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American Whisky

Unique and original in flavour, America produces lighter and more honey- toned whiskies, which, owing to their versatility, opens the liquor to a far wider audience than those who sip theirs neat.

Because of its cereal base and sweeter mash bill, American whisky has become a firm favourite – from the trailer park to the up market cocktail bar.

Most American whisky is produced in the southern portion of the country, most notably throughout the Bible Belt.

The high temperatures and dry climate mean that the American mash bill germinates easily, and the cereal based mash bill means that if the whisky is produced by traditional methods, the quality of the finished product remains consistently high, from year to year.


America’s best-selling and most widely exported whisky, Bourbon is the best example of this cereal, or corn-based mash bill, with certain varieties of Bourbon usually coming in with at least seventy-five per cent corn crop.

Spicy and sweet, the main structure of Bourbon’s flavour comes from the new oak barrels as it deepen the aroma and taste of the whisky when it sits to mature for up to five years after fermentation.

Expect good Bourbon to taste and look just like oak, with a smoky aroma and aftertaste, leaving warmth in the mouth and throat.

Most good Bourbon is made exclusively in Kentucky, where even the largest distilleries still use traditional family recipes and well-worn methods to mature their best quality Bourbon.

Alcohol and Distilleries

A Note on Small-Batch Bourbons

Small batch Bourbons are, however, becoming increasingly popular, for the same reason craft breweries have done so throughout the US.

With these smaller and more creative distilleries, traditional Kentucky bourbon can be experimented on, using more rye and wheat forward mash bills resulting in a more pronounced bite not found in traditional Bourbons

Expect a rye forward Bourbon to retain its oaky flavour, whilst also tasting breadier, just like rye bread and also pouring out a lot darker than standard Bourbons.

Tennessee Whisky

Like Bourbon, Tennessee whisky is also a world-famous American export. Even more like Bourbon, Tennessee whiskies also use very simplistic and traditional recipes to make sure their ingredients and maturation methods create the best quality whiskies.

After the sweet mash bill finishes fermenting, what gives Tennessee its distinctive flavour, is before maturation, the pulp is poured very slowly through a filter made from sugar maple charcoal.

By distilling the whisky more than once, it becomes purer and it significantly lightens the flavour. Tennessee whisky is the perfect drink for people new to whisky, as they generally cut well with soda water and are served with ice.

Ideally, trying any new whisky should be done without a mixer, however Tennessee whiskies are the only variety that mix well with other spirits, or if you’re a true novice, a cola, ginger ale or soda mixer as its lighter, smoother taste tends to be more versatile than a dark rye or super smoky malt whiskies.

There are naturally exceptions to this rule, but if you can’t hack your whisky straight, Tennessee is a fantastic place to begin your journey into exploring the American whisky.


Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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