Whiskey from America?
The first problem with American whiskey is this, that this alcohol in practice… does not exist. Producers of this drink - probably only to spite their colleagues from Scotland - call their product American whiskey, however, this alcohol is strictly prescribed by federal law and appears there without an additional "e" in the name. And that everything should be clear, we talk about bourbon whiskey all the time, because that is how this alcohol should be classified correctly.
What does American law say? First of all this, that American whiskey can only be produced in the United States. Moreover, the finished drink cannot be more than 80% alcohol, maturing time is at least two years in new ones, scorched oak barrels, and most importantly, that at least 51% the mash must come from corn kernels.
But why not every American whiskey is bourbon? Here the explanation is simple: although American whiskey can be produced in all states, It's a bourbon only in Kentucky. In fact, the production process can take place almost anywhere, because the geographical condition only covers aging (and in practice only one in twenty bourbon bottles is made outside Kentucky).
The history of American whiskey is as colorful as the fate of American distilling, and the first problems appeared just after colonization began. Because no one minded drinking good whiskey, but, unfortunately, the barley was not suitable for growing in the States. So the settlers replaced it with rye vodka, which already then, mainly due to the Germans, they were well known and highly valued. Where's the corn? Corn became a raw material for the production of bourbon on a larger scale only after rebellion whiskey, when much of the settlers moved to Kentucky. There was no shortage of corn either, nor water, so from here is only a step to the birth of the bourbon.
However, American whiskey did not taste like that right away, like today. Scotch is aged in cherry or bourbon barrels, but originally bourbon was aged in fish or meat barrels. And here we should thank you for that, that it is supposed to be clean today, fresh oak, because somehow the taste of meat fits the concept of bourbon on average.
Bourbon differs from the Scottish original not only in taste, one additional letter in the name and a much more colorful story. The method of administration is also different. While it is worth trying - rather for educational purposes - pure bourbon, it is not served that way. Cola and ice for Scotch is homicide, but American whiskey does not hurt even when served on ice. The most typical proportion is 3 ice cubes on 50 ml of liquor.
Besides the classic bourbon, Several other types of whiskey are produced in the United States: rye (minimum 51% rye in a mash), wheat (minimum 51% wheat in the mash) and corn (above 80% maize in a mash). Of course, blends and mash mixtures are also formed, and one of the curiosities is Tennessee Whiskey Filtered by 10 feet of maple charcoal. The three-meter-long filter column must be impressive. One of the most famous brands of alcohol, almost a pop culture icon, although according to gourmets, Jack Daniel's bourbon is not the best whiskey - one of the two Tennessee Whiskey brands available for sale. The other is George Dickel. Both liquors are produced according to the Lincoln County Process, invented in the early 19th century, thanks to which the taste of whiskey becomes much milder, but also devoid of certain specific notes of aroma, which are appropriate only for liquors filtered by other methods.
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