Distillery Trail 2015 Top 10

This has been an amazing year for an industry that has been lead by a small group of distilleries since the end of Prohibition to an industry now boasting more than 600 distilleries across the United States. The growth has been simply phenomenal and by all indications it’s full steam ahead for 2016.

The following articles received the most activity from our readers in 2015. The stories take us on a journey from understanding barrel sizes to barrel placement in a rackhouse/rickhouse/warehouse to setting the record straight about the difference between bourbon and whisky, it’s all here.

Like a good spirit, don’t keep this a secret, please share with your friends and colleagues.

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1. Understanding Oak Barrel Maturation – Part 1: Know Your Casks
Common Cask Sizes
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In an attempt to understand more behind the mysteries of maturation, following is the first of a three-part series exploring the importance of oak, the different casks they’re made into and what really takes place inside them. Read More.

2. How Location in a Distillery Rackhouse Effects Proof
Aging Spirits Barrels Cover
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Most large distilleries have several different types of warehouses. Some are wood, or brick, or tin or concrete block. Some are tall while some are short. Read More.

3. Setting the record straight: All bourbon is whisky but not all whisky is bourbon. Got it? [Infographic]
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Whether you enjoy your bourbon neat, on the rocks or mixed in a cocktail you need to know that not all whisky is not bourbon. It’s really not too complicated but, there is a legal definition for bourbon that you should know in case you ever get quizzed on a game show. Read More.

4. The Master Distiller’s “Rule of Thumb” on Flavor
What Makes Up a Whiskeys Flavor
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In talking with distillers, I’ve learned something that is very useful when looking at bourbon and other American whiskies. The agreed on percentages of what makes up the final flavor of a whiskey is as follows: 10% Yeast Strain, 15% Distillation, 25% Small Grains and 50% Maturation. Read More.

5. Understanding Oak Barrel Maturation – Part 2: Maturity is Not Age
Bourbon Barrels Being Charred 820
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Pus. Yep, pus. Ok, not the most obvious way to open an article on ‘maturation’ but according to the earliest use of the word, it’s in 14th century medieval Latin where we find the birth term maturatio(n-) or maturare to describe a doctors act of “encouraging suppuration” or discharging pus from a boil or wound. Charming. Read More.

6. Bourbon Capital of the World to Host Kentucky Bourbon Festival
Kentucky Bourbon Festival 2015 Cover
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To say that this is a ‘Big Deal’ is an understatement. The Kentucky Bourbon Festival basically overtakes the small town of Bardstown, Kentucky for an entire week. Read More.

7. Jack Daniel’s Celebrates Sinatra’s 100th Birthday with 100 Proof Limited Edition
Frank Sinatra and his love for Jack Daniels
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This is no ordinary release, this trifecta includes 100 barrels, bottled at 100 proof, celebrating 100 years since Frank’s birthday. Read More.

8. After 100 Years, Distilled Spirits Once Again “Made by Ghosts”
Boone County Distillery in 1800s
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Boone County Distilling, with their tagline “Made by Ghosts – Born in 1833, Reclaimed in 2015” has taken root again within a short drive of the original Petersburg Distillery. Read More.

9. Mini Documentary: From Grain to Glass – An American Spirits Renaissance
From Grain to Glass
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The folks at Hudson Whiskey, a craft spirits distiller in Tuthilltown, New York know how to tell a story. The story they tell in From Grain to Glass: An American Spirits Renaissance is more like a journey. Read More.

10. The Definitive Lego Guide to the Hipster Bartender [Infographic]
Are You a Hipster Bartender
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In the world of Lego where ‘everything is awesome’ and everyone from Gandalf to Batman are represented, I can’t help but wonder, where’s the hipster? Read More.

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