glossary

Distillation

(n.) A chemical process used to make high-alcohol spirits, distillation separates ethanol (drinking alcohol) from water. The basic steps: A mix of ethanol and water, usually derived from fermentation, is…

glossary

Cognac

(n.) This grape brandy is made in the Charente region of France. The Dutch invented cognac in the 17th century after experimenting with different types of French wine as a…

glossary

Cask

(n.) Wooden barrels, or casks, have been used for millennia to transport liquids throughout Asia and Europe, falling out of favor only relatively recently with the advent of modern packing…

glossary

Canadian Whisky

(n.) Legally, Canadian whisky must be distilled from fermented grains, aged for three years in wood casks and bottled at 80 proof or higher. The fermented grain mash—usually made of…

glossary

Brandy

(n.) Brandy is a spirit distilled from fermented fruit juice or fruits. Though most commonly associated with the French wine-based distillates of Cognac and Armagnac, the broad category includes Calvados…

glossary

Bourbon Whiskey

(n.) This American subset of whiskey is made from distilling a fermented mash of at least 51-percent corn and aging the liquor in new charred white oak barrels. Though some…

glossary

Bottled in Bond

(phrase) A legal term referring to American spirits (usually whiskey) that have been processed according to regulation of the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897, which was created to protect consumers from…

glossary

Bitters

(n.) A high-proof alcohol infused with herbs, roots and spices. Invented as a medicinal tonic, they were originally meant to aid digestion and cure a variety of ailments, including colds…

glossary

Age

A quantifiable amount of time between a product’s creation and either its on-sale date or consumption. For spirits, age is generally calculated by the amount of time the product spends…