By regulation, all bourbon must be aged in new charred oak barrels. Why? Because unlike other whiskies, no additives (other than water) are allowed in bourbon. No added color. No added flavors. So, other than the distillate itself, bourbon picks up a lot of its character from the barrels. And the character of the barrels depends in large part on the level of char.
To learn more about the process, we chatted with Jeff LaHue, head of strategic partnerships at Independent Stave Company (ISC), which supplies and chars barrels for Lux Row Distillers.
Making great bourbon involves many ingredients, each essential in its own right, whether it’s the corn and grains or the cool, clear Kentucky water. But one of the most crucial elements in shaping bourbon into the drink we love: the charred American oak barrels in which it’s aged.
Plenty of entrepreneurial dreams have been hatched in a college dorm room, but few actually end up maturing into fully fledged businesses. Clayton & Crume, however, is one of the success stories.
Western Kentucky University graduates Clay Simpson and Tyler Jury started out making belts for friends and fraternity brothers in a makeshift dorm studio. Now they run a thriving leather goods company in the heart of bourbon country: Louisville, Kentucky.
Finding a gift for the whiskey lover in your life is easy: As long as your gift has a whiskey theme, it’s a winner. Our list rolls high to low, ranging from a fine bar cart to a package you can put together yourself with a dose of TLC.