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Whisky Glossary : Bourbon

Whisky Glossary and Definitions

Unlike wine, for example, whisky is not really about mystification, but it does bring its own jargon. Any unusual terms you are likely to come across are described and defined in this section.

 
 

Issue 123 Out Now

Whisky Magazine Issue 123

The World of Aberfeldy, Great Southern Distillery, Knockdhu Distillery, Icons of Whisky America

 

Bourbon

US whiskey made from at least 51% corn, distilled to a maximum of 80% Abv (160 proof) and put into charred new oak barrels at a strength of no more than 62.5% Abv


With this issue Whisky Magazine celebrates its first anniversary. The birthday party will be held in New York because this issue also marks our arrival in the US, the largest consumer of whisky and wh...

October 1999, Issue 6, page 5


While oak ageing is an historic tradition, wood management is a far more recent discipline. The benefits of oak ageing have long been appreciated, rather than understood, but it's only since the 1970s...

August 2002, Issue 25, page 59


Apple wrapped in pastry with Aberlour bourbon cask butter - Aberlour chocolate pralines - Aberlour ice cream

June 2003, Issue 31, page 46

100 Greatest Distilleries to Visit
Our team of writers around the world give you the distilleries you should visit.

December 2011, Issue 100, page 30

100 Greatest Whisky People
We highlight the people who have left a lasting legacy on the whisky world over the years.

December 2011, Issue 100, page 16

4 Roses blooming
As most American whiskeys look overseas for new drinkers, Four Roses finds its growth back home. Charles Cowdery investigates.

July 2008, Issue 73, page 14

50 Monumental Bourbon Moments
To commemorate the 50 years since bourbon made history

July 2014, Issue 121, page 62

?Liberating libations
?Finding new uses for those forgotten bottles

September 2013, Issue 114, page 58

?Ramsay's handiwork
?Grouse shows its older colours

September 2013, Issue 114, page 78

?The ?Forty Creek Factor?
?A Canadian whisky maker's journey into music

September 2013, Issue 114, page 45

?The beating heart of Ireland?
?Get up close and personal with this vibrant capital city

September 2013, Issue 114, page 51

A balance of tradition and efficiency (Speyburn)
Deanston Distillery is something of a hidden gem. Ian Buxton visited it

April 2006, Issue 55, page 26

A big hand for gambling nights
Social poker nights both at home or at style bars and clubs have been the fad trend of 2005 – and whisky has been the drink of choice. Rob Allanson reports

January 2006, Issue 53, page 18

A blue grass state of mind
Now in its 16th year, this annual event has become the gathering for bourbon fans. Rob Allanson went to find out more.

November 2007, Issue 67, page 56

A bourbon thoroughbred
Stuart Maclean Ramsay was totally sedcued by Kentucky's smallest distillery, which uses Scottish copper pot stills and a rare method of distillation.

December 1999, Issue 7, page 30

A brave new world
The world of whisky may well still be dominated by the big five traditional producers,but they're no longer having it all their own way.Dominic Roskrow looks at the new wave of world whisky

September 2007, Issue 66, page 18

A Bridge Further
Whisky chef Martine Nouet looks at some extreme pairings

March 2012, Issue 102, page 57

A Canadian Feast
Martine Nouet heads north for a challenging pairing

March 2011, Issue 94, page 52

A China crisis?
Dominic Roskrow considers what the long term effects of an increased demand for whisky might be

March 2006, Issue 54, page 5

A country beyond kentucky
Think American whiskey and you think Kentucky. But across the United States there are other options – including the biggest of them all

April 2008, Issue 71, page 38

A Decade of Challenges
Martine Nouetheads to Sweden to find out what has been happening at the country's foremost distillery

February 2012, Issue 101, page 34

A decade of words
To mark our 10th anniversary we decided to dig into our archives and bring some of the wittiest, incisive and often poignant words from our two columnists, starting the late, great Michael Jackson.

November 2008, Issue 76, page 14

A different beast
Canada's whisky industry is a pale imitation of what it once was. But if you're thinking of visiting its distilleries be prepared for a lot of travel – its few remaining distilleries are spread righ...

September 2007, Issue 66, page 32

A drink not to mess with
In the first of a new series on great whisky cocktails, Ian Wisniewski looks at The Manhattan

January 2005, Issue 45, page 54

A Flirtatious Spirit
Ian Buxton heads north to find a Distillery in a basement

September 2012, Issue 106, page 40

A forgotten gem (Deanston)
Deanston is the least-known of Perthshire's six remaining distilleries. Ian Buxton visited it

March 2006, Issue 54, page 30

A free sofa with every case
The dignified advertisements you see in this publication belie the rough and tumble past of American whiskey promotion. Charles K.Cowdery reports

October 2006, Issue 59, page 52

A Future Number One
Karuizawa hits the high spots

July 2014, Issue 121, page 104

A gem in the eye of a storm (Cardhu)
Say the word ‘Cardhu' and it stirs up images of underhand dealings. But the distillery intrinsically linked to last year's scandal is charming and impressive, and its staff outstanding. Ian Buxton r...

January 2005, Issue 45, page 30

A Good Bassy Tone
Ian Buxton meets the team behind Tuthilltown Spirits, a craft distillery on the rise

February 2013, Issue 109, page 30

A Grading System For Whiskey
The good, the great and exceptional bourbon labels

October 2014, Issue 123, page 12

A great vintage
The fourth Whisky Live Paris saw an incredible gathering of rare and exciting drams,we find out more

November 2007, Issue 67, page 10

A Greener Future
We asked two of our writers to look at the issues affecting Scottish and American producers. The problems may be pressing but there is plenty of innovation out there to keep the industry green

March 2012, Issue 102, page 21

A Kuschty moment in time
Is rye whisky about to hit the big time? Dave thinks it certainly is...

March 2014, Issue 118, page 9

A Little Piece of History
Once, Old Crow was synonymous with quality bourbon, but for some years it has been lost in the wilderness. Now it's set a new lease of life. Dominic Roskrow reports

January 2011, Issue 93, page 22

 

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Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Scotch Malt Whisky Society The Sting of a bee 42.5 1973 33 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 48.50%
8 Very satisfying.A beautiful bourbon cask maturation. Superb to match with a cheesecake or lemon meringue pie. But the sting of the bee must be blunt,I did not feel it.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Ardbeg Provenance, 1974, 24 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 55.60%
9 Rich and creamy, with huge flavour development.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Wild Turkey Rare Breed
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 54.20%
9 This is more like a supercharged Wild One. Defiantly robust, but with Devilish charm. I love it.

Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection 12 Years Old Bourbon From Floor #5
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 45.00%
9 The clarity of the rye is absolutely stunning. If it turns out that there's no rye here then I'm a Dutchman!

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Cadenhead's 10 Years Old, Bourbon
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 45.00%
9 I especially like bourbons when they are big and robust. This is both hearty and complex. A wonderful winter warmer.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Glenfarclas 40 Years Old, Millennium Edition
Single Malt - Scotland - 54.70%
9 Some of the voluptuousness has sagged with age.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Jameson 18 Years Old Master Selection
Blended - Ireland - 40.00%
9 Robustly sexy. I always enjoy Jameson, but I really relished coming to grips with this one.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Sazerac 18 Years Old
Single Grain - U.S.A. - 45.00%
9 A superb bourbon. As neat and perfectly dressed and combed as Richard Paterson!

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

The Balvenie Vintage Cask 1967
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
9 A beautifully balanced classic Speyside whisky.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Glenmorangie Astar
Single Malt - Scotland - 57.10%
8 A gorgeous,luscious dram. ‘Morangie to the max.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Evan Williams 1990, Single Barrel
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 43.30%
8 Very different in style. Liqueur-ish.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Rock Hill Farm Single Cask Bourbon
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 50.00%
8 The flavours may sound similar but it is the interplay of their subtleties that make this such an interesting whiskey. Try it with a double chocolate-chip cookie. Or a rocky road icecream.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Tomatin 1976 30 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 49.30%
8 Real character and finesse.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Auchentoshan 1966, 31 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 45.80%
8 A fine whisky, but does something as fresh and soft benefit from quite so much ageing?

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Balblair 1979 Vintage
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
8 Needs time to grow in the glass. A dream.

World Whiskies Awards 2013 - World's Best North American Whiskey - Winner Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

George T. Stagg
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 71.30%
8 Something of a gentle giant.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Royal Salute 21 Years Old
Blended - Scotland - 40.00%
8 After dinner, I would usually think of a malt, but have long enjoyed the unashamed luxuriousness of this blend. This example seems fractionally less voluptuous than I remember, but my memories may be ...

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Wild Turkey 8 Years Old, 101
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 50.50%
8 A huge whiskey. Put together with style and sophistication, but still with all the robustness of a true bourbon. A classic, of course. A Clint Eastwood of whiskeys.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 45.20%
8 Perhaps encouraged by the dark orange colour, the descriptors sound sweet, but the overall effect is one of flowery dryness, with great finesse.

Kilchoman Bourbon Cask 2008
Single Malt - Scotland - 61.00%
8 The distillery character shouts from the rooftops - I spotted this a mile off.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Parker's Heritage Collection Golden Anniversary
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 50.00%
8 Another big whisky from Heaven Hill. A delight as the nights start to drawn in.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Buffalo Trace Thomas Hardy, Sazerac
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 63.80%
8 A broad shouldered whisky. Not for the fainted-hearts.Some like it hot.

Eagle Rare 17 Years Old
Single Malt - U.S.A. - 45.00%
8 A bourbon for non sweet teeth. Rich, very well structured.

Evan Williams Single Barrel 2000 Vintage
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 43.30%
8 An old bourbon? With lots of wood notes, all integrated and complex.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2010 Release
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 55.00%
8 Another unsung hero shows its quality. Excellent layering effect.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Booker's 6 Years Old
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 63.25%
8 Wonderfully expansive. Seems to embrace the tastes of the south, all the way from Kentucky to Louisiana.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Elijah Craig 12 Years Old
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 47.00%
8 Less structured than might be expected in a 12 Years Old, but a perilously drinkable, appetising bourbon.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Jameson Gold
Blended - Ireland - 40.00%
8 There is some virgin oak in this one, along with bourbon casks. Bonus points for trying something new, but would have expected more interesting results. I find it a bit light tasting. Try it with fres...

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Pappy Van Winkle 20 Years Old, Family Reserve
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 45.20%
8 Showing its age, but I like its big, earthy, old-fashioned American flavours.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

The Macallan 21 Years Old, Fine Oak
Single Malt - Scotland - 0.00%
8 Fine if you're a bourbon fan, but this is perhaps a little too far for me.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

The Macallan 30 Years Old, Fine Oak
Single Malt - Scotland - 0.00%
8 I was wrong! This is infinitely better.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Wild Turkey 17 Years Old
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 50.50%
8 I like this very much, for its complexity and originality. As a bourbon? The useful phrase ‘something else' comes to mind.

Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 50.50%
8 My descriptors make it sound like a dessert whisky, but it is also very appetising. Just a tad too sophisticated for me.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Balblair 1975 Vintage 2nd Release 37 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00%
8 A beautiful example of a well-matured Bourbon cask whisky. Still lively and dashing. The perfect “herbal tea”.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Buffalo Trace William La Rue Weller
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 66.75%
8 A substantial, stylish Bourbon.

 

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