All About Bourbon: How to Pick the Best Bottle

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All About Bourbon: How to Pick the Best Bottle

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May 27 2021


Bourbon, a form of whiskey, has a distinct flavor sweeter than other types of whiskeys. It's distilled from a mixture of grains, including at least 51 percent of corn, and aged in new charred-oak barrels. All bourbons are made in America, and most come from Kentucky.

Bourbon's flavor depends on length of aging and type and amount of grains used. Explore the categories of bourbon, and ask your Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits experts for recommendations!

  1. Single Barrel

    "Single barrel" means each bottle comes from an individual aging barrel. Flavor can differ slightly from barrel to barrel. Most bourbon enthusiasts will choose a single barrel bourbon for sipping. You can also use it to make a Beer and Bourbon cocktail.

  2. Cask Strength

    The hallmarks of cask strength bourbon are intense, concentrated taste and high alcohol content. It comes straight from the barrel and is uncut and unfiltered with no water added. Use it to make a strong Chocolate Bourbon Russian!

  3. Wheated

    Wheated bourbon has a softer mouthfeel and swaps rye for wheat, meaning this type of bourbon usually has 10 percent or more wheat than other categories. It often has a sweeter flavor profile, and it tastes great in a Bourbon Radler!

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  4. High Rye

    High rye bourbon is made up of 20 to 35 percent rye, delivering bolder, spicier notes. This type of bourbon is great for mixing up a DIY Cinnamon Bourbon.

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  5. High Corn

    High corn bourbon is made from more than 70 percent corn, making it sweeter than the other categories. Few brands make this type of bourbon, and its sweetness is especially tasty on the rocks or in a Bourbon Colada!

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  6. Small Batch

    Small batch bourbon is produced by mixing up a relatively small number of select barrels (generally 10 to 50). Oftentimes, carefully hand-picked barrels are used to mix up a small batch bourbon, which is why it's known as the more premium category. This type of bourbon is great for all your classic bourbon cocktails, including a Hot Toddy and a Mint Julep.

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