Bourbon 101

Whiskey in glassesBourbon is a type of whiskey that’s a littler sweeter with a heavier texture than most other whiskeys. It tends to be amber in color and get its name from Bourbon County, Kentucky, the place of its origin. Like any type of liquor, bourbon comes in a wide assortment from top shelf, aged varieties to the cheapest rotgut. There are many key factors that change the quality and flavor of bourbon, including aging and alcohol content or proof. One of the biggest and most basic factors, however, is the recipe.

The Recipe

Bourbon starts with the mash, which by federal standards must contain at least 51% corn, but could use as much as 80%. Depending on the distiller’s preference, the remaining percentage is made up of barley and wheat or rye. While other liquors have aging requirements, bourbon does not, however, to improve quality and smoothness, most distillers age bourbon for at least four years. Aging is usually occurs in oak barrels that are charred inside to filter and add color to the mix. There are three primary bourbon recipes.

The traditional recipe is 70% corn with equal parts barley and rye. We carry several traditional recipe brands including, Booker’s, Elijah Craig, Evan Williams, Jim Beam, Jim Beam Black, Knob Creek, Old Crow and Wild Turkey.

Next is the spicier, high-rye recipe, which contains a larger percentage of rye. You’ll find high-rye brands like Basil Hayden’s, Buffalo Trace, Bulleit, Eagle Rare, Four Roses, Old Grand-Dad and Woodford Reserve at Pascale’s.

The final recipe is a sweeter, softer blend of corn, barley and wheat called a traditional or high-wheat recipe. High-wheat brands we carry include Maker’s Mark, Rebel Yell and W.L. Weller.

Quality Bourbons

If you’re looking for higher quality, turn to any bourbon with the words single barrel in the name. This means the bourbon was made from one barrel and bottled without any mingling between other barrels; making it unique. We carry E H Taylor, Eagle Rare, Evan Williams, Four Roses and Henry McKenna Single Barrel Bourbons for connoisseurs or those seeking a finer flavor.

Pascale’s Liquor Square carries more than 60 different kinds of bourbon from mass marketed name brands to small batch or single barrel specialty bourbons. High proof bourbons and fruit flavored bourbons add to our eclectic selection. A selection that’s sure to appeal to even the most discriminating bourbon drinker. Find your new favorite at 3150 Erie Boulevard East in Syracuse, NY.