The 3 grains ( corn, barley and rye) make our flavor profile , however this mixture is just a hot damn mess until yeast joins the party. Now if you have ever been on an Atkins , Paleo , or any other type of low carb diet than you know what a carbohydrate looks and smells like. The yeast converts the natural sugars (carbohydrates) found in the corn, rye and barley into alcohol. Throw everything in a pot and this is now your MASH ( mashed up corn, rye, barley , and yeast in a water mixture ).
The Fermented Mash at the Willett Family Distillery
The Fermented Mash at the Wild Turkey Distillery
Fermentation and Distillation
The fermented mash is then strain and distilled (cooked) to no higher than 160 proof ( 80% alcohol by volume). Alcohol proof in the United States is defined as twice the percentage of alcohol by volume. The distilled spirit is then poured into New Charred American Oak Barrels at no higher than 120 proof (60%) . Remember New American vs Old American Oak Barrels; you will hear this frequently in the world of liquor. Now the amount of time that Bourbon can be aged varies from as little as 4 years to 20+ years. It’s a safe bet that the more a Bourbon has been aged the more you’re going to pay for it. Just stating facts here! Now the amount of time that a barrel is aged, the location that a barrel is aged and the temperature around the barrel all effect the taste of Bourbon . Think O.J , that generic with the picture of the orange on it and Simply Orange with the 3 cups of pulp at the bottom of the bottle . Its all-orange juice, BUT you know they don’t taste the same. And at the right time, picked by the master taster the Bourbon is bottled for human purchase and consumption
The Cooper Still at the Willett Distillery
( this Still is Beautiful, like a woman wearing Louboutins) A BAD BITCH
Barrels full of Bourbon , aging in the warehouse
And now you know enough about bourbon to at least know what makes your Old Fashions and Manhattans taste like liquid gold.