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.

Arkansas

Arkansas
This southern U.S. state borders the Mississippi River. It's known for its abundant park and wilderness areas, with terrain encompassing mountains, caves, rivers and hot springs. The rugged Ozarks region in its northwest is one of the homes of some of the finest oak available for cask making.

California

California
This western U.S. state, stretches from the Mexican border along the Pacific for nearly 900 miles and contains form of the USA's finest vineyards and a growing number of distilleries.

Chicago

Chicago
The windy city, on Lake Michigan in Illinois, is among the largest cities in the U.S. Famed for its bold architecture, it has a skyline punctuated by skyscrapers such as the iconic John Hancock Center, the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower. An increasing number of craft distilleries have set up home in the city limits.

Colorado

Colorado
Colorado, a western U.S. state, is a diverse landscape of arid desert, river canyons and snow-covered Rocky Mountains. It's capital, Denver, sits a mile above sea-level and not the state plays host to some award winning distilleries.

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
This Pacific Northwest major city, is surrounded by water, mountains and evergreen forests, and contains thousands of acres of parkland. Washington State’s largest city, it’s home to a large tech industry, with Microsoft and Amazon headquartered in its metropolitan area, and some award wining distilleries to visit.

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
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. The Lone Star state, know for its oil, is fast becoming know for its stunning whiskies.

Utah

Utah
For millions of years, water has played a part in carving out Utah’s rugged landscape giving the visitor the feeling they are on another planet. Now the water is being harnessed in the state's numerous distilleries.

Vermont

Vermont
Not just a destination for skiers and hikers, this state in the northeastern United States is known for its natural landscape, which is primarily forested. Part of the New England region, it's also known for some excellent distilleries.

Virginia

Virginia
Not just for lovers, this state stretches from the Chesapeake Bay to the Appalachian Mountains, with a long Atlantic coastline. It's one of the 13 original colonies, with historic landmarks including Monticello, founding father Thomas Jefferson’s iconic Charlottesville plantation. Also the domain of many a decent distillery. 

Washington

Washington
There are plenty of distilleries to visit in the nation's capital, including the historic Mount Vernon, where a certain former president set up to make rye whiskey.
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