The day began bright an early with a bus ride to the sold-out “Let’s Talk Bourbon” show at the Four Roses Bourbon distillery. This was part of the program for the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival, which has all the major brands of bourbon whiskey in attendance.
Master Distiller Jim Rutledge led the presentation and fielded questions about the intricacies of making the best bourbon. I was surprised to learn that older bourbon isn’t usually better than younger bourbon and to obtain the desired taste, Jim and his team of tasters actually sample the batches to know just when the bourbon is the best age. It is proven that machines only can analyze to a certain depth of accuracy whereas the nose and mouth are said to be in the 3 billion range. To properly define a whiskey as bourbon, it has to contain at least 51% corn in its mashbill, be stored for at least 2 years in new charred oak barrels and be made in the USA. After the lessons on bourbon, Jim was available to sign each bottle in gold pen, which makes for a great collector bottle.
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