Bourbon Lexicon

Bourbon Lexicon


These are terms used to describe Bourbon
Bourbon – A whiskey made from a minimum of 51% corn. It must be aged in new charred oak barrels, distilled at no more than 80% ABV, aged at no more than 62.5% ABV, and bottled at no less than 40% ABV.

Age Statement – The age of the youngest whiskey in the bottle. The including the age statement on the label is optional if the Bourbon is at least 4 years old.


Cask Strength – The strength of the whiskey if it is bottled undiluted. Cask Strength will vary with each barrel.


Bottling Proof – the proof at which the Bourbon is bottled. Bourbon must be at least 80 proof, but could be higher.


Straight Bourbon – Bourbon with nothing added. No coloring or flavors. Straight Bourbon must be at least 2 years old. If it is less than 4 years old it must be labeled with an age statement.


Mash Bill – The list of ingredients. Bourbon is at least 51% corn. The rest could be corn, rye, wheat, barley, or other grains.


High Rye – A bourbon with rye as the second ingredient.


Wheater - A bourbon with wheat as the second ingredient.


Sour Mash – A portion of previously used mash is added to the fermentation as a starter.


Sweet Mash – Only fresh yeast is used in the fermentation.