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Bourbon Brands

Bourbon Brands

A patron of whisky may vouch by Scotch, but Bourbon belongs to a different class altogether. Check out some of the best brands mentioned in the following article, if you have a knack for experimenting with your poison and have the caliber to hold your liquor.
Ishani Chatterjee Shukla
"How well I remember my first encounter with the Devil's brew. I happened to stumble across a case of bourbon - and went right on stumbling for several days thereafter."
-W. C. Fields

If you are game for some good strong spirit and have it in you to hold your ground against the Devil's brew itself, here is a list of some of the best brands of bourbon that you can possibly come across and which are genuinely worth trying. However, for the benefit of beginners and novices in the field of distilled liquor and whisky, this brand list would be preceded by a brief overview and history.

A Powerful American Whisky

As the caption suggests, bourbon is indeed an American whisky which is distilled from either corn entirely or a combination of corn and other grains, with the former accounting for the lion's share of the grain mixture. The origin of this variety can be traced back to the early part of the 19th century when the European settlers, especially from Scotland, settled in and around the modern town of Kentucky. With a taste for good whisky and dexterity for producing the same running in their blood since generations, it doesn't come across as a surprise that the Scots are credited for giving the world yet another marvel of a strong and distilled liquor.

There are certain legal requirements that must be fulfilled for an American whisky to be ranked as bourbon. Firstly, it must be produced within the political boundaries of the United States. Secondly, if made from a blend of various grains besides corn, the percentage of corn must be at least 51%. Thirdly, it must not be distilled to an alcoholic proof of more than 80% alcohol by volume and must not be bottled at less than an alcoholic proof of 40% alcohol by volume. When entering into barrels for aging, the alcoholic proof must not be more than 62.5% alcohol by volume. The aging barrels must be made of new oak wood, which must be charred. Although, there is no specific aging limit, bourbon is usually aged for a minimum of two years. It can be either Straight or Blended, depending upon whether or not coloring, flavoring, and other spirits have been added to it.

Popular Brands

Before we embark upon the intoxicating journey of recounting its brands-best of the best-let me tell you that the following list includes a lot of choice in terms of brands and prices. However, it is recommended that you don't judge the quality by its price.
  • Jim Beam
  • Wild Turkey
  • Evan Williams
  • Maker's Mark
  • Cougar (a non-Kentucky brand)
  • Woodford Reserve
  • Basil Hayden's
  • Heaven Hill
  • Old Fitzgerald
  • Old Forester
  • Old Grand-Dad
  • Old Forester Signature
  • Virginia Gentleman
  • Old Crow
  • Jack Daniels
  • Knob Creek
  • Kentucky Gentleman
  • Kentucky Tavern
  • Wild Turkey
  • Ancient Age
  • Eagle Rare
That should sufficiently equip you with what to ask for at the liquor store. These are some great brands that should adorn your bar at all times-indeed, the content of your bar reflects your taste for refined and classy indulgence. A word for the beginners-if you start well with a good quality whisky, you will never forget your first time.