It all starts with one sip.
You take one sip of the good stuff, and you’re hooked. And as your love for bourbon grows, so does your interest in understanding what all the terms mean. Don’t you worry – State & Allen is here with a crash course in some of the most popular bourbon terminology:
Mashbill is simply the recipe that is used to create the bourbon. Each distillery has its own propriety method, using it’s own custom blend of corn, barley, rye, or other yeasts.
Straight bourbon is bourbon that has been aged in its barrel for at least 2 years. In 1964, Congress passed laws around bourbon production, ruling that in order to be called bourbon, it must be aged in new, charred oak barrels, have at least 51% corn, have nothing added but water and yeast, be produced in the United States, and cannot be distilled more than 160 proof.
High Rye Bourbon
Bourbons are traditionally made with a blend of corn, rye, and barley. As you might have guessed, high rye means that the rye content is much higher than the average 8-10% rye. State & Allen carries several high rye bourbons including Basil Hayden, a light, spicy rye, and Bulleit, a rye that is a little more fruity.
As we mentioned, most bourbons use a blend of corn, rye, and barley, but there are some – called wheated bourbons or wheaters – that use wheat in place of rye for a blend of corn, wheat, and barley. Maker’s Mark and Wellers are two of the most popular wheated bourbons at State & Allen’s restaurant and bar in Dallas, Texas.
Single Barrel Bourbon
Single barrel bourbon means that the bourbon in that barrel has never mingled with bourbon from another barrel. The trick to single barrel bourbon is that no two bottles are alike. The bourbon may taste different from bottle to bottle, depending on where that specific barrel was stored or what characteristics it took on from the barrel’s wood. Blanton is a great example of a single barrel bourbon if you want to try one at State & Allen.