Tasting | Top 4 Bourbon

By Shivana Maharaj
June 10, 2011

Photography (Christina Mah) By Derrick Woo

CHARCUT MIXOLOGIST CHRISINA MAH

Her Grandfather was a bartender, so it is not surprising that Christina Mah Bar-Chef at Charcut Roasthouse would follow suit. “He was making crazy concoctions and my grandma had to drink them all.” In fact it was one of Mah’s own Bourbon cocktail creations that prompted CSL to explore the world of bourbon with Mah as our accomplice. Bourbon is named after Bourbon County Kentucky and is distilled from a grain mash of at least 51% corn (it can also contain rye, or wheat). The distilled liquor is aged in new oak charred barrels which gives it a characteristic smoky caramel and vanilla flavour. Mah created three bourbon cocktails for you to try at home. “Cocktails are a lot about balance, sometimes a lemon is not the same size so you may need to add more simple syrup for example,” advises Mah.

 

WOODFORD RESERVE

The official bourbon of the Kentucky derby, it is made at a distillery in Woodford County. The nose is full of cocoa, fruit and vanilla. The bourbon is round and smooth with mint, tobacco, fruit and toffee and ends with a warming spicy finish.

90.4 Proof
$46.25
www.woodfordreserve.com


 

BULLEIT

In the 1830’s Kentucky tavern keeper Augustus Bulleit disappeared while transporting barrels of his bourbon to new Orleans. 1987, great-great -grandson Tom relaunched the brand. rusty orange, with a distinctive oak nose and honey finish.

90 Proof
$39.95
www.bulleitbourbon.com


 

 BLANTON’S

Colonel Albert B. Blanton chose the prized ‘centre cut’ barrel of Warehouse H as the best for aging his single barrel bourbon (beautiful bottle and topper). Red amber in colour, with notes of soft burnt sugar, caramel, dried citrus, honey, cloves and vanilla.

93 Proof
$74.99
www.blantonsbourbon.com


 

BUFFALO TRACE

The longest standing distilling site in the United States located on an old buffalo crossing on the banks of the Kentucky river. Light bronze in colour with complex notes of vanilla, mint and molasses, rounded out with oak and leather.

90 Proof
$37.99
www.buffalotrace.com


*Prices may vary accoding to province

Read more from the Summer 2011 article, including cocktail recipes.