American corn whiskey or bourbon is the real pride of the Americans. The homeland of Bourbon is a eponymous town, lost in the vastness of Kentucky.
Currently, bourbon has gained incredible fame and popularity around the world. However, many fans of American corn whiskey know not so many of its brands. For most of them, it all comes down to just two types of drink. The first is Jim Beam, and the second is Jack Daniel’s. But believe me, this is a very superficial look at the question.
Currently, the states produce dozens of high-quality varieties of corn whiskey. Especially for you, we have prepared an overview of the most famous brands of bourbon.
Today bourbon Jim Beam is one of the most popular and certainly the best-selling American bourbon. For many gourmets and connoisseurs of bourbon, it is important that it is produced in Kentucky. Jim Beam fits that bill.
The second word in its name comes from the names of its founders and owners. At the very end of the XVIII century, his first batch of Jim Beam bourbon was made by Jacob Beam himself. It was thanks to this man that this brand survived the most difficult times for the American alcohol industry, and the bourbon itself received its name used to this day.
Nowadays, the company produces several varieties of bourbon, which differs in aging time and production recipe:
- four year old Jim Beam White label
- eight-year-old Jim Beam Black Label
- collector Booker’s with a fortress of 63.25 degrees
- Baker’s featuring special fermentation technology
- spicy and spicy Basil Hayden’s
- nine year old Knob Creek
Whatever bottle of Jim Beam bourbon falls into your hands, know that tasting it will reveal the real taste of American bourbon for you.
Among its many brothers, Jack Daniel’s bourbon stands out because of its unique way of filtering. The drink passes through a three-meter layer of charcoal. The usual duration of this procedure is 8-10 days.
Its originality is further emphasized by the fact that this corn whiskey got its own name. It is commonly called Jack’s Tennessee Whiskey.
Other features of Jack Daniels are a special chemical composition of water, as well as a special fermentation process, which is carried out using sour wort.
The latest features of this old bourbon are the unusual shape of the bottle and the mysterious number 7 in its name. The shape of the bottle is a real parallel pipe with a neck extending from it.
The number seven it owes to its creator Jasper Newton Daniel. There are different versions explaining the origin of this number on the label. We like the one that says 7 symbolizes luck.
Admirers of high-quality alcohol will find a deep sweetish taste and delicate aroma under each sip. For exotic lovers, we recommend Jack Daniel’s Honey, which is made with the addition of honey.
This bourbon has its history since the abolition of Prohibition in the United States. It was then that the Shapira brothers decided to invest their capital in alcohol production.
This bourbon got its name in honor of the hero of the war with the Indians, William Havenhill. However, one of the employees who were assigned to register this name made a mistake by writing it in two words. That is how the world famous “Heaven Hill” was born.
A bottle of Heaven Hill bourbon will undoubtedly bring true pleasure to all fans of hard liquor. This drink is distinguished by a golden bronze color, an aroma with hints of wood, caramel, cinnamon, haze and leather and a taste with pronounced notes of nuts, spices, fruits, honey and herbs.
If you are considering tasting it, we recommend that you buy a bottle that says Heaven Hill Old Style Bourbon. The words old style emphasize it belonging to the classical traditions of producing high-quality bourbon in the USA.
By tradition, this bourbon got its name in honor of its creator Rufus Rose and his family. That is, he counted himself as one of the roses. The remaining three are his wife and two children. That is how the famous Four Roses bourbon or 4 roses appeared.
This boubon is also produced in Kentucky.
Four Roses has a sophisticated and light taste. Experts say that its secret lies in the purest spring water from Kentucky. In the making of this bourbon, at least 60% of the corn is used. As you know, it is this corn that gives the sweet aftertaste so characteristic of Bourbon. Thus, the more corn is in the composition of the grains, the sweeter the alcohol.
Like other bourbons, Four Roses must be infused in oak barrels, which are charred from the inside.
One can easily identify a Four Roses bottle by the very four red roses that stand out in relief on its label.
Maker’s Mark bourbon is an expensive premium bourbon. We are sure that all connoisseurs of strong alcohol who have tried this wonderful drink will have no complaints about this.
First of all, Maker’s Mark highlights the unique recipe of production. Naturally, it all starts with the right water. It is taken from a private lake located on the company’s own lands.
The cereal composition of Maker’s Mark bourbon is also quite unusual. It is made from sweet corn, winter red wheat and selected malt, mixed in secret proportions.
Cereals are crushed in a special way in an old mill. After that, they undergo heat treatment in furnaces. Then they are mixed with the same water and filled with yeast. The fermentation process takes place in large barrels of noble cypress. But then everything happens according to the classical technology used by all other bourbon producers.
Another feature of Maker’s Mark bourbon is its small production volumes. Thus, the company shows the whole world that it is not primarily pursuing profit, but preserving traditions and high quality.
American whiskey Early Times is interesting in that during the period of the famous prohibition, it was produced as a medicine. Now it’s hard to say exactly what these bourbon should have treated. However, it is thought that there was no shortage of patients looking to get their hands onto this medicine in those days!
Interestingly, under US law, the Early Times cannot be sold as bourbon. On its label should you can find the inscription “whiskey from Kentucky.” The reason behind this is directly related to the process of aging. Unlike other bourbons, the Early Times is not infused in new, but in old oak barrels. This also explains the fact that it is much brighter than other brands.
Despite this feature, the Early Times bourbon always had its own grateful customer base. It is believed that this is the most balanced bourbon produced to date in the United States.
The recipe for this bourbon is the work of Colonel Albert Blunton. It is believed that he went to the standardize final version of his brainchild for five long decades. Many years of experiments led the colonel to the conclusion that everything ingenious is very simple.
Blanton’s bourbon contains sweet corn, selected rye, and malted barley. That’s all. There should not be any impurities or additives. This is the only way to get a taste of the good old Blanton’s bourbon.
It is believed that this bourbon is one of the standards of quality. Sommelier’s can feel the notes of citrus, spices, honey, apples, chocolate and iris in its rich aftertaste.
Of course, one cannot ignore the famous Bluntons branded bottle around the globe. It is crowned by the figure of a jockey on a galloping horse. Blanton’s is worth a try!
Benchmark is another bourbon made in Kentucky. In addition to the usual corn, its ingredient is also select rye and barley. And, surprisingly, it is rye that occupies the bulk of its composition. According to the recipe, the content of this cereal is 51%.
The minimum exposure time for Benchmark bourbon is 4 years. The drink, as expected, is infused in new wooden barrels made of American oak.
Its distinguishing feature can also be considered a rare combination of acceptable cost and high quality.
Externally, a Benchmark bourbon bottle resembles Jack Daniel’s bottles. However, taste-wise they are two completely different drinks. Benchmark is distinguished by having a dry and delicate taste, which is replaced by a scorching and even harsh aftertaste.
If during the tasting you listen to your taste buds, then incredibly soft chocolate, caramel and even cinnamon notes will be noticeable.
As you can see, there are many types of bourbon. Everyone must decide for himself which one is the best. Enjoy your tasting!