USA

Whiskey came to the American continent with Irish and Scottish immigrants. As the groups settled, they were forced to adapt in many ways including the use of new raw materials in their surroundings such as corn and rye. Today there are few similarities between American whiskey and its cousins the Scottish and Irish whiskies. For example, no smoke is used to dry the corn, rye or wheat, which are used in American whiskey. Also mashbills in the US feature a higher percentage of corn and rye than other whiskies and distillers use backset from the previous distillation in the next mash - hence sour mashing. It must also be remembered that most American whiskies come off the still at a low distillate strength and are then put into new charred barrels to mature. Because of this, American whiskey often has a fuller, stronger and sweeter taste than most of its European counterparts.

Kentucky is still the heartland of Bourbon, with all the big names, Brown-Forman, Buffalo Trace, Heaven Hill, Beam, Wild Turkey and Woodford Reserve having a distillery there. Many people believe Bourbon can only be made in Kentucky, but in fact Bourbon may be produced in any state. The only prerequisites are that it must be made in the US, contain at least 51 per cent corn and that it must be matured in new, charred oak barrels.

South of Kentucky, the behemoth of Jack Daniel's holds its sway across the globe and the smaller distillery of George Dickel sits a few miles away. Across the other side of the country, the Anchor Distilling Company embodies America's new found joy of small craft distillers. The company produces bourbon and rye in very small batches. Now small outfits are following suit and springing up across the States making quality spirit, such as Clear Creek in Oregon, the West Virginia Distilling Company and Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey. As with the Scotch industry, many of the US distillers are expanding to meet the demand of a world which is waking up to the delights of American whiskey.

California

California

Chicago

Chicago

Colorado

Colorado

Kentucky

Kentucky
It is a common misconception that for a whiskey to be considered a Bourbon, it must be produced in Kentucky, but this is not the case. For a Bourbon to be a Bourbon, it must conform to the following five points:


  1. Made in the United States (not just Kentucky)

  2. Made from at least 51% corn

  3. Cannot be distilled higher than 160 proof

  4. Put into a barrel at no higher than 125 proof

  5. Stored in a new, charred oak container (not necessarily a barrel)



There is no legal requirement to age the product for any period of time, unless it comes from Kentucky. A Kentucky Bourbon must be aged for at least one year in the state of Kentucky. Bourbon does, however, remain closely linked to the region as it is said to have got its name from one of the state's original counties, Bourbon County. In 1999, the Kentucky Distillers' Association set up the Kentucky Bourbon Trail to educate visitors to the area on the history and tr

Seattle

Seattle

Tennessee

Tennessee
Tennessee whiskey carries the same legal definition as Bourbon but with one difference:


  1. Made in the United States (in this case the state of Tennessee)

  2. Made from at least 51% corn

  3. Cannot be distilled higher than 160 proof

  4. Put into a barrel at no higher than 125 proof

  5. Stored in a new, charred oak container (not necessarily a barrel)

  6. Filtered through maple wood charcoal prior to ageing - this process, known as charcoal mellowing or The Lincoln County Process, is what distinguishes Tennessee whiskey from Bourbon. the most famous example of Tennessee whiskey is, of course, Jack Daniel's.

Texas

Texas

Utah

Utah

Vermont

Vermont

Virginia

Virginia
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