Friday, September 25, 2015

Branching Out: The Whiskey Tree

by Nelena Ziano

I love beer. We all love beer. Cool weather, however, begs for the return of bourbon to our palates. With ice or without, bourbon is one of the only things I get patriotic about. Its history is rich and interesting. Plus, the Uptown does it well.

One important thing to understand for anyone starting out: the mash bill. This is a list of what grains are used to make a whiskey. To be called a bourbon, it has to have at least 51% corn. Traditional bourbon recipes have 70% corn, then they start to add the flavoring grains. These are mostly rye, wheat, and barley.

Here's a listing of some of my favorites that we offer:

Bulleit: with a large portion of the mash bill going to rye (28%), this bourbon is a bit less sweet than most and has a nice spicy finish.

Eagle Rare: another whiskey with a generous amount of rye involved. It gets even better when it's locked up in barrels for ten hot Kentucky summers and then let loose! (Kentucky mules are delicious with this bourbon.)

Basil Haden: At eighty proof, this whiskey is the lightest. Boasting a very smooth finish, it's an eight-year-old bourbon in the good ole Jim Beam family.

Bakers: This is small batch at its best. Coming in at a hot 107 proof, it's a good idea to drop a cube in this one. Just to loosen it enough to taste it fully. It's fruity and warm with a touch of vanilla.

COMING SOON... Elijah Craig: One of the best bourbons that is always available. No waiting in lines. No getting on a list. Its' ready to be enjoyed by the first timer and the experienced whiskey buff alike. It's a twelve-year-old bourbon named after the man who started it all, the reverend Elijah Craig. As the story goes, Craig was the first to age the white liquor in charred oak barrels and give it the color we see today in whiskeys.

The whiskey tree below is a great way to see which companies own which bourbons (click the graphic to view larger). The whiskeys on the same branch of the tree have the same mash bill, just aged a little more. Give the tree a look to see which ones you've sampled and which ones on the same branch you might enjoy.

For example, the 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle ($200-$300) is the same whiskey as Weller 12-year-old which is sold for around $25. The big difference is the years spent in the barrel. 

We don't have every bourbon on the tree, but we do have some of the great ones. So with the start of fall, it's a great time to try a glass or our bourbon sampler!


  1. Great article- looking forward to trying a few of your suggestions. -

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