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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

  • King Louie — Bonal Gentiane Quina, Rye, Cognac, Crème de Banane, Bitters, Lemon peel
  • Big Spender — Cognac, Pineapple rum, Drambuie, Fernet Branca, Orange peel
  • Autumn in the Poconos — Applejack, Pear liqueur, Allspice Dram, Bitters, Apple Shrub
  • PhysTherapy — Pisco, Amarula Cream, Crème de Violette, Herbal liqueur, Ginger syrup
  • AmaRONI — Gin, Campari, Sweet vermouth, Amarula Cream

Recent Discussion

  • Re Bitter Branch, 3 hours 11 minutes ago Joe White commented:

    I like bitter drinks,. But this was like drinking a glass of campari and nothing else. No depth. No complexity. Just a lot of bitter. It could be that I chose the wrong nocino (Eda Rhyne Rustic Nocino). Or perhaps Old Overholt 86 was the wrong rye.

  • Re Reggae Ruby, 1 day ago LemonMelon commented:

    Funny enough I experimented with Plantation 5, Bacardi 8, Appleton, and settled on S&C because I figured rum enthusiasts here would prefer the funkier higher proof kick. This might be smoother:
    1-1⁄2 oz Aged rum (Appleton?)
    1⁄2 oz Campari
    3⁄4 oz Lime juice
    3⁄4 oz Simple syrup
    5 muddled cherries

  • Re St Columbus Rill, 1 day ago yarm commented:

    Here is a 2010 blog post that had a direct correspondence with Phil Ward:

    https://ajiggerofblog.com/2010/04/16/st-columbs-rill/

  • Re St Columbus Rill, 2 days ago Zachary Pearson commented:

    Do you have a link to that effect? My copy of Death & Co. has this as written. Thanks, Zachary

  • Re Sex In the Rumble Seat, 4 days ago hrdrck4evr commented:

    I’m new to the home bartending scene, but this one is easily a 5+