What is Four Grain Whiskey?


From Liberty Call Distillery

Included in February’s box, is Liberty Call Distilling’s Four Grain Whiskey. To understand why that's special, we need to talk briefly about the differences between bourbon and rye. 

Bourbon must, by law, be at least 51% corn, and is usually between 65-85% corn. The remainder, according to tradition, is a mixture of rye and barley. Rye whiskey is similar: rye must be 51% rye, with the remainder comprised of corn and barley. 95% of American whiskey uses those three grains: corn (for sweetness and punch), rye (for spiciness) and barley (for honey graininess). But sometimes, bourbons swap out that spicy rye grain for the soft and sweet wheat. These are called "wheated bourbons," and are softer and sweeter than most.

The most popular wheated bourbon in the world is Maker's Mark, that has since 1958 made a simple, soft expression of corn, wheat, and barley. But the most famous one has to be the Pappy Van Winkle products, all of which use wheat instead of rye.

Four grain whiskey is whiskey that throws those rules out the window, and uses all 4: corn, rye, wheat, and barley. Simple as it seems, this is unheard-of by the Kentucky giants. Hudson Distilling, in New York, makes a Four Grain Bourbon, so at least 51% corn and the rest being the 3 other grains. Liberty Call distilling, in San Diego, not only uses all four grains but uses equal measures of each, making it not a bourbon or a rye, but something completely new. 

There are two types of consumers in situations like this. When faced with something new, you can either say (1) I've never heard of that so I don't want it, or (2) I've never heard of that so I have to try it! As subscribers to a service like this, we're proud to have you in the latter camp. It's a much better place to be, especially now, with exciting changes happening to our little spirits world at such incredible rates.

This is an amazing time to be a cocktail and spirit enthusiast, and we're thrilled to be able to share it with you all. Cheers.