Bourbon is a drink that has been enjoyed by people for centuries. It’s a drink that has been passed down from generation to generation, and it’s one that has stood the test of time. But if you’re new to the world of bourbon, it can be a little overwhelming. There are so many terms to learn and so many different types of bourbon to try. But don’t worry! We’re here to help you navigate the world of bourbon with confidence.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to some basic bourbon terms that will help you understand this delicious drink better. From the definition of bourbon to the age statement and cask strength, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get started. So sit back, relax, and get ready to become a bourbon expert!

First – what is bourbon? Bourbon is a type of American whiskey that is barrel-aged and made from a recipe that is at least 51% corn. It must be aged in a new, charred oak container, come off the still no higher than 160 proof, and enter the barrel no higher than 125 proof.

Now – Bourbon Terms for Beginners

Age Statement: A bourbon’s age statement indicates the age of the youngest bourbon in the bottle.

Angel’s share: This is the portion of whiskey that evaporates during aging in barrels. It’s like when you’re trying to make a cake and you eat some of the batter before it goes in the oven.

Barrel proof: This is whiskey that is bottled straight from the barrel without being diluted with water. It’s like when you’re drinking coffee and you don’t add any cream or sugar – you want it straight up!

Bottled-in-bond: This is a label term that indicates a whiskey was distilled in one distilling season by one distiller at one distillery and aged for at least four years under U.S. government supervision. It must be bottled at 100 proof.

Cask strength: This is whiskey that is bottled straight from the barrel without being diluted with water.

Chill filtration: This is a process used to remove fatty acids and other impurities from whiskey by chilling it to near freezing and then filtering it through a fine mesh.

Finish: This is the taste left in your mouth after swallowing whiskey. It’s like when you’re eating a really good meal and you can still taste it hours later.

Green whiskey: This is whiskey that has not been aged in barrels. It’s like when you’re eating cookie dough before it goes in the oven – it’s not quite done yet, but it still tastes good!

High rye: This is a bourbon mash bill that contains more rye than usual. It’s like when you’re adding extra spices to your food because you want it to have more flavor.

Mash tun: This is a large vessel used to mix grains with hot water to create a mash. It’s like when you’re making soup and you have to mix all the ingredients together in a big pot.

Nose: This is the aroma of whiskey. It’s like when you’re walking into someone’s house and you can smell what they’re cooking for dinner.

Rye whiskey: This is whiskey made from a mash bill that contains at least 51% rye. It’s like when you’re eating something spicy and you want something to cool down your mouth

Peat: This is the stuff that gives some whiskeys their smoky flavor. It’s like adding bacon to everything – it just makes it better.

Proof gallon: This is how we measure the amount of alcohol in a distilled spirit. One proof gallon is equal to one gallon of liquid that is 100 proof. It’s like when you’re trying to impress your friends with your math skills by calculating how much everyone owes for dinner.

Rickhouse: This is where all the magic happens. It’s where barrels of whiskey are stored during aging. It’s like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, but for adults.

Sour mash: This is a process used in the production of some whiskeys where a portion of the mash from a previous batch is added to the new batch to help control the pH level and promote consistency in flavor. It’s like when you’re making sourdough bread and you save some of the dough from the previous batch to use in the next one.

Straight Bourbon: This is bourbon that has been aged for at least two years and has not been blended with any other spirits. If it’s aged less than 4 years, the age must be listed in the label.

Tails: This is the final portion of whiskey that comes out of the still during distillation. It has a lower alcohol content than the rest of the distillate and is often discarded or used for other purposes.

Wheated bourbon: This is a bourbon mash bill that uses wheat instead of rye as the secondary grain. This results in a softer, sweeter flavor profile. One of the most famous wheated bourbons is Maker’s Mark.

Yeast: This little guy is what makes all the magic happen. It ferments the sugars in the mash and creates alcohol. They eat the sugars and excrete the alcohol!

Go Out and Use Your Bourbon Terms

Congratulations! You now have a solid understanding of some of the most important bourbon terms. You’re now ready to explore the world of bourbon and discover your favorite flavors and aromas. Whether you’re sipping it neat or mixing it into a cocktail, you can now appreciate this delicious spirit even more. So go ahead and pour yourself a glass of your favorite bourbon and enjoy the journey!

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