If the people from Scotland have their scotch whiskey, the American people have their bourbon whiskey. In fact, the bourbon can be said without doubt as the American whiskey. Bourbon whiskey is very similar to that of any other whiskey as they are aged in oak barrels that are charred to give them that deep red brown color. Corn is one of the primary ingredients used in the making of bourbon. The name bourbon comes from an area called Bourbon County in Kentucky.
Those who drink bourbon whisky find it to go very well with cigars. In a manner of speaking, if burgers are a match with soda, crackers and toast bread are a match with orange juice, then cigar smoking matches very well with bourbon. People that smoke while drinking bourbon say that they are a perfect match as both the alcoholic beverage and the cigar complement each other very well.
While bourbon is still very much a whiskey, what differentiates it from other whiskey is the use of corn. Aside from this though, there are other criterions that are needed by manufacturers in the making of bourbon whiskey. These criterions are very strict and should be followed stringently in order for their liquor to carry the name bourbon.
Regulations state that any bourbon whiskey should at least contain 51 percent corn for it to be called bourbon. Some manufacturers of bourbon even use 70 percent corn in their production with barley, wheat, rye and other ingredients consisting the other parts. They mash up the ingredients and grounding them and then adding water into the mix. There are some manufacturers who add mash coming from past batches so as to ensure consistency between batches. Yeast is added into the mash to begin fermentation and then distill the juice once fully fermented.
Age is an important part of any whiskey and bourbon whiskeys are no different. Once the brew has been fermented and distilled, the spirit is placed in charred oak barrels to age and mature for at least 2 years. This aging is the part where the whiskey gets their flavor as well as color. Essentially, the sugars from the charred oak wood get infused within the distilled alcohol. Once the bourbon whiskey has been aged, the adding of coloring and flavors like spices is prohibited. Any spices used must be added earlier on during the grounding and fermenting process.