We have a lot of Whiskey drinkers at the Stonefly, and they are pretty dedicated to their most beloved and coveted bottles. So our November Bourbon tasting was really geared to these folks – we wanted to introduce and explore a subset of the whiskeys – American Bourbon, or Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, to be precise.
By international trade law, Bourbon must be made in the United States from 51-79% corn, and aged in charred American white oak barrels. Bourbon is whiskey in it’s purest form – it can’t be flavored in any way between the barrel and the bottle, a distinction that sets it apart from its Appalachian cousin, Tennessee Whiskey. Tennessee Whiskey is also made predominantly from corn, however it is run through charred maple saplings after being barrel aged which makes Tennessee Whiskey sweeter and smokier tasting than Bourbon.
We worked our way through five Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys, finishing with one of my new favorites, the Wild Turkey American Honey which is a blend of bourbon and honey – very sweet and lovely to end the evening with. The bourbon menu consisted of:
- Bulleit – hands down, everyone loved this one so much for the price that we had to add it to our regular bourbon offering, which previously had consisted of Jim Beam alone.
- Woodford Reserve – try this one on ice, it needs to open up a bit
- Eagle Rare – We were pretty excited about this one – it was pretty light and slightly sweet
- Knob Creek – Everyone already knew they loved the Knob, and it turns out they still do
- Wild Turkey Rare Breed – totally, predictably, loved the most expensive bottle, of course
Bourbon lesson learned – many of them are not best when downed from a shot glass room temp, and it’s hard to make a bourbon drinker out of an Irish whiskey drinker. But we sure do like that patriotic feeling we get after five or six bourbons slide down the gullet!