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Bourbon was born over 200 years ago in the hollows of Kentucky where the cold, clear limestone spring water flowed--water that made the grass blue, the horses frisky, the corn grow like crazy, and the whiskey sweet and smooth as honey. Bourbon whiskey, America's only native spirit, still makes its home in Kentucky, where today as much as 80 percent of the world's bourbon is produced.

Bourbon is distilled from a mash of grain containing, according to federal law, not less than 51 percent corn, balanced with barley and either wheat or rye. Each distillery has its own unique blend of grain and some of the mash recipes are generations old--family formulas jealously guarded since their creation. W.L. Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon is renowned for its "whisper of wheat", because its recipe, which dates back to 1849, has an unusually high proportion of wheat. Old Charter Kentucky Straight Bourbon, produced since 1867, has a specially tailored mash accented with rye. The rich amber color and characteristic sweetness of bourbon is derived from its signature aging process in new white oak barrels, which are charred to carmelize the natural sugars in the wood and bring them to the surface. While two years is the minimum time for aging established by law, most bourbons are aged between four and twelve years. Federal regulations also stipulate that bourbon cannot be distilled above 160 proof and must be bottled at no less than 80 proof.

Bourbon's distinctive and mellow taste makes it both an excellent compliment to food and a versatile ingredient in sauces and dessert recipes, particularly those made with chocolate.

Tennessee whiskey, commonly but incorrectly perceived as a type of bourbon, is made in a similar way, but with one extra step in the process that influences its final character and flavor. Before barreling, the newly distilled whiskey is mellowed--filtered very slowly over a period of ten days through charcoal made from seasoned sugar maple timbers, which gives the whiskey a unique smokey sweetness. This step is so significant that Tennessee whiskey is distinguished by law as a separate category of whiskey.
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Created from a blend of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey and spirits from the finest grains. Represents generations of experience in distilling, bottling, and aging. A smooth brand of bourbon whiskey aged in charred oak barrels for a minimum of four years. Red Stag is a new innovation from Jim Beam. Through a unique, artisanal infusion process, natural black cherry flavors are slowly and carefully infused into fine, four-year-old Jim Beam Bourbon. The tasting notes are distinctively fruity, without disguising the familiar, rich nose of Jim Beam Bourbon. The corn sweetness and mellow oak taste of Red Stag is accented by a hint of black cherry for smoothness and balance.
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Jim Beam Black Label 8 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 750ml - Nose has sweet notes of caramel and yellow fruit; aeration reveals tobacco leaf, oak resin and cereal; finishes elegantly with toasted grain and oak. Maker's Mark is a hand crafted small batch type of bourbon whisky distilled in Loretto, Kentucky. When the famous T.W. Samuels family of distilling sold their distillery and their trademarks in the 1950s, those members of the family who wished to continue in the business began to search for a small distillery to purchase and continue the trade on a smaller scale, emphasizing high-quality production over high-volume production. They soon found an older distillery in Loretto, Kentucky that had not been operational for several years but was just the right size for the proposed operation. The Samuels decided to come up with a new recipe for their bourbon in order to make it smoother, but since the aging process for bourbon takes years, could not take the time involved actually to distill and age many batches of bourbon of varying ingredients. A unique solution to this problem was decided upon. Loaves of bread containing the exact proportion of the grain contents of each proposed recipe were baked and the one judged to be the best-tasting was adopted. Interestingly, the one selected contained no rye whatsoever, which was replaced by more barley and wheat. Accordingly, on February 25, 1954 Bill Samuels Sr., a sixth generation Kentucky distiller, burned his family's 170-year-old bourbon recipe. The first bottle of Maker's Mark was sold in 1958 and featured the dipped red wax seal. Unlike most bourbons, Maker's Mark is not aged for any specific period of years; rather it is bottled and marketed when expert tasters agree that it is ready. Also, the barrels are moved from the lower to the upper floors of the warehouse and back down during the aging process to benefit from the differences in temperature at the various levels. This practice was once common in the distilling industry, but has been largely abandoned due to the high labor expense. Maker's Mark is sold in unusually-shaped squarish bottles which are sealed with a red plastic resembling the original wax seal. In the United States, only one variety is marketed, bottled at 90 U.S. proof (45% alcohol by volume). Named after Abraham Lincoln's boyhood home in Kentucky, Knob Creek is truly bourbon at its finest. Created to represent whiskey before it was mass produced, Knob Creek embodies the look, feel and taste of pre-prohibition bourbon. This full-bodied, flavorful bourbon takes classic cocktails to a new level. Color: Copper to medium amber. Aroma: Toasted nuts, grain oak. Taste: Rich, sweet, woody, full-bodied, almost fruity. Finish: Long, rich and glowing
Tastes of caramel corn sweetness, mingled with butterscotch and licorice. The aftertaste is a soft mouth-feel that turns into subtle spices of pepper and tobacco.