I’ve always thought that a Scotch drinker could never enjoy bourbon, but one of Kentucky’s finest — Maker’s Mark — proved me wrong. The golden liquid was smooth…sweet…and an unexpected delight.
To make sure my positive reaction to bourbon wasn’t a fluke, the next day we visited Heaven Hill Distilleries. Their tasting room provided samples of two single barrel bourbons: Evan Williams and Elijah Craig. Exquisite!
Here’re some fascinating facts about bourbon that I picked up during the fun and informative distillery tours:
- To be called bourbon, it must be made in the USA.
- The percentage of corn used in the grain ingredients must be at least 51 percent.
- Bourbon must be aged in new, charred, white oak barrels for at least 2 years.
- It cannot be more than 160 proof (80 percent alcohol) and can only use water to reduce the alcohol level.
There are a few other tidbits, but I’ll save those for you to discover when you go to Bardstown!
After two days (and two distillery tours), my skin started to smell like bourbon. And I found myself trying everything from bourbon ice cream to bourbon biscuit pudding! I can’t recall ever having that kind of reaction to Scotch.