The Great American Bourbon Tasting

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The United States is well renowned for numerous things. Thankfully, bourbon is one of them. Hollywood, celebrities, happy hours, cocktail bars, and other establishments all adore America's fiercely native spirit. Because of its emphasis on fresh charred American Oak barrels, 51% corn, and maturation here in the United States, it frequently stifles the development of whiskey-making practices abroad.Some contend that doing so removes the finished product's uniqueness, but the truth is that few bourbon releases taste same, despite the fact that their DNA may seem similar on paper.

On the whiteboard, there is more opportunity for innovation in the bourbon whiskey area than most people initially realize. As long as the mash bill contains at least 51% maize, there is 49% freedom, and distilleries all around the country base their identities on what are referred to as their "flavoring grains." This portion of the mash bill is made up of rye, barley, wheat, extra corn, and more, which adds a lot of flavor variety.

Additionally, even though barrels must be brand-new and burned, cask management involves much more than just building. The place a barrel lives and how long it stays there have an affect on the whiskey just as much as the mash bill and distiller's method, from Maker's Mark's laborious and analytical barrel rotation to the center cut of Beam's scorching warehouses.

Maker’s Mark Original

Only a few brands can compare to Maker's Mark in terms of longevity, distinctiveness, and tradition. The distillery has relied on two guiding principles for decades to produce one of America's smoothest whiskeys, which has been enjoyed by many.

To make sure every barrel fulfills its profile prior to bottling, the distillery first uses a technique known as barrel rotation. Maker's shifts the barrels to lower levels midway through the age process after emptying upper floors of warehouses (where the temperature is higher) (where temps are lower).

Maker's Mark uses wheat as the flavoring grain, giving its products the "wheaters" moniker among devotees. Every label and special release of Maker's Mark has the same mash bill, which is composed of 70% corn, 16% red winter wheat, and 14% malted barley. Wheat is present, which results in a smooth, creamy, caramel-forward flavor with a clean finish. Regardless of the horse you have in the Derby, Maker's drinks easily neat, mixes well with ice, and produces one of the best juleps.

Basil Hayden 10 Year Bourbon

Despite being a relatively new bourbon brand, Basil Hayden has a long history in the industry. Meredith Basil Hayden Sr., who is thought to have begun distilling in 1792, rose to prominence as the father of whiskey. He would discover a brand utilizing his name more than 200 years later to reintroduce drinkers to a fresh flavor profile.

A Booker Noe and Basil Hayden creation In order to provide a more sophisticated whiskey with the promise of being "spicy yet smooth," 10 Year Old joined the Beam family of whiskeys. The mash bill of Basil Hayden's whiskey has more rye than Maker's Mark, which promises a more flavored whiskey without increasing the heat. It's not difficult to understand where the spice comes from with such a rise in the rye when the product is made with 63% corn, 27% rye, and 10% malted barley. This expression matures in the barrel for 10 years before being bottled and is then bottled at 80 proof (40% ABV). This whiskey has lots of flavour without being too sharp thanks to layers of caramel, honey, a faint nuttiness, and a peppery presence on the palate.

Knob Creek 9 Year Bourbon

Knob Creek is one of the most beloved bourbons in the whiskey world and a favorite among drinkers around. These barrels are aged in the middle of Beam's warehouses, where they are subjected to the hottest and most extreme temperature changes, giving each barrel more taste and character. With a gratifying 50% ABV and a touch of aggressiveness, this whiskey delivers flavors of savory brown sugar, baking spice, clove, and rich caramel as well as a long, robust finish.

The introduction of age claims is evidence of how much flavor whiskey acquires in the barrel, much like Basil Hayden. These whiskeys have an abundance of flavor when they are nine and ten years old. Knob Creek is a strong, oaky pour that has the foundation to support a wide range of drinks, from whiskey sours to barrel-aged Manhattans.

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  • AJ

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