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Whiskeys Tasted

Bourbon Whiskey Tastings

We've all stood in the liquor store aisle staring at the shelf wondering what to buy. Read our tasting reviews and stare no more

Michter*s Small Batch Toasted Stave Project (ft. Beyond Barrels)

Michter*s Small Batch Toasted Stave Project (ft. Beyond Barrels)

I'm always interested in innovation with bourbon when it results in product that's good to drink. First, let me tell you the wrong way to do it: cheap, small barrels. Most of the time these barrels don't state the quality of the wood (hint: because it's poor — see the...

Bonded Beam 1963 Decanter Tasting [Review]

Bonded Beam 1963 Decanter Tasting [Review]

Whiskey has seen several rise and falls. World War II causes a dip in whiskey production and therefore sales and in the 70s whiskey took a hit as Vodka started to boom and people preferred lighter spirits. Beam survived each dip but...

Baker’s 13 Year Old Single Barrel Tasting [Review]

Baker’s 13 Year Old Single Barrel Tasting [Review]

This is the first ever limited release for Jim Beam's Baker's Bourbon brand. It will be followed by a standard release Baker's bourbon single barrel that will retail at $70 and be a minimum of 7 years old. "Baker's Bourbon has always been a bit of a hidden gem of our...

Little Book Tasting [Review]

Little Book Tasting [Review]

Little Book is an annual, limited release from Jim Bean and is a blended American whiskey. Each blend is hand selected by Freddie Noe, son to the current Master Distiller at Beam (Fred Noe) and is uncut and unfiltered. Many blended whiskey will use neutral spirits but...

Barrell Craft Spirits Bourbon Tasting [Review]

Barrell Craft Spirits Bourbon Tasting [Review]

Barrell Bourbon is a craft distillery owned by Joe Beatrice and specializes in blended spirits. Each blend is one off, always barrel strength, and without chill filtration (see interview about blending with Joe and Bourbon Pursuit duo...

Mic.Drop. 3.0 Tasting [Review]

Mic.Drop. 3.0 Tasting [Review]

Mic.Drop. is a sourced bourbon whiskey from PM Spirits. The founder Nicolas Palazzi has history with spirits as his family made wine and cognac in the legendary Bordeaux region in France. Nicolas says, “I loved it, but it was just...

Bonded Beam 1963 Decanter Tasting [Review]

Bonded Beam 1963 Decanter Tasting [Review]

Whiskey has seen several rise and falls. World War II causes a dip in whiskey production and therefore sales and in the 70s whiskey took a hit as Vodka started to boom and people preferred lighter spirits. Beam survived each dip but...

read more
Jim Beam Distillery [The Complete Guide]

Jim Beam Distillery [The Complete Guide]

There is no way I could cover everything there is to say about Jim Beam at one time, so my plan is to continually update this page as time permits for me to research and write more. Jim Beam is a historic brand of bourbon whiskey headquartered in Clermont, KY. Owned...

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Baker’s 13 Year Old Single Barrel Tasting [Review]

Baker’s 13 Year Old Single Barrel Tasting [Review]

This is the first ever limited release for Jim Beam's Baker's Bourbon brand. It will be followed by a standard release Baker's bourbon single barrel that will retail at $70 and be a minimum of 7 years old. "Baker's Bourbon has always been a bit of a hidden gem of our...

read more
Little Book Tasting [Review]

Little Book Tasting [Review]

Little Book is an annual, limited release from Jim Bean and is a blended American whiskey. Each blend is hand selected by Freddie Noe, son to the current Master Distiller at Beam (Fred Noe) and is uncut and unfiltered. Many blended whiskey will use neutral spirits but...

read more
Weller Full Proof Barrel Picks Tasting [Review]

Weller Full Proof Barrel Picks Tasting [Review]

For any bourbon nerd, Weller needs no introduction. The brand has expanded the last two years — from the original trinity of Weller Special Reserve, Antique 107, and 12 Year to now include CYBP (last year) and Full Proof (June 2019). I've heard many people chuckle at...

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Barrell Craft Spirits Bourbon Tasting [Review]

Barrell Craft Spirits Bourbon Tasting [Review]

Barrell Bourbon is a craft distillery owned by Joe Beatrice and specializes in blended spirits. Each blend is one off, always barrel strength, and without chill filtration (see interview about blending with Joe and Bourbon Pursuit duo...

read more
Mic.Drop. 3.0 Tasting [Review]

Mic.Drop. 3.0 Tasting [Review]

Mic.Drop. is a sourced bourbon whiskey from PM Spirits. The founder Nicolas Palazzi has history with spirits as his family made wine and cognac in the legendary Bordeaux region in France. Nicolas says, “I loved it, but it was just...

read more
Widow Jane Barrel Picks Tasting [Review]

Widow Jane Barrel Picks Tasting [Review]

Widow Jane was founded in 2012 by Daniel Prieto Preston (owner of Cacao Prieto) in Redhook, Brooklyn, and started off by hand picking barrels from producing distilleries. But what I love is they are also distilling their own whiskey. Widow Jane explains: We also...

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Old Forester Birthday Bourbon (2019) Tasting [Review]

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon (2019) Tasting [Review]

Birthday Bourbon is the annual release from Old Forester and celebrates the birthday of their founder George Garvin Brown on Sept 2nd every year. “September is a special month for us at Old Forester." Campbell Brown, Old Forester President. "We get to mark, in a...

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119+ Funny Bourbon Memes (The Complete List)

119+ Funny Bourbon Memes (The Complete List)

Let's be honest — who doesn't love a good meme? Well we've got you covered with some of the funniest bourbon memes out there. And there is more to come. We'll keep this post updated as more funny stuff comes along. Right-click an image to save and share with friends...

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Booker’s Small Batch Bourbon [The Complete Guide]

Booker’s Small Batch Bourbon [The Complete Guide]

Booker's bourbon is a barrel strength bourbon in the Jim Beam collection. It is uncut and unfiltered. It's generally aged 6 to 8 years with a proof upwards of 121. The brand was started by Booker Noe, the late distiller emeritus, who would often choose the best...

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Old Forester 1910 Old Fine Whisky Tasting [Review]

Old Forester 1910 Old Fine Whisky Tasting [Review]

1910 is the last release in Old Forester’s Whiskey Row Series. This series began in 2014 and has resulted in four distinct whiskeys: 1870 Original Batch 1897 Bottled in Bond 1920 Prohibition Style 1910 Old Fine Whisky Each release...

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“Civilization begins with distillation.” – William Faulkner

Double Oak is Double the fun. It’s dark and delicious. With notes of chocolate and root beer #woodforddoubleoaked #woodfordbourbon ...

38 4

Another stunner from @bourbonpursuit and @kegnbottleusa The two @elijahcraig picks they did to close 2019 were off the charts good #elijahcraig #elijahcraigbourbon #heavenhill #heavenhilldistillery ...

67 3

Got to try this years release of Belle Meade Honey. The nose is 10/10. It’s a delicate balance between honey, berries, caramel, and just hints of baking spice. The palate is hot. Surprisingly for 111 proof. I get like a habanero heat with hints of honey, berries, and caramel and just pops of the baking spice. Finish was medium.
I could nose it all day but the palate and finish fall a bit short in the balance department IMO. Glad I got to try this and got my wheels turning for some possible stave experiments #bellemeadebourbon #bellemeadehoney #finishedbourbon #finishedwhiskey
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60 2

Had a great time on @fredminnick craft whiskey tasting in partnership with seelbachs.com for bartender’s guild fundraiser. If you missed it, still time to donate https://usbgfoundation.networkforgood.com/projects/95524-covid-19-relief-campaign Tonight I’m drinking one of my fav #craftwhiskey @oldnickwhiskey #bartendersguild #charityevent #whiskeycommunity ...

54 0

Tonight’s pours in order: Whistlepig 15 year, Handy 18, & Stagg 15. Is it Friday? What are you drinking tonight? #whistlepigwhiskey #whistlepig15 #thomashandy #georgetstagg #staggbourbon ...

58 1

Booker Batch B95-C-31 8 years and 9 months from March 1995. I love these dusty #bookersbourbon It’s got sweetness, caramel, spice, and everything you love about Bookers. ...

73 0

Finally picked up my first bottle of @smokewagonbourbon #uncutunfiltered #barrelproof #smokewagon #smokewagonbourbon Who’s had it? What’s your fav release? ...

85 3

This is the most unique thing I’ve drank in a while. It’s all crisp cider on the front then the coffee hits you. I’m not 100% they ever marry but appreciate the creativity. Wonder has anyone else had it? What are your thoughts? #applecider #boldrockhardcider #appleandcoffee ...

47 0

Who else has tried this? For me it was vanilla, burnt brown sugar, toasted baking spice, and oak. It had that signature Dickel note (if you enjoy Dickel’s aged whiskey you’ll enjoy this) #widowjane #widowjanedistillery #widowjanethevaults ...

80 0

Up in Asheville #stayweird today. First stop was @boldrockmillsriver for eats and a flight of their flagship ciders #hardcider #boldrock #boldrockhardcider #blueberrycider ...

53 0

Won this in a raffle for $8. Best $8 I’ve ever spent. And this Stagg Jr Batch 13 is delicious 🔥 🤤 🥃 🥃
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#thebourbonbard #thebourbonalliance #neat #drinkbourbon #bourbonenthusiasts #bourbon #bourbonwhiskey #whiskey #kentuckystraightbourbon #kentuckygold #liquidsunshine #drinkwhiskey #barrelproof #kentucky #kentuckychew #kentuckyhug #kentuckygram
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158 8

My bro-in-law loves making cocktails so while everyone else was having margaritas I had a @skrewballwhiskey milkshake. It was delicious. #whiskeycocktails #boozymilkshake #skrewballwhiskey #peanutbutterwhiskey #instacocktails Are you a fan of cocktails? If so, what’s your go-to? ...

63 8

Go big or go home. This is my fav bourbon that I can never find. I like it so much I’ve thought about moving to Texas just to have a better shot at finding it. What’s your fav (should be) every day bourbon you can’t find?
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#thebourbonbard #thebourbonalliance #neat #drinkbourbon #bourbonenthusiasts #bourbon #bourbonwhiskey #whiskey #kentuckystraightbourbon #kentuckygold #liquidsunshine #distillery #drinkwhiskey #singelbarrel #kentucky #kentuckychew #kentuckyhug #kentuckygram #wheatedbourbon #wellerbourbon #weller12
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186 10

It’s an OWA kind of night. Whatcha you drinking on this wonderful #humpday 🐫? ...

102 3

I’ve been drinking a lot of @heavenhilldistillery bourbon lately. Here’s a 12 year old store pick from @kegnbottleusa and @bourbonpursuit 🥃 🥃
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#thebourbonbard #thebardsstickers #thebourbonalliance #neat #drinkbourbon #bourbonenthusiasts #bourbon #bourbonwhiskey #whiskey #kentuckystraightbourbon #kentuckygold #liquidsunshine #distillery #drinkwhiskey #singelbarrel #kentucky #kentuckychew #kentuckyhug #kentuckygram
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93 1

This was surprisingly delicious and complex. Who’s had it? What are your thoughts? I’m enjoying the spice, leather, and sweet rock fruit notes ...

113 2

Name a better duo #elijahcraig #smallbatchbourbon #barrelproof #heavenhill ...

117 2

It’s a rare night. Watching #nbaallstarweekend and taking pulls. What’s in your glass? ...

92 6

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the Difference Between Bourbon and Whiskey?

The short answer: All bourbon is whiskey but not all whiskey is bourbon.

The long answer: Whiskey (or you might see it as whisky but it's the same drink) is made from a fermented grain mash including barley, corn, rye, and wheat. Sometimes these grains are also malted. This spirit is generally aged in wood barrels (sometimes called casks).

Bourbon is whiskey that has a mash bill made of at least 51% corn among other regulations (see below) and is aged in new, charred oak barrels (generally American White Oak).

What is the Definition of Bourbon Whiskey?

Bourbon truly is America's native spirit which was enshrined into law by Congress in 1964 when they called it a "distinctive product of the United States" and set up the requirements for when whiskey transforms into bourbon.

Here are the cliff notes version:

  •  It must be made in America (sorry Kentuckians — bourbon can be made outside of the bluegrass state).
  • It must have 51% corn in its mashbill but the other grains are up for grabs. Generally, the secondary grains are rye and barley, but some of the most highly renowed bourbons use wheat as the second grain and barley as the third.
  • Must be aged in new, charred oak barrels.
  • Cannot be distilled over 160 proof (80% alcohol by volume).
  • Must enter the new, charred oak barrel at 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume) or less.
  • Bottled at 80 proof or more (40% alcohol by volume)

What does bottled in bond mean?

Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 was one of the first consumer protections laws and was passed in response to adulterated bourbon whiskey that was in some worst case scenarios killing people.

As with many government regulations, distilleries who sought this designation for their spirits received a tax incentive.

Having the bottled in bond tax strip was a badge of trust in the eyes of consumer. Here's the gist. The spirit must be:

  • the product of one distilling season
  • the work one of one distillery
  • demonstrate the skill of one distiller
  • aged for no less than 4 years
  • bottled at 100 proof (50% alcohol by volume)

Also, if you're looking for a bottled in bond whiskey chances are you'll run across one from the Heaven Hill distillery. They have a deep and delicious catalogue of bottled in bond bourbons and whiskeys.

what is straight bourbon whiskey?

Straight bourbon whiskey is all about consumer protection, aging, and proof. The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 dictated that "straight whiskey" must be distilled from a fermented cereal grain mash, may not be distilled higher than 160 proof (80% ABV), aged for a minimum for 2 years, and enter the barrel no more than 125 proof (62.5 ABV). Only water may be added to bring the proof down.

Last, any straight whiskey aged less than four years must have an age statement, and it always reflect the youngest whiskey in the bottle.

You'll notice the original question was about "straight bourbon whiskey" and the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 dealt mainly with "straight whiskey" that's because bourbon wasn't officially bourbon until 1964. That's why you'll also notice some of the "straight" requirements mirror bourbon's like the distillation and barrel entry proof.

To be designated, "straight bourbon whiskey" a spirit must not only meet all of the requirements from the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 but also meet Congress' 1964 definition of what bourbon is.

Also, in common parlance, "straight" can also be a request for a whiskey or bourbon without ice or other add ons at a bar. "Hey bar keep, give me a shot of Maker's straight."

What are the types of bourbon whiskey?

The types might fall into different categories. We will start with the different types of bourbon mashbills.

The most common bourbon mashbill has the required 51% corn, a secondary grain of rye, and barley.

This mashbill can be high rye (e.g., Wild Turkey, New Riff) or low ry (e.g., Elijah Craig, Buffalo Trace). The higher the rye generally the more spice is present.

The next most popular mashbill replaces the rye with wheat. So you might 51% plus corn, wheat, and barley. 

This mashbill was made popular by the now defunct Stitzel Weller distillery in the mid-twentieth century with brands like Old Fitzgerald, Rebel Yell, Weller, and Pappy Van Winkle.

These wheated bourbons are still being made today but by different distilleries after Stitzel Weller shut its doors in 1972. The wheat is a softer flavor and takes premium aging well.

Let's call the last type experimental. Some distillers are more adventurous with their mashbills than others. You will have mashbills that include four grains (corn, wheat, rye, and barley), five grains, or other grains like amaranth, malted grains, triticale, rice, oat, millet, or sorghum.

The other types of bourbons would fall into a category we've touched on already — straight bourbon whiskey and bottled in bond. 

What is the difference between single barrel and SMALL BATCH bourbon?

These terms can be confusing for bourbon newbies. Single barrel is the easiest to define so we'll start there. 

After the spirit is distilled, it's moved to barrels where it becomes bourbon whiskey. Some barrels may have exceptional flavor on its own. 

Distilleries market and sell this bourbon whiskey as a single barrel. This designation was popularized by Colonel Albert Blanton at the now Buffalo Trace Distillery and is sold as Blanton's. 

It's a single barrel of bourbon whiskey not mingled or blended with any other barrel.

Small batch is less clear and can cause confusion. There are no regulations on what small batch means. It might mean a craft distillery mingling 5-10 barrels to hit their desired flavor profile. Or it might mean a larger distillery mingling 200 plus barrels.

Some popular small batch bourbon whiskeys include Maker's Mark, Buffalo Trace, and Elijah Craig. 

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