American Whiskey

In the beginning of the 18th century a wave of emigrants from Scotland and Ireland left their country to seek their fortune on the other side of the North Atlantic Ocean. With them they brought the skills of distilling whisky which would rapidly spread and give rise to the birth of bourbon. The first commercial distillery produced only corn-based whiskeys and was established by the end of the American War of Independence in Kentucky in 1784. Not long time after the Whiskey Rebellion took place when the government imposed a federal excise tax on distillers in 1974. This led to the killings of several tax collectors by the angry mobs. Eventually George Washington was forced to send an army of 15.000 men to control the riots. Around 125 years later the production of American whiskey would take another huge blow. This time the Puritans forbid any consumption of alcohol in the entire United States. Not even beer was allowed. Consumption of alcoholic beverages did not however stop and smuggling became increasingly prevalent. The prohibition lasted for 14 years where after the law was declared a failure and abolished with the 21. Amendment. Sadly many of the old distilleries did not reopen and even 60 years later there were only 10 distilleries in Kentucky and two in Tennessee. This is starting to change and bourbon production has now more than doubled since 1999.

Bourbon whiskey  – Mash consisting of at least 51% corn
Corn whiskey         – Mash consisting of at least 80% corn
Malt whiskey         – Mash consisting of at least 51% malted barley
Rye whiskey       
 – Mash consisting of at least 51% rye
Wheat whiskey  
 – Mash consisting of at least 51% wheat

 1. #71 hit – BUFFALO TRACE
 Buffalo Trace ON THE PALATE:  Caramel, Vanilla, Green Grass.

VERDICT:  Agreed, this is absolutely one of the world’s great whiskies. It is sweet, creamy, caramel like and yet combines the sugary notes with citrus and orange fruits in a divine manor. This is one of those whiskies I could easily drink half a bottle of and still not get enough. At 30 dollars a bottle this is a steal. Instant favorite.
  (7.7/10)

 2. #55 hit – KNOB CREEK
 knob-creek-bourbon ON THE PALATE:  Oak, Sugar, Floral Notes.

VERDICT: With 50% abv. Knob Creek does not reach the broad audience. A shame if you ask me. It has the perfect balance between woody, sweet and floral notes. In my opinion this is one of Kentucky’s finest.
   (7.2/10)

 3. #53 hit – ELIJAH CRAIG 12yo
 untitled3 ON THE PALATE:  Toffee, Oak, Vanilla.

VERDICT: An overall good bourbon! If I were to mention anything negative it would be the lack of character. Nothing really stands out, flavor-wise that is. I would probably not be able to distinguish this from other 12 year old bourbons in a blind test.
   (7/10)

 4. #64 hit – JIM BEAM Red Stag Black Cherry
 redstag BC ON THE PALATE:  Cherry, Caramel, Sugar.

VERDICT:  Even though Red Stag never intended to impress whisky enthusiasts like myself I am slightly impressed. However the sugary notes quickly become too overwhelming so my advice is to drink small amounts at a time.
  (6.9/10)

 5. #54 hit – JIM BEAM Black
  ON THE PALATE:  Brown Sugar, Spices, Caramel.

VERDICT:  This is some smooth stuff! Not much character though, but at 25 bucks that is perfectly alright.
   (6.8/10)

 6. #72 hit – JIM BEAM Honey
 Jim-Beam-Honey ON THE PALATE:  Honey, Almonds, Oak.

VERDICT:  Reluctantly I must admit I kind of like this Bourbon. Still it quickly gets too sugary and I tend to keep it to one or two drinks. If you like soft, creamy and sweet bourbons and don’t mind that they are borderline liqueurs I would advise you to try this one.
  (6.5/10)

 7. #52 hit – FIREBALL Cinnamon Whisky
  ON THE PALATE:  Cinnamon…

VERDICT: WHAT? A Canadian cinnamon whisky! That can’t possible taste good. Well, if you like cinnamon and you also like whisky this might just be the perfect blend for you. I bought this for Christmas last year and I am starting to think that maybe all the good memories is clouding my judgment. I better give it a 5 before I become too sentimental.
   (5/10)

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