#1.) Whiskey 101
“Whiskey 101” Tasting Class
The "Whiskey 101 Tasting" is the first and most basic that we teach at Whiskey University. (note: classes do not need to be taken in order) The three classes that make up the General University Requirements (G.U.R.’s) are Whiskey 101, Bourbon 201 and Tennessee Whiskey 202. Once all three classes are taken the student earns a Certificate of Completion in Whiskey Tasting and title Apprentice Bourbon Taster.
You will learn the difference between Distilled Liquor & Fermented liquor (hard liquor and soft liquor like beer and wine). You will learn about and taste some of the seven main Distilled Spirits including; Whiskey, Vodka, Gin, Rum, Tequila, Brandy and Liqueur. You will be able to differentiate between those liquors.
Next you will learn about and taste some of the eight most popular types of Whiskey; Bourbon, Scotch, Tennessee, Canadian, Rye, American Blended, Irish, Corn Whiskey and find out what makes them different. What is Super Premium or Top Shelf Bourbon and how did they save the the industry. Then you will learn and taste some of these first Super Premium brands ever made; Blanton’s Single Barrel in 1984, Elijah Craig Small Batch in 1986 or Booker's Barrel Strength Bourbon in 1988.
#2.) Bourbon 201 Tasting
The "Bourbon 201 Tasting" is one of the most basic and second class that we teach at Whiskey University. (note: classes do not need to be taken in order) The three classes that make up the General University Requirements (G.U.R.’s) are Whiskey 101, Bourbon 201 and Tennessee Whiskey 202. Once all three classes are taken the student earns a Certificate of Completion in Whiskey Tasting and title Apprentice Bourbon Taster.
You will learn about the six largest bourbon distilleries (out of eleven) and what makes them unique and different from each other. You will also learn about the different levels/types of bourbon that each distillery makes. You will then taste both the "Flagship Brand" and the most popular "Super Premium Brand" that is offered by each of the top six distilleries.
The distilleries and brands that you will experience include; Beam Distillery-Jim Beam Black and Knob Creek Small Batch; Heaven Hill Distillery-Evan Williams and Elijah Craig Small Batch; Buffalo Trace Distillery-Buffalo Trace and Blanton's Single Barrel; Brown-Forman Distillery-Old Forester and Woodford Reserve; Maker's Mark Distillery-Maker Mark (red seal) and Maker's Mark 46; Wild Turkey Distillery-Wild Turkey 101 and Russell's Reserve.
# 3.) “The Big 3” Tasting
“The Big 3” Tasting Class features history and samples from the three largest Bourbon Distilleries on earth. These three companies; Jim Beam, Heaven Hill and Buffalo Trace make up almost 75% of the world’s bourbon production and barrels in storage.
This class will feature each of the Big 3’s main lines of Bourbon or Whiskey.
The review of the Jim Beam Distillery will feature Jim Beam Black, Jim Beam Rye, Knob Creek Small Batch, Beam’s Red Stag Black Cherry, Booker’s and Old Grand Dad.
The review of the Heaven Hill Distillery will feature Evan Williams Black, Evan Williams Honey, Elijah Craig Small Batch, Henry McKenna and Pikesville Supreme Rye.
The review of the Buffalo Trace Distillery will feature Buffalo Trace, Old Charter, Eagle Rare, Weller’s Special Reserve and Colonel E. H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch.
#4.) The 3 Bourbon Making Regions of Kentucky
In this Tasting Course you will learn about the three Bourbon Producing Regions in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. You will learn and taste the most popular Bourbons by brand name or line in each of the three regions; the “Bourbon Capital Region,” the “Bluegrass Region,” and the newly reconstituted “Whiskey Row Region.”
The “Bourbon Capital Region” is generally located in and around the City of Bardstown, Kentucky. This area is the largest Bourbon making region and incorporates the the cities and towns of Clermont, Boston and Loretto in addition to Bardstown. This area includes the Jim Beam Distillery, the Heaven Hill’s Bourbon Heritage Center, the Barton/1792 Distillery; the Willett Distillery; the Bardstown Bourbon Company Distillery, LuxRow Distillery.
The “Bluegrass Region” is generally located in and around the City of Lexington, Kentucky. This region formerly known as “Bourbon County” is thhe oldest Bourbon making region and incorporates the cities and towns of Frankfort, Lawrenceburg and Versailles in addition to Lexington. The “Bluegrass Region” includes four major and one medium distilleries within its radius. In and around Lexington are the is the Woodford Reserve Distillery, the Buffalo Trace Distillery, the Wild Turkey Distillery, the Four Roses Distillery and the AllTech Distilling Company.
The “Whiskey Row Region” is generally located in and around the City of Louisville, Kentucky. This region was of huge historic significance before prohibition and then virtually disappeared until September 2013 when Heaven Hill opened the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience. The Resurgence of bourbon distillery openings has re-established the third bourbon making region and re-christened itself again as the “Whiskey Row Region.” Others include the Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse, the Angel Envy Distillery, the Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience, the Old Forester Distillery, the Rabbit Hole Distillery the Michter’s Distillery, and the Kentucky Artisan Distillery.
The “Bourbon Capital Region” is generally located in and around the City of Bardstown, Kentucky. This area is the largest Bourbon making region and incorporates the the cities and towns of Clermont, Boston and Loretto in addition to Bardstown.
The “Bourbon Capital Region” includes eight major and medium distilleries and two other important facilities within its radius. In Bardstown itself you have Heaven Hill’s Bourbon Heritage Center, bottling facility and warehouses; the Barton/1792 Distillery; the Willett Distillery; the Bardstown Bourbon Company Distillery (which makes several brand names including Western Spirit’s Bird Dog, Calumet, Lexington and Sam Houston) and the newly opened LuxRow Distillery. The Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont is located 14 miles northwest and the Booker Noe Distillery in Boston is located 10 miles due west of Bardstown. The Maker’s Mark Distillery is located 14 miles due south of Bardstown in Loretto and the bottling plant for Four Roses in Cox’s Creek, Kentucky is located just 5 miles due north of Bardstown. A little further away is the Limestone Branch Distillery (that makes Yellowstone Bourbon and Minor Case Rye) located 23 miles
# 6.) The Bluegrass Region Tasting
# 7.) The Whiskey Row Region Tasting
The “Bluegrass Region” is generally located in and around the City of Lexington, Kentucky. This region is known for being the oldest Bourbon making region and incorporates the cities and towns of Frankfort, Lawrenceburg and Versailles in addition to Lexington. This region encompasses the area formerly known as “Bourbon County” before it was chopped up into 15 other counties in the Commonwealth.
The “Bluegrass Region” includes four major, one medium and five craft distilleries within its radius. In Lexington itself is AllTech Distilling Company that makes Town Branch and 11 miles due east in Versailles, Kentucky is the Woodford Reserve Distillery owned by beverage giant Brown-Forman. The Buffalo Trace Distillery is located in Frankfort some 24 miles northwest of Lexington while both the Wild Turkey Distillery and the Four Roses Distillery are located in Lawrenceburg located 21 miles due west of Lexington.
There are also five small craft distilleries in Lexington that include Barrel House, Bluegrass, Town Branch, James E. Pepper and Kentucky Mist distilleries.
The “Whiskey Row Region” is generally located in and around the City of Louisville, Kentucky. This region was of huge historic significance before prohibition and then virtually disappeared until September 2013 when Heaven Hill opened the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience. The Resurgence of bourbon distillery openings has re-established the third bourbon making region and re-christened itself again as the “Whiskey Row Region.”
Since then the Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse opened in September 2016, the Angel Envy Distillery opened in December 2016, the Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience opened at the old Stitzel-Weller Distillery location in March 2017, the Old Forester Distillery in June 2018 and the Rabbit Hole Distillery in May 2018. The Michter’s Distillery opened in August 2015 and the M1 Visitors’ Center on Whiskey Row itself opened in November 2018. The Kentucky Artisan Distillery (the onsite distillery that makes some of Jefferson’s Bourbons and whiskies) opened in December 2012 and its visitors’ center opened in May 2015 is some 21 miles northeast of Louisville in Crestwood is also considered to be part of the “Whiskey Row Region.” The Bulleit Distillery opened in Shelbyville, 21 miles due east in May 2018 with the visitors’ center opening in March 2019. A few other craft distilleries such as Peerless Distilling Company opened in June 2015 while the Ballotin Chocolate Whiskey Distillery and the Boundry Oak Distillery also opened.
#8.) Wheated Bourbon Tasting
The "Wheated Bourbon Tasting" is a class specifically designed to explain the difference between regular bourbon and wheat bourbon.
As you may be aware Bourbon is the only distilled spirit that can absolutely no artificial flavoring or coloring added, it must be 100% natural. Most bourbons use three grains; having 51-80% corn, using Rye as the second grain along with Barley Malt as the third grain. You will start your class by tasting rye and wheat bread. Then this Wheated Bourbon Tasting focuses on the small minority of bourbons that use 7-30% wheat as the second grain. "Wheaters" as they're often called, are a sweeter and softer type of bourbon.
Some of the major brands in the tasting include; Maker's Mark, Rebel Yell, W. L. Weller, David Nicholson, Pappy Van Winkle, Rebel Yell Ginger, Very Special Old Fitzgerald, Rebel Yell Root Beer, Larceny, Rebel Yell Small Batch, Maker's Cask Strength and Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey.
#9.) Bottled-in- Bond Bourbon Tasting
The "Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon Tasting" is a class specifically designed to explain what makes bonded bourbons special and how and why this became a prominent category of bourbon.
You will learn what the bourbon industry was like before and after the "Bottled Bond Act of 1897" and before and after deregulation in 1984. Find out what requirements exist in order for a whiskey to be classified as "Bottled-in-Bond."
You will learn about and taste the following B-in-B brands; Jim Beam, Old Grand Dad, Heaven Hill, Rittenhouse Rye, Early Times, J. T. S. Brown, Old Bardstown, Henry McKenna Single Barrel 10 year-old, Mello Corn, Old Forester Bottled-in-Bond, Very Old Barton, Colonel E. H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch and William Heavenhill.
#10.) Bourbon Founders Tasting
The "Bourbon Founders Tasting" is an experience that is designed to discuss the men who's names are actually on the bourbon bottles.
In this class, you will learn how Bourbon was discovered by Elijah Craig and how William Larue Weller spent a lifetime espousing the qualities of wheated bourbon and its soft finish. You hear how Colonel E. H. Taylor, Jr fought to purify the bourbon industry by pushing for the adoption of the "Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897." It helped push out the scoundrels and rogues giving the business a bad name. You will learn about the Royal family of Bourbons in the Beams and about the seven and six Master Distillers at the Jim Beam and Heaven Hill distilleries respectively.
You will try a number of variations based on famous founders in the industry including; Julian Van Winkle founder of Pappy's, Evan Williams, Brown-Forman Co-Founder J. T. S. Brown maker of Old Forester and Woodford Reserve, Booker Noe's creation in Booker's Barrel Strength Bourbon, Maker's Mark's founder T. W. Samuels, 55-year employee and C.E.O. of Buffalo Trace and namesake of Blanton's Single Barrel Albert Bacon Blanton, Pharmacist Dr. William Forester and Wild Turkey's longtime Master Distiller Jimmy Russell.
#11.) Barrel Proof Bourbon Tasting
The "Barrel Proof Bourbon Tasting" is a class specifically designed to explain the what makes a bourbon "Barrel Proof". These bourbons are UnCut and UnFiltered and usually has a potency above 100 proof up to 145 proof.
Many of the eleven major distillers make a Barrel Proof bourbon. Jim Beam Brands makes "Booker's Barrel Proof Bourbon" at 128.8 proof and "Old Grand Dad 114 Small Batch." Heaven Hill Distilleries makes "Elijah Craig Barrel Proof" at 128 proof and "Fighting Cock 103" proof. Buffalo Trace makes the most potent bourbon on earth in "George T. Stagg" at 144.8 proof and "Colonel E. H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof" at 134.5 proof.
Brown-Forman Corporation makes "Old Forester Whisky Row Series, 1920 Prohibition Style" at 115 Proof and "Jack Daniel's Single Barrel, Barrel Proof" at 132.8 proof. Maker's Mark makes "Maker's Mark Cask Strength" at 111.4 proof while Wild Turkey makes "Rare Breed Barrel Proof" at 112.8 proof. Barton Brands makes "1792 Full Proof" at 125 proof and Four Roses make "Four Roses Single Barrel, Barrel Proof" at 109.4 proof. We will finish with Willett Distillery's, "Willett Family Estate Bottled Single Barrel 12 year-old" at 123 proof.
#12.) Bourbon Extremes Tasting
The "Bourbon Extremes Tasting" will take you on a wild ride through bourbon and whiskey's infant years and taste the oldest, most potent, most popular, highest rated and most expensive.
During this experience you will begin by tasting the current world's most popular bourbon and most popular whiskey in Jim Beam White and Jack Daniel's Black Old No. 7. You will also try the most popular bourbon between 1830-1870, the bourbon that helped win the U. S. Civil War in Old Crow. Then move on and try the world's first Bourbon sealed in a bottle in Old Forester and the world's oldest continually made whiskey in Old Overholt. You will experience the world's most potent bourbon in George T. Stag and the most expensive (commercially available) bourbon in Pappy Van Winkle. Then you will try the three first three Super Premium and Top Shelf bourbons that literally transformed the bourbon industry from 1984 to 1988 in Blanton's Single Barrel, Elijah Craig Small Batch and Booker's Barrel Proof Bourbon.
#13.) Top Shelf Tasting
Capstone- Course #501
The "Top Shelf Bourbon Experience Tasting" is the most expensive and most extravagant of all 30 tasting. You will experience the best made handcrafted bourbons by each of top distilleries.
In this tasting, you will feel like you're with Robin Leach of the "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." You will have the opportunity to taste a bottle of 23 year-old Pappy Van Winkle, Blood Oath, Pact #2, Willett Family Estate Bottled Single Barrel 12 year-old “123 proof,” 1792 Ridgemont Reserve Barrel Select, Wild Turkey Master’s Keep 17 year-old, Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Maplewood Finish, Elijah Craig Single Barrel 23 year-old, Maker’s Mark Private Select, George T. Stagg 144.8 Proof, Van Winkle Special Reserve "Lot b” 12 year-old, Booker’s Rye Limited Edition 13 year-old, Jim Beam’s Distiller’s Masterpiece, Booker’s Rye Limited Edition 13 year-old, Parker’s Heritage Collection 24 year-old.
#14.) Best Bourbons Under $40
Sample Bourbons from the World’s Top 11 Bourbon Distilleries that were compared side by side against each other. A panel of experts from Whiskey University’s Bourbon Brigade ranked each sample and graded it for others to see. These comparisons are from a live event and have a consensus opinion listed next to each.