What is Bourbon?
You will find rigid laws and regulations for how precisely Bourbon is labeled as bourbon. For instance, a minimum of 51% of the grains utilized in producing of bourbon must be corn (majority of distillers use 65% – 75% corn). Bourbon must be aged for at least 2 years within brand new, white American oak barrels which have been charred. Absolutely nothing could be added to the bourbon at bottling to improve tastes, sweeting notes or even colour modifiers. Although officially Bourbon can be created anywhere, the state of Kentucky in the USA is the only state that may be allowed to put its name on the label.
Single-Barrel Bourbon vs Small-Batch Bourbon
As the title suggests, single-barrel Bourbon, which are hard to come by, is really really a whiskey taken and bottled from the on white American oak barrel. Where as small-batch Bourbons tend to be whiskeys from the “batch” that have been blended and mixed to level the flavours prior to bottling. , because the distillers state, just before bottling. These batches can vary from 100s to as few as 20 barrels in rotation.
Nowadays, Bourbon barrels tend to be charred to various levels, rated in 1 to 4, with respect to the depth. Single-barrel as well as small-batch Bourbons are aged within a 3 or 4 char white oak barrel. The actual charring not just darkens the oak but additionally caramelizes a few of the organic sugar within the oak.
Throughout the process of aging, the bourbon “breathes” within the oak barrel, expanding and sealing the oak barrel in the summer as well as contracting during the cold months. Its the colour as well as taste that are critical and are transferred to the Bourbon through out this process in the oak barrel, but the summer time is the most crucial time, as it is at this time where majority of the aging takes place and the more flavour is taken from the oak.