded warehouse for at least four years and bottled at 100 proof.
  • The label must specify where it was distilled and bottled.
  • Must be produced in the U.S.

    Tennessee Whiskey is basically Bourbon that has undergone the "Lincoln County Process" of maple charcoal filtering before being aged in barrel.
    
    In the past decade or so, there has been a tremendous growth in new whisky and bourbon brands. Many of the smaller companies are "NDP's", non-distilling producers, that is, they source their product from somewhere else. Some may age, blend and bottle, others nothing at all, others somewhere between. Very few admit this, and some are very misleading. With only a few exceptions, our bourbons are not NDP's, but are distilled, aged and bottles by who is on the bottle. For a thorough list of distillers and bottlers, see Sku's Recent Eats (recenteats.blogspot.com).
Beam Family
  • Bookers
  • Basil Hayden's
  • Knob Creek
  • Jim Beam
  • Jim Beam Black
  • Jim Beam Single Barrel
  • Jim Beam Signature Craft Brandy Finish
  • Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 yr
  • Jim Beam Bottled-in-Bond
  • Old Grand-Dad Bottled-in-Bond
  • Old Grand-Dad 80 Proof
  • Old Grand-Dad 114 Proof
  • Bakers 7yr 107
Heaven Hill Family
  • Bernheim Small Batch Wheat Whisky
  • Elijah Craig 12 yr
  • Evan Williams Black
  • Evan Williams 1783
  • Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond
  • Evan Williams Single Barrel
  • Henry McKenna
  • Henry McKenna Bottled-in-Bond 10 yr
  • Old Fitzgerald
  • J.W. Dant bottled-in-bond
Brown-Forman Family
  • Jack Daniels Black
  • Jack Daniels Gentleman Jack
  • Jack Daniels Single Barrel
  • Woodford Reserve
  • Woodford Reserve Double Oaked
  • Old Forester
  • Old Forester Bottled-in-Bond
Sazerak/Buffalo Trace Family
  • ​Eagle Rare 10 yr
  • Blanton's
  • Buffalo Trace
  • 1792 Small Batch
  • 1792 Sweet Wheat
  • Elmer T. Lee
  • Col. E.H. Taylor Single Barrell
  • Col. E.H. Taylor Small Batch
  • W.L. Weller 12 yr (When Available)
  • W.L. Weller Special Reserve
  • Bowman's Small Batch
  • Bowman's Single Barrel
  • Rock Hill Farms

Other
  • Wild Turkey 101
  • Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve
  • Wild Turkey Rare Breed
  • Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit
  • Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary
  • Wild Turkey Forgiven
  • Makers Mark
  • Makers Mark 46
  • Makers Mark Cask Strength
  • Few Bourbon
  • Bulleit
  • Bulleit 12 yr
  • George Dickel #12
  • George Dickel Barrel Select
  • Four Roses
  • Four Roses Single Barrel
  • Four Roses Small Batch
  • Breckinridge
  • Lewis Redmond
  • Cody Road
  • Featherbone (Journeyman Distillery)
Rye
  • Knob Creek
  • Dickel
  • Bulleit
  • Rittenhouse Bottled-in-Bond
  • Jim Beam
  • Cody Road
  • Catoctin Creek
  • Ravenswood (Journeyman Distillery)
  • Old Overholt