All Bourbon is Whiskey but not all Whiskey is Bourbon!
First the grain mixture used for Bourbon is called the mash bill. To be classified as Bourbon the Mash must include at least 51% corn with the remainder being Rye or Wheat and Malted Barley. The ground mash is mixed with water then yeast is added and the mash is fermented. The fermented mash is then distilled typically in a column still and then again in a doubler (Pot Still). The clear spirit that is created is often referred to as "White Dog” which is then placed in brand new charred American oak barrels to mature. The caramelized oak gives Bourbon color and complex flavors as it matures over time. All Bourbon must also be made in the United States. Most Bourbon is diluted with water to a specific alcohol proof before being bottled and many barrels are usually batched together for a more consistent taste profile. When I pick out unique single barrels specifically to be bottled for Maisano’s I search for barrels that offer something special for our customers to enjoy. I also get the pleasure of purchasing some barrels at barrel strength, so they will taste exactly the same when you take them home as when I tasted them at the distillery because no water has been added to cut the alcohol down.