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A Spontaneous Libation for your Consideration

From the Knowledge Vault

Who Makes My Bourbon?

This is the fifth in a series on Bourbon by Zach Pearson. Read them all: Bourbon, Bourbon After the Act, Bourbon: What it is ... and isn't, Making Bourbon, Who Makes My Bourbon, Producer Capsules., Finding the Good Stuff, Tasting the Good Stuff, Neat, Mashbills, Geeky Information and Resources.

About a year ago, GQ exerpted this great picture from David Haskell's The Kings County Distiller Guide to Urban Moonshining. Click the image on the left to see the detail. It’s pretty easy to see from this that there are really only thirteen major Bourbon producers in the United States. These 13 distilleries are owned by only nine companies.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You can’t walk into a liquor store and not see an entire 50 foot shelf of Bourbons with names you’ve never heard of. Some of them are even local. All of them have great stories on the back about how this particular Bourbon was the favorite of Ulysses S. Grant or Al Capone or was made by some hill-William from a secret family recipe only recently rediscovered inside a hollow log in Possum Lick, Kentucky. Like the Templeton Rye label to the left. Click it to expand and read it.

Recent Additions

  • Chuckwagon Clive — Rum, Crème de Violette, Pavan, Aromatized wine, Lemon bitters
  • Cubi Point — Mezcal, Sake, Ancho Reyes chile liqueur, Crème de Violette, Lemon bitters, Dragonfruit, Egg yolk
  • Campbeltown — Campbeltown Scotch, Cherry Liqueur, Herbal liqueur, Lemon peel
  • Red Nose Clive — Pisco, Sweet vermouth, Campari, Cranberry bitters, Dragonfruit, Lime juice
  • Gator Love — Dry sherry, Cognac, Herbal liqueur, Half-and-half, Egg white

Recent Discussion

  • Re Pliny's Tonic, 13 hours ago Zachary Pearson commented:

    Curated this - Imbibe just put the recipe up and the version we had was a recollection of it - it now conforms with the cited link. Thanks, Zachary

  • Re Frenchman Street, 1 day 3 hours ago Zachary Pearson commented:

    Ok, quick question - so you're chilling an OF, rinsing it, lightly muddling mint and sugar (a pinch, not a dash perhaps) in the bottom. Then you're stirring everything else and straining it over the mint/sugar? I'd imagine this will lead to undissolved sugar in the bottom of the glass. If so, can I clarify the instructions to reflect this? Thanks, Zachary

  • Re Camparipolitan, 1 day 8 hours ago noksagt commented:

    Made w/ Meehan Cosmo spec ratios so I can use 100% cranberry juice (60 mL Campari; 22.5 mL orange liqueur (killed the bottle of shrub + finished off with cointreau); 22.5 mL lime; 15 mL cranberry; 7.5 mL simple; pinch salt).

  • Re La Oficina, 1 day 10 hours ago papaq86 commented:

    What a smart way of elevating rum with sherry. And I love how the bitters and cinnamon syrup play together.

  • Re Heather in Queue, 1 day 14 hours ago yarm commented:

    When we first started going there in 2007, Eastern Standard still had a large stash of Amer Picon (no longer imported due to labeling issues) found in a corner of a distributor's warehouse, and they featured such great drinks like Chuck Taggart's Hoskins Cocktail (gin, Amer Picon, Maraschino, Cointreau, and orange bitters). When they depleted their picon collection, they had unfortunately hooked a loyal bar crowd on these libations and needed to find alternatives for them quick. When a regular named Heather requested a Hoskins in 2008, bar director Jackson Cannon thought on his feet and crafted the Heather in Queue to capture some of those flavors. Other orange spirits besides Bauchant would work here, but the bar loved that liqueur (not to mention other gins and blanc vermouths). Probably the most common orange liqueur to Bauchant would be Grand Marnier but perhaps Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao would work great.