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Bourbon 101
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In 1964, congress defined Bourbon as a unique American cultural and historical product in need of protecting. 40 years later, most people still do not know exactly what Bourbon is, often confusing it …

In 1964, congress defined Bourbon as a unique American cultural and historical product in need of protecting. 40 years later, most people still do not know exactly what Bourbon is, often confusing it with its historical parlance. That being said, once you understand the basic definition of Bourbon--or all American whiskeys for that matter--this tipple becomes easy to understand, and fun to appreciate.

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  • 1. BOURBON 101
    presented by BEN SHELLHORN • SEPTEMBER 2011
  • 2. INTRODUCTION
    TASTING GUIDE
    PART 1: BEER
    • Fermentation
    • Ingredients
    PART 2: BOURBON
    • Definition 
    • Law
    • Distillation
    • Localization
    • Aging
    • Mash Bill
    CONCLUSIONS
    & QUESTIONS
    BOURBON
  • 3. WHAT IS BOURBON?
    • American Whiskey 
    • Mainly Corn
    • Aged in oak
    BOURBON
  • 4. LEGAL DEFINITION
    • Must be a US product
    • Must be 51%+ corn
    • Aged-at least briefly-in new American oak
    • Distilled to no more than 160 proof
    • Introduced to oak at no more than 125 proof
    • Bottled at no less than 80 proof
    AGING & LABELING
    • Bourbon meeting the above requirements and aged 2 years, may be called STRAIGHT bourbon
    • Bourbon labeled Straight must label its age if less than 4 years
    • Labeled age must be the youngest bourbon in the mix
    • Blended bourbons may have artificial coloring & flavors
    LEGAL DEFINITION
  • 5. INTERNATIONAL WHISKEY
    All bourbon is whiskey
    Not all whiskey is bourbon
    INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE
  • 6. DISTILLATION
    Starts with a fermented grain beverage
    (think beer)
    Fermented beverage is then “distilled” through a still
    (think boiled)
    Distilled beverage is purified/distilled again and aged in oak
    DISTILLATION PROCESS
  • 7. DISTILLATION PROCESS
  • 8. Start with Grain
    DISTILLATION PROCESS
  • 9. Mill the grain
    DISTILLATION PROCESS
  • 10. Create Mash
    DISTILLATION PROCESS
  • 11. Ferment the Mash
    DISTILLATION PROCESS
  • 12. Distill the Fermented
    Beverage
    DISTILLATION PROCESS
  • 13. Result:
    Unaged Corn Whiskey
    DISTILLATION PROCESS
  • 14. Age the Bourbon
    DISTILLATION PROCESS
  • 15. Bottle the Bourbon
    DISTILLATION PROCESS
  • 16. Bourbon gets its name from Bourbon County, KY
    However, no Bourbon is currently made in Bourbon County, due to the redrawing of county lines over time
    In 1964, Congress recognized Bourbon
    as a distinct cultural product
    LOCALIZATION / HISTORY
  • 17. All American Whiskey is aged in charred new American oak.
    Can be aged for a short period of time (Hudson Whiskeys) or a longer period (Pappy Van Winkle 23 year)
    Oak barrels are often resold to Tequila, Rum or Scotch whisky makers.
    AGING
  • 18. Mash bill is a top secret for master distillers.
    Generally, most bourbons are about 2/3 corn
    Rye Whiskeys must be 51%+ Rye
    Corn Whiskeys must be 80%+ Corn
    Remaining grains can be anything else
    MASH BILL
  • 19. PRESENTATION BY
    BEN SHELLHORN
    SOURCES
    AMERICAN HOME BREWERS ASSOCIATION
    BREWERS ASSOCIATION
    CRAFTBEER.COM
    MORGUEFILE.COM
    WIKIPEDIA.ORG
    WILDWOOD BBQ TASTING NOTES
    BREUCKELEN GIN
    AVAILABLE ONLINE
    PART 1 (BEER): http://www.tinyurl.com/3ps8vvd
    PART 2 (BOURBON): http://www.tinyurl.com/3zcyxnz
    CONCLUSIONS