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Step aside, #HotGirlSummer — 2021 is all about that hot, homegrown juice.
(Relax. We’re talking about Whiskey, people. Whiskey.)
Welcome to #WetHotWhiskeySummer. And the U.S. is gettin’ busy bottling up some of that BDE — or, "big distillery energy" — for your boozy pleasure. Now, before you start knockin’ down Kentucky’s doors, you can get your Whiskey kicks all across this great land of ours — from Tennessee to Wyoming.
Time to take a road trip to experience some of the fine juice this nation has to offer. Leave your keys, though — this Box has your back.
Kentucky’s king when it comes to Bourbon. And sure‚ 95% of the world’s supply is produced there. But let’s just say plenty of other states are watching the throne.
Because while the U.S. has particular rules around Bourbon production, Kentucky doesn’t have a monopoly on the stuff — Bourbon can be made anywhere in the United States. Not to mention other kinds of Whiskey! No disrespect to the Bluegrass State, but there are plenty of extraordinary malts ready to make you believe that there’s more to Whiskey than the barrels coming out of Kentucky.
And that brings us to this very here Tasting Box. Inside, you’ll find three prime examples of Whiskey from across the States. First up: FEW Single Malt, an easy-drinking American Single Malt from Chicago. Next, Chattanooga Whiskey 91, a "Tennessee high malt Bourbon" with a wild mashbill made up of yellow dent corn, malted rye, caramel malted barley and honey malted barley. Rounding out the box is Old Elk Bourbon, a light, sweet and smooth Bourbon hailing from the northern climes of Colorado.
There you have it. Three phenomenal reasons to venture out of the Kentucky Bourbon comfort zone. This just may be the start of a beautiful TK.
1) Once upon a time there were no laws regulating what Bourbon was. That led to some pretty unscrupulous practices that involved prune juice, turpentine and tobacco spit. E.H. Taylor, Jr. saved the reputation of Bourbon by leading the charge to pass the Bottled-In-Bond Act of 1897, requiring Bonded Whiskey to be produced under government supervision at one distillery in the same season, aged at least four years under government supervision and bottled at 100 proof with only pure water added to adjust proof.
2) Bourbon’s secret ingredient is… dish soap. Distillers will usually suspend a small ladle filled with a few drops of pure dish soap above the mash. When the bubbles from the mash rise up and touch the soap, a reaction called saponification pops them, maintaining the balance of alcohol and carbon dioxide in the mix. Without this process, the mix can overflow, damaging equipment and entire batches of product.
3) FEW Single Malt boasts beautiful earthy tones, but it’s not due to peat. Most ofhe malt is actually naturally air dried and the rest is smoked over cherry wood.
4) The "91" in Chattanooga 91 comes from the forumation being the ninety-first test barrel from their experimental distillery. They also bottle it at 91 proof (45.5% ABV).
5) Old Elk uses a proprietary proofing process called "slow cut," where water is added to the Spirit slowly over the period of several weeks. The idea is to preserve as much congeners (magic aroma-and-taste substances) as possible.
6) White Dog Bourbon is different from White Lightening. The latter is full strength, unaged, pure corn distillate in a bottle that can strip paint and disinfect wounds. White Dog, on the other hand, is just baby Bourbon — a traditional Bourbon formula right out of the still.
7) Can Bourbon go in a freezer? In the immortal words of the late Booker Noe of Jim Beam, drink it any damn way you want.
An un-aged American Whisky is often called “white dog.”