Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happy National Bourbon Day

In honor of National Bourbon Day, which I just found out about today (thanks, Banyon), I'm issuing a rare re-blog.

I took this from: and none of it is to be believed to be my original work.

Happy Bourbon Day, y'all! Celebrate with the original, all-American spirit.

Favorite whiskey myths debunked.

All of the following statements are false, although many of them are widely believed. (The statements in parens are true.)

Bourbon whiskey must be made in Kentucky. (Bourbon may be made anywhere in the United States.)

Kentucky is the only state legally allowed to put its name on a bourbon label. (No such law or rule exists.)

To be called bourbon, a whiskey must be aged at least two years. (Two years is the requirement for straight bourbon. Although the rules say bourbon must be aged in new charred oak barrels, they don't say for how long.)

Jack Daniel’s cannot be called bourbon. (Not true. Its owners just prefer to call it Tennessee whiskey.)

A bourbon mash must be at least 51 percent corn and not more than 80 percent corn. (The 51 percent floor is right but there is no ceiling. The difference between bourbon and corn whiskey depends on the type of barrel used.)

Sour mash whiskey tastes sour. (Sour mash is a technique for keeping whiskey mash at the ideal pH from batch to batch. It does make the mash taste sour, but not the whiskey.)

Only some American whiskeys are sour mash whiskeys. (Although not every maker puts the words 'sour mash' on the label, they all use the sour mash method.)

Whiskey made in a pot still is superior to whiskey made in a column still. (The two types of still are different, but in the end what they do is the same.)

Canadian whisky contains neutral spirits. (It doesn’t. The base whiskey in Canadian is the same as in blended scotch, nearly neutral but technically whiskey. The base spirit in American blends is neutral spirit, i.e., vodka.)

There is some reason why Scottish distillers spell their spirit whisky while most Americans spell theirs whiskey. (No reason. Whiskey is just one of hundreds of words that Americans and Brits spell differently. The spelling difference means nothing.)

Moonshine is un-aged corn whiskey. (Moonshine is any distilled spirit made illegally. Most of it is made from sugar, making it rum.)

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