The ABC’s of Bourbon

Most people think of Kentucky when they think of bourbon, and rightfully so. Ninety-five percent of the world’s bourbon is made in the Bluegrass State, but there are no laws preventing other states from distilling their own. While some of the most famous bourbons come from Kentucky, that’s not to say that others aren’t just as good. Some fairly strict rules have been established by The Federal Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits, but as long as these are followed during production, a New York bourbon is as genuine a bottle as any.

Simply put, these rules can be summed up as the ABC’s of Bourbon:

  • A– A bourbon made for U.S. consumption must be made in America
  • B– It must be aged in new, charred oak barrels
  • CCorn must make up at least 51% of the grain mixture
  • D– It must be distilled to a maximum of 160 proof
  • E– Bourbon must enter the barrel at no more than 125 proof
  • F– Bottles must be filled after the aging process at a minimum of 80 proof
  • GGenuine bourbon must have nothing added to it but water (e.g. no artificial colors)

Vinepair just published a list of the best seven bourbons from outside of Kentucky, two of which can be found at Bourbon House! Visit the city’s most extensive collection of American Whiskeys for a one or two ounce pour of Hudson Baby Bourbon and (or) Breckenridge.

brbon_hud1.jpgHudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey | Gardiner, New York 92°

New York’s original bourbon is made with 100% corn, which is especially rare for non-Kentucky bourbons. The barrel aging process gives this spirit a light sweetness and deep amber color, and its bright, defined taste boasts a warm finish with notes of marzipan and roasted corn.

Fun Fact: Instead of rotating the barrels, which is typical for most bourbons during the aging process, Hudson plays loud music to shake the barrels.


breckenridge-bourbon-whiskey-1_2.jpgBreckenridge Bourbon | Breckenridge, Colorado 86°

A mix of their house bourbon and bourbons from Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee, Breckenridge has a deep honey-amber hue with warm, pronounced aromas of underripe banana and brown sugar. Accented by spicy notes of white pepper and toasted sesame, the blend has a light body with warm texture and long sweet oak, vanilla finish with a touch of bitterness to balance. Reminiscent of a slice of toasted rye bread with a honey drizzle.

If you want to learn more about bourbon and aren’t already a member, consider joining the New Orleans Bourbon Society, a complimentary spirited society dedicated to the appreciation of fine bourbons.