From our Distiller...Bourbon.
Bourbon – sorry, ours is not ready yet, but we can’t talk bourbon without reverence to corn, un-aged corn whiskey that is. Bourbon is technically a barrel-aged corn whiskey as it must contain at least 51% corn (although the average is around 70%). The rest is typically a blend of barley, rye and wheat. Call un-aged corn whiskey what you want - moonshine, white dog, white whiskey - it is what bourbon starts out as before it goes into the barrel, and it is becoming more popular. Aging of whiskey in oak barrels is a relatively modern technique, and by modern we are talking the mid19th century. Previously whiskey was stored in barrels, a common storage container of the times. The distiller filled a barrel, shipped off to the consumer or transferred it into jugs for “take out.” As the colonists moved West, barrels could only be shipped by barge in spring when the rivers ran high. A whiskey produced in fall often sat in a barrel waiting for navigable water and as it turned out, people liked this now aged stuff better. Consequently, distillers started to wait to ship their spirits and this ultimately gave rise to what we know today as bourbon.
Un-aged bourbon blends can be enjoyed as one would enjoy an aged bourbon. In fact, getting to know your white whiskeys provides valuable insight into its future aging potential. The best reason to taste white whiskeys is that they are the pure expression of the grain unaffected by the flavors introduced by aging in barrels. White whiskeys show off grain terroir and the distiller’s skill as there are no wood flavors to hide them. Try it neat or over ice, but be forewarned, one of the reasons bourbon is aged is to mellow it. Un- aged corn whiskey can be smooth and packed with flavor, but perhaps too much flavor for some people. Our Silver Lion white corn whiskey is twice distilled to 160 proof then simply blended to 80 proof with Big Spring water. Aromas of sweet corn and roasted peanut abound with a silky smooth mouthfeel; this isn’t your Grandpa’s fiery moonshine. The palate features caramel and sweet corn notes closing in a gentle finish. Silver Lion pairs well with dark berry fruits, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, vanilla, grapefruit and fig, and surprisingly, with our spiced rum and other high proof mixers in a cocktail. Make your own cinnamon whiskey by simply adding two cinnamon sticks to a bottle and letting it age for just 24-48 hrs. Perhaps most unexpected of all, try it gently warmed like Sake – very delicious!