We are having some pretty extreme weather here in the UK. Last night we had the fiercest thunder storms I can remember. This morning there was a hail storm and now it’s brilliantly sunny, about 84 degrees and very humid. Why am I giving you a weather report? Put simply this hot, humid climate makes me think of bourbon. So, without further ado, let me introduce four bourbons every whiskey drinker must try.
Staff Picks - our choices for this month
An iconic bourbon, as much for the striking red wax sealed packaging as for the excellent whiskey in the bottle. Great bourbon for sure but there’s also an important lesson in flavour here. The mash bill is rye free. So this is a perfect whiskey to educate your palate about wheated whiskey. That is, heavily wheat based bourbons which avoid the rye spice kick in favour of softer, sweeter wheat flavours.
£26.95 at www.masterofmalt.com
At the opposite end of the spectrum from the Maker’s Mark wheat rich mash bill is this rye heavy recipe. Bulleit has all the spicy kick that a high rye content mash bill creates. Taken side by side with a wheated whiskey this will not only delight but will also educate your nose and taste buds concerning rye’s contribution to bourbon flavour.
£27.95 at www.masterofmalt.com
Produced in Versailles, Kentucky, Woodford Reserve has a decent level of rye in the mash bill. Not as extreme as the Bulleit, this adds a spicy kick without going to the extremes. Accessibly priced and very drinkable, this occupies the middle ground in our opening trio and, once again, you can approach this from an educational and scientific stance. Can you see how I’m making learning fun here?
£28.75 at www.thewhiskyexchange.com
A great value premium bourbon from the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky. The Kentucky climate makes the bourbon distilled there mature pretty quickly and in three years much of it is ready to drink. So you can imagine what happens after 10 years, not only is this ready it to drink but it is something else entirely. An essential whiskey.
£34.95 at www.masterofmalt.com