The Color of Bourbon

Ever wonder where bourbon gets it's color? Morgan Murphy, author of Southern Living Bourbon & Bacon, gives the facts.


[MUSIC] Bourbon is brown because of the barrel. All bourbon starts off clear as water. The call this, actually, the White Dog. The White Dog, at the end of the distilling process, gets put into a charred white oak bourbon barrel. And that barrel is where bourbon picks up its brown amber color. These rich colors come from years of ageing in a barrel. Many, many summers of soaking into that charred wood. And winters of contracting back into the barrel. In fact a, a good bourbon will probably lose 50% of its volume over those years in the barrel. Nothing holds together the barrel, no glues, no nails, no resins. It's all held together with those steel hoops and tension. It's a very all-natural process.
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