Bourbon Heritage Month: Bourbon 101

5 Sep

September is National Bourbon Heritage Month! We invite you to raise a glass of your favorite bourbon with us at Gamlin Whiskey House in St. Louis’ Central West End.

New to bourbon? Gamlin Whiskey House bartender Clara (follow her on Instagram at @adram_aday) spoke to us briefly about what makes bourbon bourbon and her tips for those new to the spirit.

To be called bourbon, a spirit must meet certain guidelines dictated by a 1964 Congressional resolution naming it “America’s native spirit.” The spirit must be (A) American, (B) aged for at least two years in new, charred oak barrels and (C) made up of at least 51 percent corn.

Bourbon is typically a light to rich amber color, and is relatively sweet due to the large amount of corn it contains. The flavor profile of different bourbons is influenced by a variety of factors, including the makeup of the other 49 percent of its mashbill (usually rye or barley), the origin of the oak used in the barrel and even the climate of the rickhouse where that barrel of whiskey is stored during the aging process.

“It can be easy to be intimidated by bourbon because there’s so much variety,” Clare says. “But that variety also means there is almost sure to be a bourbon — or several bourbons — that you’re going to love drinking.”

Clara’s No. 1 tip for newbies? Ask your bartender.

“We’re more than happy to help you along your whiskey journey,” she says, adding that her personal favorite is Henry McKenna from Heaven Hill Distillery.

In celebration of Bourbon Heritage Month, Gamlin Whiskey House is selling three custom bottle packs featuring some of our favorite bourbons. Ask your bartender about this retail offer.

  • Enjoy the big, bold flavors of our GWH Knob Creek Single Barrel and High West American Prairie ($80).
  • Prefer something spicier? Try Old Grand-Dad Bonded and Defiance High-Rye Bourbon ($55).
  • Transport yourself to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail with bottles of Knob Creek Single Barrel and Buffalo Trace ($65).
  • In the mood for a cocktail? Get everything you need to make our ever-popular GWH Manhattans at home, including Knob Creek Single Barrel, angostura bitters, Carpano vermouth and a jar of Luxardo cherrie ($85).

Still want more bourbon? Check out our upcoming Customer Appreciation Days (Sept. 10-13), featuring drink specials and giveaways from Wild Turkey, Jim Beam Black and Rebel Yell Bourbon.