How to Taste Bourbon

What is Bourbon?

Bourbon is a type of whiskey that is made from a mixture of grains, 51% of which is corn. Corn contributes to the sweet flavors that typify bourbon.
The spirit must be aged in new charred oak barrels for a minimum of two years to be labeled “straight bourbon whiskey.” The grain mixture, or mash, must be distilled at 160 proof or less, and aged in barrels until it reaches 125 proof or less.

Is all bourbon from Kentucky?

Bourbon does not need to be made in Kentucky in particular, but it does need to be made in the United States. In fact, in 1964, Congress declared Bourbon to be “America’s Native Spirit.”
Still, Kentucky is intrinsically linked to bourbon, and for good reason. 95% of the world’s bourbon is made by the Bluegrass State.

 

How do I taste Bourbon?

1. Prepare a tasting vessel and your bourbon
The Glencairn glass is our glass of choice when it comes to bourbon tasting, for good reason. The bowl shape helps to focus the aromas of your bourbon in the narrow rim, making it easier for you to enjoy its aromas. The heavy base and petite size makes swirling your bourbon effortless.

For purposes of tasting, serve your bourbon neat. Pour a couple ounces of room-temperature bourbon into your glass without additives or ice.

2. Observe the color of your bourbon
Hold your glass against a white background to help you determine your bourbon’s color. The color will clue you in on level of barrel char and the age of your bourbon. Generally, the older the bourbon, the darker it may be. The more charred the barrel, the darker the bourbon.

3. Note the aromas in your bourbon
Position your nose two inches away from your glass. Take a deep breathe in and think about aromas that lie in the following categories: woodsy aromas, grainy aromas, sweet aromas, fruity aromas, floral aromas, and spicy aromas. Oftentimes, a bourbon will exhibit aromas from multiple categories; a bourbon may have whiffs of oak (woodsy), black pepper (spicy), and honey (sweet) aromas.

4. Consider the flavors in your bourbon
Take a sip of the bourbon, leaving it on your tongue for a few seconds before swallowing it. Once again, try to identify the flavors you taste by thinking about the common categories of bourbon flavors. Aside from the flavors, consider its overall balance and structure.

5. Evaluate the finish of your bourbon
The “finish” is what you taste after swallowing your sip of bourbon. What flavors remain on your tongue? How long do the flavors remain? Generally, bourbon with a longer length is considered a more quality bourbon.

Weed Cellars Bourbon

Looking to taste incredible bourbon? Weed Cellars Straight Bourbon Whiskey draws its drinker in with smoky aromas of oak and roasted hazelnut, which give way to fruity notes of crisp apple and ripe citrus. A vibrant and robust, richly-textured bottling, its caramel-honey core is accentuated by cloves, pepper, and a hint of tobacco on the palate. Its finish is sweet, with lingering, warm spice.

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