Why Bourbon Tastes Like Bourbon: Resources

I'd like to thank Jason Parker, again, for his fantastic presentation last night on Why Bourbon Taste Like Bourbon, bringing a unique distiller's perspective to the question.

If you weren't there, or if you somehow weren't able to copy down two dozen slides with complex information, here's a link to Jason's slideshow, in PDF format:


Jason was also kind enough to share the reading list he suggests for those interested in getting deeper into distilling:

1. Whiskey: Technology, Production and Marketing, 2nd Edition. Editors Russell, Inge and Stewart, Graham. Academic Press 2014. ISBN: 978-0-12-401735-1.

2. Fermented Beverage Production, 2nd Edition. Editors Lea, Andrew G.H. and Piggott, John R. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. 2003. ISBN: 0-306-47706-8.

3. The Science and Technology of Whiskies. Editors Piggott, J.R., Sharp, R., and Duncan, R.E.B. Longman Scientific & Technical. 1989. ISBN: 0-582-04428-6.

4. Technology Brewing & Malting, 5th Edition. Kunze, Wolfgang. VLB Barlin. 2014. ISBN: 978-3-921690-77-2.

5. International Barrel Symposium, Research Results and Highlights from the 5th, 6th, and 7th Symposiums. Independent Stave Company. 2008. ISBN 978-0-9816398-0-2.

6. Principles of Brewing Science, 2nd Edition. Fix, George. 1999. ISBN: 978-0937381748.

7. Wood & Beer: A brewer’s Guide. Cantwell, Dick and Bouchaert, Peter. Brewers Publications. 2016. ISBN: 978-1-938469-21-3.

Another fantastic book he had that really likes, and looked really good to me, based on a brief glance, is:



Tasting Whiskey: An Insider's Guide to the Unique Pleasures of the World's Finest Spirits

Although not as technical as some of the above, it delves into the science, and is a fun and visual read. You can get it used for under $10 at:


Or at Amazon, etc.

Thanks again to Jason for sharing his wisdom & experience, and we'll be following up to see if more educational presentations like this would be of interest!



SWC Tasting #51: Why Bourbon Tastes Like Bourbon

Whiskey Flavor Series #1:  Why Bourbon Tastes Like Bourbon

Jason Parker (Copperworks Distillery) and Christopher Gronbeck (The Barrel Thief) present an occasional series of educational & experiential workshops on flavors in whiskey...their sources, development, management, and experience.


The first workshop in this series explores the primary flavors in Bourbon:  what you typically smell and taste when you drink Bourbon, the chemistry underlying the predominant flavors, where and when the flavors develop in the process, and how the distiller manages the process to influence the final product and experience.

We'll be tasting Bourbons during the workshop, and will be leaving plenty of time for questions and contributions by members.

Stay tuned for future installments in the series!

Seattle Whiskey Collective Events Announcement

Thanks to everyone who replied to our survey about the Seattle Whiskey Collective 2017 Holiday Party.  The consensus was to host the party at The Barrel Thief so we can spend money on whiskey instead of venue rental, so the party will be on Monday, Dec. 4th when The Barrel Thief would otherwise be closed, so we'll have the whole space.  All SWC paid members are invited, and may of course bring a guest.  Details to follow!

Some dates to put in your calendar for the rest of 2017:

  •     Monday, Sep. 25:  Theo's Night Out with Woodford Reserve (woodford.bpt.me, ticket code: "swc")
  •     Oct. 2 to 7:  Westland Distillery Peat Week (peatweek.com)
  •     Monday, Oct. 9:  SWC Tasting #51:  Why Bourbon Tastes Like Bourbon (with Jason from Copperworks)
  •     Monday, Nov. 13:  SWC Tasting #52:  Westland Distillery
  •     Tuesday, Nov. 14:  Westland Distillery Tour
  •     Monday, Dec. 4:  SWC Holiday Party
  •     Monday, Dec. 11:  SWC Tasting #53:  Japanese Blended Whiskies & Half-Price Japanese Whisky Night

Here's to a fantastic rest of 2017!


SWC Tasting #50: Bottled-in-Bond Whiskeys


Please join us Monday, Sept. 11th for a tasting of Bottled-in-Bond whiskeys.  Matt Harvey (spirits specialist, Young's Market Company) and Christopher (The Barrel Thief), will discuss why Bottled-in-Bond came about in the late 19th century, what the regulations are to be labeled as Bottled-in-Bond, and what it means for today's consumers.

We'll be tasting four Bottled-in-Bond whiskeys:  two Bourbons and two Ryes.  Each pair will feature an EH Taylor bottling, as Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor Jr. was a primary catalyst of the Bottled-in-Bond Act.

Can you taste the difference in Bottled-in-Bond whiskeys?  Is the designation still relevent?  Will EH Taylor stand up to the competition?  Come on Monday the 11th, and find out!

Current Seattle Whiskey Collective members are already registered for this meeting, and don't need to RSVP.  If you wish to attend as a guest or a new member, please visit the Seattle Whiskey Collective web site to sign up: