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Whiskey and Bourbon Definitions

Age - The amount of time that a Bourbon or Whiskey has spent in the barrel.

Angel's Share - Over time, the bourbon or rye contained in the barrel will start to evaporate, leaving less of the product. The amount that is lost is called the Angel's Share

Barrel Proof (aka Cask Strength) - Whiskey bottled at the desired proof while aging in the barrel. No water is added before bottling, so these Bourbons are higher proof than others.

Bottled-in-Bond (or Bonded) - bottled-in-bond or bonded, the liquor must be the product of one distillation season (January–June or July–December) by one distiller at one distillery. It must have been aged in a federally bonded warehouse under U.S. government supervision for at least four years and bottled at 100 (U.S.) proof (50% alcohol by volume). The bottled product's label must identify the distillery where it was distilled and, if different, where it was bottled. Only spirits produced in the United States may be designated as bonded.

Bourbon - The Federal Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits (27 C.F.R.) state that bourbon made for U.S. consumption must be:
  • Produced in the United States
  • Made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn
  • Aged in new, charred oak containers
  • Distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof (80% alcohol by volume)
  • Entered into the barrel for aging at no more than 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume)
  • Bottled (like other whiskeys) at 80 proof or more (40% alcohol by volume)
Bourbon has no minimum specified duration for its aging period.

Char - The inside surfaces of new barrels are exposed to flames as part of the barrel-making process. This charring affects the flavor and color of the spirit aged in the barrel. New charred barrels are used only once in the production of bourbon. Other whiskies re-use their barrels or purchase used bourbon barrels.

Mashbill - The grain recipe used to make whiskey

Single Barrel - Whiskey drawn from one barrel that has not been mingled with any other whiskeys.

Single Malt - Malt whisky from a single distillery, that is, whisky distilled from a fermented mash made with malted barley, as distinguished from unmalted grain.

Straight Bourbon - Straight bourbon must be at least two years old. Once distilled, the whiskey may not exceed 80% ABV. At the point of barreling, it must be 62.5% ABV or lower, and only water may be added to dilute it at this point. If it's older than two but younger than four years, it must carry an age statement, and that age statement must reflect the youngest bourbon in the bottle.

Whiskey - A type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. Various grains (which may be malted) are used for different varieties, including barley, corn, rye, and wheat. Whiskey is typically aged in wooden casks, generally made of charred white oak. Bourbon is a type of Whiskey.

Sources: Bourbon CountryKentucky Distillers Association, Wikipedia