The Native Spirit of America
Today, American whiskey is becoming more popular. It is represented by many varieties, of which the most popular are bourbon and Tennessee whiskey and still remain the major. Bourbon is an American form of whiskey named for Bourbon County, Kentucky. The U.S. Congress recognized Bourbon Whiskey as a "distinctive product of the United States" in 1964, creating the Federal Standards of Identity for Bourbon.
There are two types of American whiskey: straight and blended. Straight whiskey is grain distillate, made from a mixture, which comprises at least 51% of a single cereal, and the remaining 49% of other cereals. If you wish to appreciate bourbon fully, it's important to know the regulations concerning it manufacture and how they relate to the end product in your glass.
Bourbon must contain at least 51% corn, be produced in the United States, be distilled to no more than 80% ABV (160 proof), be untouched by artificial colors or flavor and be aged for a minimum of two years in new charred barrels, although in practice virtually all straight whiskies are aged at least four years. However, any bourbon aged less than two years must have its age stated on the label. The charred oak barrels give Bourbon a distinctive spicy oak firmness that is unique to American whiskeys. The taste and aroma of bourbon is heavier than blended Scotch whiskey, because bourbon is made primarily from corn, which contributes a noticeable sweetness to the final product. The color of bourbon is dark-golden or amber due to aging in charred oak barrels.
Straight whiskey (bourbon, corn whiskey, rye, and wheat) is produced by the following brands: Maker's Mark, Jim Beam, L & G, Heaven Hill, Old Virginia, Wild Turkey, Jack Daniels, and George Dickel. The main feature of American whiskey is its strong dissimilarity to those beverages that are produced in Scotland. Almost all whiskeys produced in the U.S., have a specific characteristic taste due to its production technology and weather conditions, which distinguishes them from the Scotch whisky. Now, increasingly, United States are experimenting with long aging, thereby, American whiskey is becoming more high-quality and unique.