Here at KF, we’ll be the first to admit, bourbon seems intimidating. As avid rosé drinkers ourselves, it is definitely a little different than what we usually reach for at cocktail hour! But, being the modern ladies we are, we always up for trying something new! We visited speed dating hostess to learn more from employee, Kate Bieritz. She helped us dive a little bit deeper into bourbon, giving us tips on typically more “drinkable” brands for beginners like ourselves and the best place to start. Check out our girls guide to bourbon and try something a little different than your usual drink of choice next time you go to cocktail hour.
What’s the difference between bourbon and whiskey?
Whiskey is a spirit distilled from grain including wheat, rye, barely and corn. It is made all over the world with popular styles from Scotland, Ireland and America. The most popular form of American whiskey is bourbon, which is obviously very specific and also very on trend.
Bourbon is a distinctive product of the United States. There are requirements the drink must meet in order to be considered a bourbon. It must be made of a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn. And put into a new, charred oak barrel to be aged. It needs to be distilled to no more than 160 proof and entered into the barrel at 125 proof. It it is aged less than 4 years, and it must be labeled with the duration of its aging.
It’s no secret bourbon has a little kick! And, it isn’t so little. It can burn going down! Kate shared with us that the higher the proof, the hotter it is, so be aware when you are making your choice.
The first we tried was Jefferson Ocean. Kate says, “jumping in it’s really easy and a good baseline for bourbon and what it tastes like, kind of a classic taste.” She also shared this is one of her personal favorites. Kate @katebieritz
Second we tried Basil Hayden’s Two by Two. This is a rye. It has a spicier, little more peppery taste. This is suggested to women because it’s a bit on the sweeter side. It’s very smooth for a rye, with vanilla and caramel notes. However, bourbon in general is overall smoother than rye.
The third we sampled was Weller. It is heavily wheat-based, and is considered a pretty standard bourbon. It is on the more affordable side as well, which makes it an all-around easy drinking choice.
Lastly was Yellow Rose. Made in Texas, it is known for its sweeter notes and for being relatively smooth. It was Kathy’s personal favorite, and we all loved that it was from Texas.
We all taste things a little different. So, we each gave our ratings of our favorite to least favorite bourbon. (We can all collectively agree, number 2 was not for us!). Overall, what a fun experience and learning something new was definitely worth the afternoon. To be able to walk into a bar and order with confidence is definitely something we checked off the list! 😉
Kathy ~ 4, 1, 3, 2
Abra ~ 3, 4, 1, 2
Chandler ~ 1, 3, 4, 2
Victor (a bourbon drinker) ~ 1, 4, 3, 2
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