I don\'t normally copy a post from another forum, but in this case I will do so. Over on BourbonEnthusiast we were discussing house flavors. I decided to then post the six sources of flavor in a separate post. I also decided that this is a subject that should be here in the Bourbon University so I am posting it here as well.
1) The Mash Bill: What type of grains and what percentage of each being used will effect the flavor of the final product.
2) Water: Spring water or RO water from the city? Each type will have an effect on the flavor and not just as a flavoring agent. Yeast like different minerals from the water so water source can help make the yeast healthy.
3) Fermentation: The yeast strain being used has a flavor impact because they each produce different congeners. The amount of time of fermentation also has an effect as different congeners are created in the yeasts older age.
4) Distillation: Column still and pot stil doubler or column still and thumper? Copper only or Stainless steel and copper? Height of Column and diameter of column can also change the flavor. What proof is the whiskey distilled in first and second distillation also can change flavor.
5) Maturation: What is the barrel entry proof? Iron clad or Masonry warehouses? Heated or unheated? How long do you age the barrels? Do you rotate the barrels? What kind of weather happened each year, these all effect flavor.
6) Bottling: What proof do you bottle at? What kind of filtering are you using? Do you filter at all?
These six sources of flavor can be varied to make different styles of bourbon from the same distillery.