A short reference guide containing the most important terms in the world of Whiskey
The age shown on the label of a bottle of whisk(e)y corresponds to the youngest whisk(e)y contained within.
The angels’ share
The whisk(e)y that evaporates every year from the barrels in the storehouses. On average, that is 2–3% of the barrel each year. Most of the liquid that evaporates, depending on storage conditions, is alcohol.
Most of the popular whisk(e)ys sold today are blends – namely, a mixture of different whisk(e)ys. JIM BEAM, on the other hand, is a straight Kentucky bourbon.
This is how people drink their whiskey in the southern states: a glass of whiskey washed down with a glass of beer.
Bourbon is the best-known American whiskey and gets its name from Bourbon County, a region in the state of Kentucky. Nowadays it can be produced everywhere in the US as long as the regulations established in 1964 are observed. Among other things, these provisions require that the mash is made out of at least 51% and no more than 79% corn, and that it is less than 80% vol. The bourbon must also age in barrels for at least two years. The double distillation process is also prescribed in this legislation, in line with which the bourbon is made in a sour mash process.
Each barrel is used only once when JIM BEAM is being made. As is generally the case when producing bourbon, the inside of the barrel is “toasted” before being filled. This process gives the whiskey a full, intensive color and distinctive aromas. Among other things, the charring also caramelizes the natural sugar in the wood, creating a sweet flavor that is picked up by the whiskey as it matures.
A living microorganism in the fungus family. It feeds on sugar and produces alcohol, carbon dioxide, and water as by-products.
The Federal State of Kentucky, located in East America, has around four million inhabitants and is known for its thoroughbred horses and the annual Kentucky Derby held in Louisville in addition to its whiskey distilleries. The name Kentucky comes from the Indian “Ken-tah-ten,” which can be translated as “land of the future.”
The mash is made by mixing water and ground barley (malted or unmalted barley, depending on the whisk(e)y). The mash is heated so that even the starches in unmalted barley are turned into sugar.
Prohibition was a period of history in the US during which alcohol was forbidden by national law. It lasted from January 17, 1920, to December 5, 1933. These years were to have a lasting impression on the whiskey industry: many distilleries kept themselves afloat using “medicinal alcohol,” while the majority were unfortunately closed down.
This is a unit to indicate the amount of alcohol in a whiskey in the US. It equates to double the amount of alcohol by volume. For example, 80° proof is the same as 40% vol.
In the US, this term refers to whiskey that has been drawn off from a single barrel and brought to market without being mixed or blended. Such whiskeys are especially treasured by connoisseurs because different bottles of the same brand can sometimes have an extremely different flavor and color.
Small batch is the American term for a limited amount of a whisk(e)y. It used to designate an exact output of 20 barrels.
This describes the process of making a bourbon. During fermentation, an amount of “set back” from the previous distillation is added to the mixture containing the mash and yeast. Thanks to this process, a consistent character is “inherited” by the new batch of whisk(e)y.
Straight American whiskey
According to the law passed in 1964, whiskeys from the United States can only bear this name if the young distillate is stored for at least two years in new, charred white-oak barrels, and if the alcohol content does not exceed 80% vol. during distillation. Additionally, no flavoring or coloring may be added to the barrel once it has been filled. Subgroups of this category include straight bourbon whiskey (at least 51% corn content) and straight rye whiskey (at least 51% rye content).
After they have been used once, the barrels in which straight American whiskey is aged are often exported from the US to Scotland, where they can be used to mature Scotch whisky.
The term “three fingers” is used by whiskey lovers in the United States to explain how much whiskey should be poured into an empty glass.
The types of whiskey produced in the US are bourbon, corn, rye, and Tennessee. Bourbon is the most widely known and popular sort. JIM BEAM accounts for more than 39% of global bourbon sales.
This is by far the most popular mixed drink made using whiskey. The tradition recipe is: 4 cl bourbon, 2 cl lemon juice, 1 bar spoon icing sugar, and 1 cl treacle.
Whiskey or whisky?
The secret behind the confusing spelling of this popular drink is actually easy to explain: Irish and American distilleries produce “whiskey,” whereas Scottish and Canadian products are spelled “whisky.”