• Facebook Clean
  • White Instagram Icon
  • YouTube - White Circle

The difference between Bourbon


In the process of understanding and learning whisky, Bourbon whiskey from the US is easy to identify with its gorgeous aromas and sweet palate. All these come from not only the ingredients constitute to the mash bill and the distillation approach, but also the use of the new American oak barrel, which is in fact a key factor in determining the final flavor profile.


From the viewpoint of an amateur drinker, however, it is hard to differentiate between various Bourbon whiskies as it does in Scotch whisky. The insignificant differences between Bourbons is mainly due to regulation that only new oak barrels are allowed in ageing the spirits


Due to the dominance of new oak aromas, and the difference between them is only determined by the degree of charring, it becomes hard for beginners to distinguish the subtle variant between each whiskey.


As we have learned the problem caused by new oak barrels, we can tackle it by  extending the time we nose. By doing so, the oak-dominating bouquet is allowed to oxidize and violate. Following the fades of the oak impact, the characteristics of various whiskies will emerge gradually.


In addition to extending nosing time, we can find hints by studying the mash bill of various Bourbon whiskies. What are the aromas associated with those grains? What does oak barrel bring to the aroma profile? Make a summary about the linkage between the sensory and those elements, it will be much easier to make progress.


A reminder to beginners is stick to those well-known whiskey brands that have their own distilleries. In the United States, many Bourbon brands are just responsible for the bottling and marketing, which simply buy the spirits from others and undergoes the ageing independently. These may lead to confusion to those who want to learn from tasting. The relevant information is also less transparent.


After all, it is important that information are transparent and accessible in building up your knowledge foundation. It will leads to confusion if the accessed information is wrong. Finally, practice makes perfect. Do ask more and don’t hesitate to discuss with the others.