Ten Bourbon terms you should know to upgrade your whiskey conversation

Do you know how to “talk” Bourbon? Follow this dictionary and stand out your knowledge on bourbon talks with these ten bourbon slang terms.

You’re visiting your Kentucky far cousins and haven’t learned a thing yet about bourbon? Upgrade your whiskey conversation without getting lost in the complex lexicon of bourbon, let’s start with these easy and essential slang bourbon terms, but let’s start with Bourbon itself.

Bourbon: according to Cornell, Bourbon or Bourbon Whiskey is a whisky produced with at least 51% corn and distilled at no more than 80 percent ABV. Bourbon is also always aged in new-charred oak barrels. When bottled, bourbon must at least be 40 percent ABV.

Straight bourbon: straight bourbon must be at least 2 years old. If it’s younger than 4 year old, the label must mention an age statement that reflects the youngest bourbon in the bottle. It cannot contain added colors or flavors.


Slang terms

Juice: it is simply the bourbon inside the bottle. We use this term to avoid repeating yourself in a conversation with the words “bourbon” or “whiskey”.

Unicorn: a limited edition, sought-after, hard-to-find bourbon.

Honey Hole: a liquor store selling prized bourbon bottles at a retail or near retail price. They are often located on the outskirts of urban areas.

Honey barrel: the ideal/best barrel for bourbon.

Fake tan: a deeper color in bourbon is always a desired trait. Some say, there are distillers who give their bottle a “fake tan”. Adding artificial caramel coloring is completely banned, however some still believe it is done.

Angel’s share: it’s the whiskey lost during the aging process, through the pores of wood barrels. Around 2 to 5 percent of the total volume of the whiskey evaporates into the ether and this is what they call “the Angel’s Share”.

White dog: it’s the whiskey before it goes into the barrel, also known as white whiskey since it hasn’t browned in a barrel yet.

Flipper: someone that resells bottles on secondary markets for profit. They are typically looked down upon purists.


So, are you ready to get your bourbon conversation to the next level?


Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.

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