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Nick's Budget Bourbon Picks at Pascale's Liquors

Mon, Jul 03, 23
Situated in the heart of Liverpool and serving the spirits enthusiasts of Syracuse, NY, Pascale's Liquors at 7401 Oswego Rd, Liverpool, NY 13090
prides itself on hosting an extraordinary array of bourbons. From budget-friendly to premium bourbons, we offer a palate for every taste.

Delving Deeper into the History of Bourbon

Bourbon’s history is as robust and complex as the spirit itself, soaked in the remnants of time, geography, innovation, and legislation. This icon of American heritage originates from the late 18th-century frontier settlements of the United States.

Historical records suggest that it was the Scot-Irish settlers who first started to distill "corn liquor" on the frontier territory of Kentucky, known for its limestone-rich water and fertile soil ideal for corn cultivation. The credit for transforming the frontier distillate into what we now know as bourbon often goes to Reverend Elijah Craig, a Baptist minister who moved to Kentucky in the 1780s. While the actual origin of bourbon is shrouded in mystery and speculation, what is undisputed is the central role that Kentucky played in its development.

Despite its humble beginnings, bourbon’s status as a distinctive form of whiskey was only officially recognized many years after its genesis. It was in 1897 that the Bottled-in-Bond Act - a federal legislation to ensure quality standards for whiskey - was passed. However, it wouldn't be until 1964 that bourbon’s true turning point arrived. The U.S. Congress declared bourbon as "America’s Native Spirit", thereby designating bourbon as a distinctive product of the U.S - the country's only indigenous spirit.

Bourbon enjoyed a renewed surge in popularity in the 1980s, becoming more than a spirit but a symbol of American craftsmanship and pride. Today, bourbon is a multi-billion dollar industry, with brands and distilleries dotting the landscapes not just of Kentucky but of other states as well.

Bourbon, Rye and Wheat Whiskey: Unraveling the Grain Bills and Aging Requirements

To truly appreciate the bourbon spectrum, one must understand the base from which it comes - the grain bill. It's the mix of grains (corn, rye, wheat, and malted barley) used that largely influences a bourbon's flavor.

The essence of bourbon can be traced not only to its grain bill but also to the intricate rules and processes behind its creation that make it an iconic American spirit.

To begin with, bourbon must have a grain bill of at least 51% corn. This grain bill is just the starting point in the bourbon creation process, with a series of critical rules and regulations following suit to ensure a true bourbon spirit. These rules pertain to the distillation process, aging, barreling, and bottling of bourbon:
  1. Distilled at a Proof no Higher than 160: Unlike whiskies that may be distilled at up to 90 percent alcohol-by-volume, bourbon must be distilled no higher than 160 proof, which is equivalent to 80 percent alcohol-by-volume. This regulation ensures that the flavors from the raw materials pass through the distillation process, preserving the unique bourbon character.
  2. Aging: For a spirit to gain the prestigious title of “straight” bourbon, it must be aged in new, charred oak barrels for a minimum of two years. The charred oak barrel imparts color, body, and a significant amount of flavor to the spirit. The duration of aging significantly affects the bourbon's flavor profile, adding complex layers that lovers of bourbon appreciate.
  3. Barrelling at no More than 125 Proof: Bourbon must be stored in barrels at no more than 125 proof. This rule influences the spirit's concentration and organoleptic properties, preserving the balance of taste and texture.
  4. Bottling at no Less than 80 Proof: To uphold the integrity and profile of bourbon, the spirit must be bottled at no less than 80 proof, equivalently a minimum of 40 percent alcohol-by-volume. This regulation ensures an ideal ratio of water to alcohol - essential for releasing bourbon's nuanced flavors and aromas.
Wheat Whiskey: Wheat whiskey requires the grain bill to be at least 51% wheat, and like its rye and corn counterparts, wheat whiskey needs to be aged in new, charred oak containers. The "straight" condition applies to wheat whiskey too.

Defining "Bottled In Bond" Bourbon

"Bottled In Bond" is a designation that goes back to the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897. It was designed to protect drinkers from nefarious practices and guarantee the purity of the whiskey in their bottles. For a bourbon to be labeled as "bottled in bond," it must abide by several strict rules:

1. The bourbon must be the product of one distillation season by a single distiller at a single distillery.
2. It must be stored in a federally bonded warehouse under U.S. government supervision for at least four years.
3. It must be bottled at 100 proof.
4. The bottle's label must identify the distillery where it was distilled and where it was bottled if different.

Some famous bottled-in-bond bourbons include: Heaven Hill Bottled-in-Bond, Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch Bourbon, Old Forester 1897 Bourbon

Championing Quality Bourbons for Every Budget

At Pascale's Liquors, we firmly believe that premium experiences should not be exclusive to high price points. Therefore, we house an extensive collection of budget bourbons under $50 that deliver an unparalleled taste experience:

Old Grand-Dad Bourbon Bonded 100: They say that the proof is in the pudding, but in this case, it’s in the bourbon. Loaded with dark fruit and oaky notes, this 100-proof bourbon provides a little kick and heat.

Wild Turkey 101 Kentucky Bourbon: A harmonic convergence of sweet corn, dark fruit, and an audacious 'kick' – an offering for the bold and the adventurous.

Elijah Craig Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 94 ProofElijah Craig Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 94 Proof: A smoky wonder manifested in masterful bourbon, concisely balancing warm spice with smoky undercurrents.

Knob Creek 9-Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon: Known for its corn-rich recipe, Knob Creek offers a delightful blend of sweet and charred oak and vanilla - an attractive offering for quality-conscious bourbon-lovers.

Four Roses Bourbon Yellow Label: A hidden gem in the sub-$30 category with a corn-dominated grain bill and intoxicating in its floral and honeyed sweetness, subtly interrupted with pear and apple nuances.

Our well-rounded collection caters not only to bourbon beginners but also to seasoned aficionados, celebrating the land's spirit by tracing back to the era of pioneering distillers. With our dedicated team of experts, Pascale's Liquors offers an immersive bourbon shopping experience, ensuring every customer gets the perfect embodiment of American history and culture in their selected bottle of bourbon. Visit us at 7401 Oswego Rd, Liverpool, NY 13090 today, and uncover the layers of bourbon one sip at a time.

Shop Nick's Budget Bourbon Picks Below!

By Alden Morris