How do I love American Whiskey? Let me count the ways…
1. Bourbon Whiskey.
-I almost thought to just leave it at that.
-Bourbon was made a distinctly American product in 1964.
-Made of at least 51% corn, flavored with either rye or wheat grains, and barley, it is a sweeter robust whiskey and has become huge for collectors and drinkers alike the world over.
-Corn is as American as it gets and bourbon flaunts it proudly!
-Used to be that when you said you wanted rye, you were getting a Canadian product. Not anymore! Rye is back, baby!
-Rye whiskey was the whiskey that George Washington made!
-Rye whiskey has its roots in Pennsylvania. Scots-Irish immigrants found that rye grew much more easily in PA soil and adopted the grain in their whiskey production. After the British taxes placed on sugar and molasses slowed rum production, rye whiskey became the American liquor of choice. Nothing is more American than Rye Whiskey!
-Made from at least 51% rye grains and flavored with corn or malted rye or barley, it is spicy and bold and growing in popularity very rapidly.
-A true Pennsylvania rye was a very high rye mash bill with barley (85% rye, 15%barley) Props to Dad’s Hat Rye, which is as close to the American original as you’ll get.
-Thanks to the cocktail culture, bartenders are attempting to bring back the old style cocktails of the Prohibition era. That means more rye in everything! Bring it on…
3. Wheat Whiskey.
-Maybe other countries call it grain whiskey (anything other than malted barley), but we Americans like to put our grains right in the description!
-Not to be confused with “wheated whiskey” or “wheaters” this mash bill is at least 51% wheat.
-Experimentation is key to growth and here we have it!
-Bernheim Wheat (the first run of which was made into the 8th release of Parker’s Heritage Collection Wheat Whiskey) was the 1st wheat whiskey to be produced in the U.S. since Prohibition, but now there is Dry Fly Wheat Whiskey, and many other small distilleries are jumping on board. Hurray!
4. American Oak.
-Quercus Alba( American White Oak) grows east of the Mississippi. This amazing wood is watertight because of its ability to produce tyloses that seal off the wood from infection or drought. No other wood but oak will work as well to hold liquid because of this wood’s amazing cellular structure.
-Used the world over to produce barrels for aging whiskey
-Charring this wood by the cooperage caramelizes the wood and opens up the flavor potential of the barrel.
-known for its vanilla, coconut, and sweet flavors
-New small distilleries seem to be popping up every day and the whiskey world has never been more open to diversity!
-How you label your whiskey may limit how you produce your whiskey but the sky is the limit when it comes to grains and distillation techniques! New ways to make brown liquors are on the horizon…
-It’s the American way! Try new things! Be bold! Stand out from the crowd! Competition in the market is opening new doors in the industry.
6. Amazing industry people.
-Need I say more? The American Whiskey Industry is alive with history, great personalities and genuine characters. It’s not just the whiskey. It’s the people making and drinking the whiskey!