Most bourbon lovers know that among the many regulations that control its production, it is the 51 percent minimum inclusion of corn in its mash bill that defines the spirit. While this factor unites all bourbons, it is the proportions of the other grains used to complete the mash bill that make each individual brand unique (along with other production aspects like proof and aging period).
Whether a high proportion of spicy rye or generous amount of sweet wheat, these supporting grains play a vital role in giving each bourbon its own identity. To show how these factors translate to the drinking experience, we’ve mapped out where the major brands land from a flavor perspective in the following infographic. Given that most producers release numerous expressions within each line, the infographic is based on the profile of entry-level bottles. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect each brand’s more expensive expressions to share a similar, but more pronounced version of the flavor profile indicated below.