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How is Bourbon made?

Ever wonder how America’s spirit is made? Check out the process below from Buffalo Trace Distillery!


What is a Mash Bill?

A Mash Bill is the recipe of grains selected by a distiller, to create the flavour of the whisky that they are after. Grains are cooked under high temperatures and then cooled to extract the sugars from them.




The grains then get cooled down before being pumped into fermenting tanks where they mix with yeast to create a beer.




All Bourbon is Double Distilled:

  • The first being in a Column Still or what’s called a Beer Still.

  • The second in a Pot-Still or Doubler.

  • Double distillation starts with a Beer still or Column Still and finishes with a clean spirit from a Pot-Still or a Doubler.

  • The spirit off the still isn’t bourbon yet because it hasn’t been aged.

  • We call it White Dog and this goes into charred barrels for ageing.



Aging and barrel selection are the 2 key elements that separate the flavour profiles and tastes of all bourbon from the same mash bill. Even from the same distillery, the same warehouses… Even on the same floors, side by side!

All Bourbon gets aged in a standard 200L, charred, oak barrel. There are levels of charring that are selected by the distiller which basically means, how long they torch the wood for.