A Beginner’s Guide To High-End Bourbon

Bourbon has come a long way from smoking jackets and men’s clubs to bourbon of the month clubs for all to enjoy. It’s everywhere, and connoisseurs can’t get enough. Collectors and novices alike enjoy bourbon’s many layers and subtle differences in each bottle. Don’t take our word for it—check out our beginner’s guide to high-end bourbon and start tasting bourbon for yourself.

What Makes Bourbon, Bourbon?

There’s some confusion between whiskey, bourbon, rye, and Scotch. Here’s what it takes to wear the label of bourbon:

  • Mash is at least 51 percent corn. Mash is the mix of grains.
  • Roughly 95 percent of bourbon is from Kentucky. It was born there and, for many, it’s not bourbon if it’s not from the Bluegrass State. Still, bourbon is now made anywhere except outside the US.

How To Drink Bourbon

Seems simple enough, right? Drink bourbon according to the type of day you had. No, seriously—there are a few ways that bourbon fanatics feel are acceptable to enjoy a glass of bourbon. They are as follows:

  • Neat: Pour about two fingers (one to two ounces) in a proper lowball glass. That’s it. No water. No ice. Just room temperature bourbon.
  • On the rocks: Pour your bourbon over a couple of ice cubes or an ice ball for a drink on the rocks. This gives the bourbon a nice chill, which some prefer. As the ice melts, it won’t dilute the bourbon. Instead, the water from the melting ice opens up the bourbon, revealing new layers of flavor.
  • A splash of water: A splash of water is the quick way to enjoy that opened flavor of the bourbon.
  • Cocktail Time: Bourbon can hold its own, but it’s also wonderful in a few cocktails. Try a Manhattan, an old fashioned, or a mint julep for classic bourbon cocktails.

How To Find High-End Bourbon

It’s no great mystery as to where the high-end bourbon is hiding. It’s not hiding at all. We just must know where to look. Try these ideas to find the best bourbon:

  • Be the liquor store owner’s favorite. We aren’t talking teacher’s pet here but being a loyal customer could have its perks. Stay loyal to one liquor store and ask them to notify you when rare, high-end bourbons come in.
  • Join a bourbon club where you all get together to try out and discuss new bourbons. Bourbon of the month clubs are also available, and you don’t even have to leave home.
  • Travel all over the country and stop in liquor stores along the way, looking for that rare bourbon you haven’t seen anywhere else.
  • Use the internet to make finding the best bourbon easy. Search online liquor stores that specialize in rare and hard-to-find liquors.

In the end, the biggest piece of advice we want you to take away from this beginner’s guide to high-end bourbon is to drink what you like. It really is true, no matter the cost or how rare, the best spirit is the one you enjoy.

At VS Liquor, we feel the same way. We give our customers the ability to buy rare bourbon online, as well as many other liquors. We are happy to share our knowledge and help others find the perfect bourbon or other spirits. Contact us or browse our convenient online store today and start building your bourbon collection.