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Travel Tip Tuesday | Bourbon Tasting Etiquette & Lingo

How to Be Bourbon Prepared on Your Next Trip to the South

When attending a Bourbon Tour and Tasting on our Music Cities USA Tour, there are a few tips to keep in mind when participating in a bourbon tasting. 

The Color – The first thing tasters should notice is the color of the bourbon. The shade of amber reveals the proof of the product and hints at the number of years it was aging in the barrel. Lighter shades indicate lower proof while darker shades indicate higher proof. 
Smell – Smell is also important to bourbon tasting. Take a deep breath and keep your mouth open to get the full experience. 
Tasting - Everyone has a different method. One of the best ways is to swish the amber liquid around your mouth in order to get a complete tasting profile.

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A Glossary of Bourbon & Whiskey Lingo

When delving into the world of bourbon and whiskey, there is a particular lexicon used to describe this golden amber spirit. The abbreviated glossary below is courtesy of the Kentucky Distillers Association. For more information, check the site out
Angel’s Share: The portion of Bourbon in an aging barrel that’s lost to evaporation.

Bourbon (straight): A whiskey made from a mash containing at least 51 percent corn, distilled out at a maximum of 160 proof, aged at no more than 125 proof for a minimum of two years in new charred oak barrels. If the whiskey is aged for less than four years, its age must be stated on the bottle. No coloring or flavoring may be added to any straight whiskey.
Wheated bourbon: Bourbon made from a mashbill that contains wheat instead of rye grain.

Rye whiskey (straight): A whiskey made from a mash containing at least 51 percent rye, distilled out at a maximum of 160 proof, aged at no more than 125 proof for a minimum of two years in new charred oak barrels. If the whiskey is aged for less than four years, its age must be stated on the bottle. No coloring or flavoring may be added to any straight whiskey.
Single barrel whiskey: Whiskey drawn from one barrel that has not been mingled with any other whiskeys.
Small batch whiskey: A product of mingling select barrels of whiskey that have matured into a specific style.

Corn whiskey: A whiskey made from a mash containing a minimum of 80 percent corn and, if it is aged at all, must be aged in used or un-charred oak barrels.
Rackhouse: The building in which whiskey is aged, sometimes referred to as the “warehouse.”
Ricks: The wooden structures on which barrels of whiskey rest during aging.

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