Bourbon for Beginners

Bourbon is much more than just an alcoholic drink. If you enjoy drinking bourbon, but your knowledge about it is slightly superficial, and you always wanted to learn more, now is the right time. We’ll help you learn more about this incredible drink and what’s the best way to drink bourbon.   

We’ll talk more about the history of bourbon and some essential rules of bourbon.   

Pour yourself a glass of your favorite drink, and pay attention while we show you what’s the best way to drink bourbon in our bourbon for beginners guide.   

The Origins of Bourbon  

You may come across many different stories about the origins and history of bourbon, and they’re all different. The drink was first made at the end of the 18th century in Kentucky. Some will say that the first batch was made by accident, while others will claim it was on purpose with the help of whisky-making skills of new immigrants that settled in Kentucky.   

Again, nobody is hundred percent certain how bourbon got its name. Some will say that it’s derived from the Bourbon County in Kentucky, while others claim Bourbon Street in New Orleans inspired it. And both of those names came from a royal family from France, the House of Bourbon.  

The history of bourbon may be unclear, but the taste of bourbon is superior when it’s made right.  

What Is Bourbon?  

Bourbon is a type of whiskey, similar to scotch. It is made out of mixed fermented grains, mainly corn. The taste of bourbon is pleasantly sweet.   

We already mentioned that it is a must to use new barrels to age bourbon, and you should never use old ones. There isn’t an official minimum time for bourbon to age; it depends on the type and manufacturer.  

How a Bourbon Becomes a Bourbon?  

Many rules must be met for a spirit to be called bourbon. These rules are applied to the drinks produced and sold in the United States.

  • It has to be made in the United States or Puerto Rico.   
  • The mixture from which the bourbon is made has to have at least 51% corn.   
  • It needs to age in charred oak barrels. You can’t use an old barrel to age bourbon.  
  • It has to enter the container for aging at no more than 62.5% alcohol.   
  • It has to be distilled to no more than 80% alcohol by volume.  
  • It is bottled at a minimum of 40% alcohol by volume.

Different Types of Bourbon  

Six different main types of bourbon are recognized:  

  • High Corn – We’ve mentioned that one of the rules of bourbon is the percentage of corn. The minimum is 51% of corn, and every bourbon with more than 70% is considered high corn bourbon. Some distilleries make this drink 100% corn, resulting in an enjoyable extra sweet drink.   
  • High Rye – Most traditional bourbons have only around 10% rye, but some use much more than that. These spirits are called high rye, resulting in a flavorful and spicy drink.  
  • Single Barrel – From the name, you can guess that every bourbon bottled from one single barrel is called like this. The drink’s taste depends on many factors, like the mixture and the aging time.   
  • Small Batch – Like the single barrel, you may assume what a small batch means. In many cases, small-batch bourbons give more space for experimenting and creating alternative tastes.  
  • Wheated/Wheaters – A traditional bourbon recipe doesn’t have wheat in it. But today, it is an essential ingredient for many distilleries. The taste is engaging, sweet, and has notes of caramel.   
  • Cask Strength – Every bourbon that isn’t cut with water and comes straight from the barrel is considered cask strength. The taste of bourbon, in this case, is strong, spicy, and has distinctive notes of smoky wood.  

We hope that you’re enjoying our bourbon for beginners guide, and now we’re going to talk more about its taste.  

The Taste of Bourbon 

Due to different types of bourbon, you can come across many distinctive flavors. Many variations can satisfy the palate of many. Some bourbons are sweet, while others are savory and spicy. You can taste the smoky flavor in some, while in others, the fruity one. When shopping for bourbon, you can come across these six types: 

  • Sweet 
  • Floral 
  • Spicy Hot 
  • Wood-Forward 
  • Grain-Forward 
  • Baking Spice 

Depending on your preferences, it’s easy to find the perfect drink when you consider the taste of bourbon.  

The Best Way to Drink Bourbon 

We said that we’d teach you what’s the best way to drink bourbon. And to do it, you’ll need to forget about everything you ever heard about drinking alcohol.  

To feel the real taste of bourbon and its magic, you need to slow it down. When you drink a spirit like this, you want to taste its aromas, feel the flavors, and ultimately enjoy it. You can do any of it if you just drink the whole glass immediately as you pour it. But don’t be afraid, rules of bourbon drinking are not tricky, but they give excellent results.  

To make the whole drinking adventure much more enjoyable, you’ll first need to find the perfect glass. A rock glass is good, but the best way to drink bourbon and feel every possible taste is from a tulip-shaped glass with a narrow neck.   

There’s something called the “Kentucky Chew” method, and it’s considered the best way to drink bourbon, or better said to taste it. It’s called the chew because you need to make a chewing motion after sipping the drink to coat your tongue with the drink. After you swallow it, wait and notice the aftertaste. Stop for a moment, and consider its texture, flavor, and level of sweetness.  

Once you are done with tasting, the best way to drink bourbon from now on depends on your taste. There are many different ways and techniques that you can use while drinking bourbon, and we’re going to name a few.  

  • The usual way of drinking the bourbon is with a few ice cubes, called on the rocks.  
  • True bourbon lovers drink neat bourbon that doesn’t have ice, nor is it chilled.  
  • You can drink bourbon with some water, but it should be distilled water. This method will bring out the flavors.  
  • And finally, you can always enjoy a cocktail containing bourbon. The most famous ones are the Old Fashioned and a Manhattan.  

If we intrigued your taste buds and you want to try this incredible spirit, you should come and visit us at Stubborn Seed. We can offer you top-quality spirits and tasty cocktails. The tasting experience will be like no other you had due to the pleasant atmosphere and superb drinks.

We hope we’ll see you soon, and remember always staying stubborn and never settling for less is the life motto you should live by from now on.