The Ultimate 137+ Best Sleeve Tattoos in 2021
There’s no doubt about it, entire arm tattoo sleeves are being more widely accepted among society, as are intricate leg tattoos stretching from thigh to ankle.
The talent and creativity is remarkable but so is the time and amount of dedication you’ll need to take to the tattoo shop. Most of these designs have required twenty plus hours minimum to finish.
As a professional, covering a up otherwise visible tattoos are easy, and chances are you’ll be wearing a dress shirt at work anyways.
In this guide of the top 137 best sleeve tattoo ideas, we’ll show you a range of cool designs that are sure to impress and inspire as you prepare for a large ink commitment.
See more about - The Ultimate List of Tattoo Ideas
1. Half Sleeve Tattoos
See more about - Top 53 Half Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
Make no mistake. A half sleeve design can look just as good as a full tattoo sleeve if not better.
Some argue that this type of body art looks unfinished, but the truth of the matter is they can look like masterpieces.
Even if you’re not quite ready to go all-in and lay ink down from your shoulder to your wrist, there’s nothing to worry about.
Understand that a half sleeve tattoo can be quite handy in terms of concealment. If you’re not in a creative workplace environment, you might run into unwanted artwork stigma when co-workers, clients, and even your boss glance down at your forearms.
2. Sleeve Traditional Tattoos
See more about - Top 59 Traditional Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
Entire arm traditional sleeve tattoos are some of the first incarnations of body art in existence, and they remain among the best large designs even after several centuries.
American traditional tattoos defy modern pragmatism with their uncanny perception of craftsmanship. Most traditional sleeve tattoos incorporate a dynamic range of imagery that is tied together only by the authoritative art style.
A often takes a series of unconnected ideas then use filler options or negative space to round out the rest of the piece.
3. Sleeve Tattoos for Men
See more about - Top 67 Sleeve Tattoo Ideas for Men
Unique have quickly turned into some of contemporary ‘s most sought after designs. have been definitively transformed in the last decade; they regularly feature a conglomerate of art styles that include optical illusions, sacred geometry, meta curiosities or .
Modern technology helps pave the path towards inventive unique , where a can meld any into a cohesive and arresting piece of . ideas. This innovations is especially visible in the realm of
4. Sleeve Tattoo Ideas for Women
See more about - Top 61 Sleeve Tattoo Ideas for Women
With gender stereotypes changing in the world of , for women are rapidly becoming a popular application where once only guys would commit to a whole limb design.
From traditional designs. to contemporary new wave, and black and gray classics, women’s is providing fantastic ideas and technical choices in
The change in mindset is indicative of changes across the wider industry in the last decade or so – there’s nothing too big, too difficult, too weird, or too expensive for any individual looking for quality designs regardless of sex or gender.
5. Japanese Sleeve Tattoos
See more about - Top 121 Japanese Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
There’s no denying the artistic appeal of Japanese with its beautiful colors, outstanding linework designs, deep meanings, and larger than life motifs.
The most heavily adopted Japanese are designs. In the Japanese lexicon, there are a few variations, all designed with being hidden in mind.
A nagasode is a full Japanese arm , the gobu is a on the running to just above the elbow, and the shichibusode features 7/10 sleeves, as if the has been pulled up to mid .
6. Flower Sleeve Tattoos
See more about - Top 49 Flower Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
tattoos are some of the most innovative and interesting designs around. New ideas are getting tested daily by artists and collectors that value the beauty of the natural world.
In contemporary concepts provide large scale and shapely opportunities to test out a range of ideas, from abstract watercolor through to fine detailed mandala patterns, or featuring and . , the popularity of
7. Quarter Sleeve Tattoos
See more about - Top 71 Quarter Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
These smaller tattoos designs start along the upper arm the and stop at the mid bicep, or they can begin at the wrist and end at the middle of the forearm.
Aside from the smaller size what makes a quarter sleeve tattoo idea truly unique is their discreet nature. You still get to enjoy the perks of ink that wraps its way around your arm with a full background, alongside the perks of easily being able to cover them up with clothing when the need or mood arises.
Of course, as time progresses you can always add more ink to your arm. Not to mention, you can stretch out your budget further too and slowly finance the tattoo of your dreams over a longer period of time.
8. American Flag Sleeve Tattoos
See more about - Top 89 American Flag Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
American flag are symbols of patriotism and belief in the American way. Along with the bald eagle, and to some the Declaration of Independence, there are no greater symbols of liberty.
For some men and women, highly with the American flag are emblems of military service, or of selflessness and sacrifice that comes with being a part of the red, white, and blue.
Others admire the symbol as simply a tribute to their homeland and country – a visual reminder of what the United States means to them.
9. Rose Sleeve Tattoos
See more about - Top 61 Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
A rose tattoo is often a solitary bloom or even bunch of bound flowers rendered with simplicity or fine detail.
But they can also be transcendentally cool designs wrought in any style by a skilled tattoo artist looking to flex their creativity and a tattoo machine’s capabilities on large scale floral tattoos.
Rose sleeve tattoos are increasingly popular, as art looks to mirror nature with realism tattoos, beautiful colors and snaking vines, intensely shaded shifts between black and gray, or even a group of vivid flowers running down a limb in riotous color.
10. Tribal Sleeve Tattoos
See more about - Top 90 Tribal Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
Many historians believe that tribal sleeve tattoos were the first ink-based forms of body art in existence.
The intricate linework is typically meant to amplify the appearance of a brawny exterior. Buff arms will thrive by having their muscular contours enhanced by tribal sleeve tattoos.
Tribal groups often implement tribal tattoo as a way to celebrate maturity or special occasions. This symbolic connotation is still intact to this day, and the flesh engravings possess more impact than ever before in tattoo art.
11. Geometric Sleeve Design
See more about - Top 47 Geometric Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
Popular belief holds that universal synchronicity consists of mathematical constants that make up the blueprint of life.
The ancient Egyptians and Greeks, as well as East Indian scholars, all revered sacred geometry as a visual vessel through which to reflect on the soul’s education. Since then, geometric creations have been celebrated in all forms of art, including tattoo.
From simple stacked 2-D shapes of varying sizes to more complicated overlapping designs with hidden messages, there is no shortage of inspiring geometric work to choose from.
Full geometric arm sleeve tattoo design requires a great deal of time and commitment for both the tattoo artist and client, but the rewards are infinite.
12. Half Sleeve Tattoos for Women
See more about - Top 47 Best Sleeve Tattoos for Women
Half sleeve tattoo designs are becoming an increasingly utilized form of body art for women, who traditionally opt for restrained sized pieces in favor of crisply precise ink.
The explosion in tattoo designs for women over the past decade has thankfully broadened previous stereotypical views of design styles and placement, which are now some of the tattoo world’s most innovative.
Heart tattoos, roses, and butterflies will always remain popular, but women are now just as likely to rock a badass Biggie Smalls tribute piece and do it with enjoyable creativity.
13. Tattoo Sleeve Filler
See more about - Top 49 Sleeve Tattoo Filler Ideas
There are a range of ways to complete a complex and interesting sleeve tattoo on your arm or leg.
The most overlooked yet crucial element is tattoo filler, the supporting design elements which complement the focal point of the tattoo to help it blend and fit to the entire limb.
14. Tree Sleeve Tattoos
See more about - Top 75 Tree Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
Tree sleeve tattoos can range from simplistic celebrations of nature to hauntingly rich landscapes. The roots may also make an alluring cameo, so the trunk should not be overlooked when organizing a tree sleeve tattoo design.
The incorporation of silhouettes is a predominant method for those who enjoy tree sleeve tattoos, and the popularity of this approach stems from a desire to utilize black ink instead of green.
To make the shadowy effect complete, many guys add a source of light like the sun or moon. For a timeless mystique, nighttime is implemented far more often than daytime in this regard.
15. Celtic Sleeve Tattoos
See more about - Top 43 Celtic Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
Celtic sleeve tattoos are enchanting emblems that supply a layer of old-school chic to modern body art.
Every Celtic sleeve tattoo tells an original story that instantly compels onlookers.
The essence of intrigue is derived from ancient roots, and Celtic heritage is full of commanding symbolism. Interwoven knots are a central theme from both visual and spiritual standpoints.
See more about - Top 63 Best Lion Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
Lions have been a symbol of bravery and physical power for centuries. The sheer force of a lion alone is striking, but what sets lions apart from the other animals of the savanna is their aloofness.
Lions are not just strong – A lion denotes not just power, but command and a regal persona.
This royal authority in combination with power makes the lion the king of all animals. A lion tattoo sleeve is a good choice because it gives the tattoo artist enough space to create a highly detailed portrait or layered scene, and it will also be highly visible.
17. Blackout Sleeve Tattoos
See more about - Top 59 Blackout Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
One of the latest fashions in is the blackout .
Many a gets a blackout to cover up drunken mistakes, but many more just love the look.
The blackout often makes exceptional use of negative space to add a completely new dimension to . Get a blackout and join the movement.
18. Forest Sleeve Tattoos
See more about - Top 63 Forest Sleeve Tattoos Ideas
Humans are endlessly fascinated by the forest and its mystery – it makes for wide ranging, interesting, and deeply personal tattoos.
There is great power in unspoiled nature, a harmony of the different creatures and plants playing their roles, that the forest embodies.
We are also connected to the forest through vacations, adventure, animals and plants, and maybe even the picturesque scenery we can view from our homes.
19. Octopus Sleeve Tattoos
See more about - 50 Octopus Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
The octopus shares similar attributes to water with its fluidity, emotion and spirit.The octopus sleeve tattoo embraces unique traits of the beast that are also significant to human beings.
From their flexibility, natural intelligence and creativity, octopus sleeves are every tattoo enthusiast’s dream design.
Many collectors get an octopus sleeve to remind themselves that through different situations in life, it’s often best to be flexible and use intellect to solve problems. The octopus also has a quick wit and is mysterious in its own way, which are traits that can serve well in many of life’s situations.
20. Skull Sleeve Tattoos
See more about - 50 Skull Sleeve Tattoos
Skull designs will always be a proud staple of the body art universe. One of the best ways to flaunt this appealingly macabre imagery is through the compelling nature of skull sleeve tattoos.
While tattoos have evolved dramatically since their heyday, the skull still persists into modern times and will always remain a central tattoo design idea.
21. Music Sleeve Tattoos
See more about - 60 Music Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
A musical artist or icon, dancing notes across scrolling sheet music, or even the lyrics of your favorite song inked on your arm is not only a conversation piece, it’s a perpetual reminder of what you’re uniquely and artistically passionate about.
Just as there’s no one way to appreciate music, there are tattoo styles for everybody, whether you prefer slight and simple or bold and bright.
Much like a symphony composed using dozens of versatile instruments, a tattoo of your favorite influential artists or even a simple blend of individual notes and keys from your favorite songs is art.
22. Jesus Sleeve Tattoos
See more about - 51 Jesus Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
Highlight your connection to a higher authority with a Jesus . The Jesus design full arm sheaths your body in a work of art and faith, and is a staple in .
This arm . can emphasize the central aspects of Christ, from Great King to Good Shepherd. Your arm can be the grand reveal of powerful gospel with a Jesus
More than any other , Jesus sleeves can reveal a story of faith from start to finish.
23. Leg Sleeve Tattoos
See more about - Top 85 Leg Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
Sleeves are big steps in any ‘s quest for full coverage, and full designs are just as important as those placed on the arms.
Any number of concepts and designs can be utilized and ideas are as varied and diverse as the people that wear them.
Some people choose a hodge-podge approach where a series of ideas. This approach works particularly well for American traditional work. are tied together by use of filler tattoos, or breaking up elements into thigh, hamstring, shin, and calf
Other people use a more holistic strategy that uses the entire as a large canvas for a single .
Sleeve Tattoo FAQs
There is no fixed price for a full sleeve tattoo. The hourly rate of tattoo artists for large scale pieces’ average at about $100, depending on the skill and tenure of the artist, size of the tattoo, the complexity of the design and the length of time to execute the art work.
A full sleeve tattoo may take about 10-15 hours depending on the design, so a full sleeve tattoo may cost from $1,000 to $1,500. But if there are more colors involve and the level of intricacy is high, cost can run up to $7,000.
There are celebrity tattoo artists whose waitlist is too long that it’s almost impossible to get an appointment. Scott Campbell is one of the most sought after at $2,000 per. Kat Von D at $220 per hour. Bangbang, the tattoo artist from New York whose client list include Justin Bieber and NBA superstar, Lebron James, his rate starts at $500. Such that high end artists can cost you from $3,300 to $30,000 for sleeve ink work.
When getting a large piece, it’s imperative to map out a plan. Consider:
- Set your budget
- Choose a concept and style
- Choose an artist
- Work out a price (including tips)
- Make your booking
- Collaborate or control the design, but communicate thoroughly
- Work out a session timeline
A full sleeve tattoo is a major commitment and investment. It is imperative to get into a well mapped out plan on how to execute the desire to be inked on the entire length of the arm. This will prevent hitches along the way.
Choose a concept and style. Brainstorm with your artist. Collaborate on how you want to go about getting a large piece of art work into your arm. Will the design be entirely up to the artist, or will the majority of the input be coming from you?
There is a huge selection of designs to browse through on line. Instagram is a good place to start and check on the portfolios of several tattoo artists. Talk to friends who have done it. Get their insights. Experience is a good teacher, it does not have be your own though.
Weed out the ones that do not fit in your vision, your personality and style. Focus on your central theme, keep it simple, then slowly piece it together. Whether you want a cohesive collection of tattoos or one organic piece ensure that it’s ink work which you and your artist can be proud of.
Then choose the length of the tattoo. Do you want a full sleeve tattoo or half? Do you want to start from the upper side of the arm or leg tattoo going down, or the other way around? There are other who choose quarter sized segments then piece it together as a large scale piece.
Time and budget are also important factors to consider. How much time are you willing to give for this endeavor? And, since rates of the tattoo artists are based on an hourly fee, sharpen your negotiation skills and keep it realistic and within your budget range.
Plotting a tedious timeline for tattooing requires patience, especially for large scale pieces. This process can take months or years. Executing the outline can take a single session. Once it’s done, the next sessions will solely be about shading, color and background. Subsequent sessions are spaced out 4 weeks apart depending on the healing process and availability of the artist. Whatever you decide on, just make sure you and your artist are calibrated on the execution of your plan.
If your arm is still a blank canvass, the shoulder is a good place to start. Then work your way downwards then fill it in. There are other artists and customers, who prefer to start the other way around, from the wrist going up. Essentially it is the same principle. By starting on end, the rest of the graphics can be mapped out properly. Discuss a flow plan with your artist.
Do you want to showcase your left or right arm? Do you want your artwork on dominant arm or on the arm you use to shake your hands with? If you drive, sun exposure of the left arm might be an issue not unless you intend to cover it or intend not to open the window anyway.
An upper arm half sleeve piece can take 8 hours minimum, with a more reasonable estimate being in the 12-15 hour bracket for work using complex lines, color and shading.
Some leg half sleeve tattoos on the thigh can reach as high as 20 hours, especially if doing Japanese style Irezumi or animal realism tattoo style.
With heavily detailed heavily black ink being part of many rights of passage in Polynesian tribal tattoos, they are generally the most expensive tattoos created in the half sleeve style due to the technical application needed by the artist to execute the tattoo idea.
The elements are greatly important for filling out and supporting the major theme of the large and complex Japanese tattoo designs. This is known as Gakoubori. Most commonly used elements:
- Waves and water
- Rocks and earth
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The 10 Best Grilling Tools for Your Summer BBQ
If you want to be a grill master, you need the right tools for the job. While having a top-quality grill is obviously vital, there are many other things you need to make your life at the grill as easy as possible.
There are plenty of tools out there that will enhance the flavor of your food and allow you to cook your meat and veggies to perfection. We’ve looked at a range of them from meat thermometers and grilling gloves to cedar planks and grill baskets.
While all these tools are different, they’re all great ways to enhance your grilling experience. We’ve searched high and low to come up with 10 that you’ll love. All you need to do is read on and choose the best grilling tools for you. Let’s get started!
1. Kizen Digital Meat Thermometers for Cooking
When cooking on the grill, it can be easy to be a little nervous about whether or not your meat is ready. With this Kizen meat thermometer, you can put those fears to bed and know exactly when your meat is done.
The reading on this thermometer only takes around three seconds, so you’re not going to be waiting around for your results. It’s waterproof and durable. This is a tool you’ll be using time and time again.
It’s versatile too. Thermometers are often required for beverage and candy making, among other things. This tool is perfect for them all and will give you readings to a very high level of accuracy.
It will automatically turn on/off when you take out the prong and there is also a temperature guide written on it. It’s very easy to use and the magnet and handle hole also makes it simple to store.
2. Alpha Grillers Heavy Duty BBQ Grilling Tools Set
You can’t become a grilling master without having a high-quality set of grilling tools. While you can buy them all separately, it makes sense to get a set such as this. It’s brilliant and comes with a spatula, fork, basting brush, and tongs.
All of them are made out of thick steel so you don’t need to worry about them succumbing to the heat. They’re also fitted with silicone grips which keep your skin safe and the tools firmly in your hand.
Their design also makes them very simple to use, including the lockable tongs that allow them to stay compact when not in use. Added to this, all four of the tools have hooks for easy storage.
One downside of grilling tools is needing to clean them after use. With this set, that won’t be an issue. Not only are they easy to wipe down, but they are also dishwasher safe. This is perfect for anyone needing a brilliant set of essential grilling tools.
3. GEEKHOM Grilling Gloves
Your hands are going to be near very hot pieces of metal and you also have the risk of fat spitting onto your skin. For those reasons, it makes sense to invest in a pair of high-quality grilling gloves.
These are made of silicone which can cope with very high heat of up to 446F. On the inside is soft cotton, making the gloves very easy to wear. The material is breathable, so you won’t need to worry about your hands sweating.
The safety of these gloves doesn’t stop at the high-temperature resistance. They also cover your wrists and have a non-slip surface, allowing you to securely grip whatever you’re holding.
Usability is also exceptional as the gloves are non-toxic and machine washable. Five colors are also available, so you can pick ones that suit your style. If you want to grill in safety and comfort, these gloves are a must.
4. Kona 360 Clean Grill Brush
You’ve cooked all your food, everyone’s loved it, and you’ve had a fantastic day. You then look down at your grill and your heart sinks. You know that it’s going to take a long time to clean and you simply can’t be bothered.
If that sounds like you then you need to get the Kona 360 Clean Grill Brush. It will drastically cut down the time you need to clean your grill. It takes minimum effort and you won’t have that dreaded feeling after you’ve finished cooking.
A great aspect of this brush is that it can be used on all grill types. The three-pronged brush allows you to clean three times faster than most other models. It’s also very easy to use with the textured finger grip and 18” handle.
Impressively, the durability is also very high here. You get a limited five year warranty which is no surprise due to its solid construction. It’s going to last for a long time and you’ll enjoy that super-quick clean time and time again.
5. Primal Grilling Premium Cedar Planks For Grilling
For those that want a unique way of cooking their food, using cedar planks is a brilliant way to do it. All you need to do is soak them in water and then grill away. It results in food that is full of moisture and flavor.
These planks are quite thick which means they don’t burn easily at all. You can use them repeatedly before they become too charred to use. They come in a pack of five, which is going to last a very long time.
The natural cedar doesn’t contain any chemicals and is a very natural way of cooking food. It’s particularly good for fish but the planks will also enhance the moisture and taste of any meat, along with any veggies you want to cook.
When you’re finished using your planks, you can pop them in the drawstring bag provided and use them again whenever you want. You’ll love the results and if you’ve never done it before, you should definitely give it a try.
See more about - The 10 Best BBQ Grills For Your Summer Cookout
6. The Seasoned Griller Store Professional Grade Stainless Steel Grill Basket
While we love grilling, there’s no doubt that it can get messy. Veggies can also be very difficult to cook as they are hard to move around with your grilling tools and can easily fall between the gaps.
An ideal solution is to get this grilling basket from The Seasoned Griller. It’s a great way to keep all your cooking contained while heating it perfectly. The holes are big enough to allow the heat in without letting any food out.
It’s made of stainless steel and can be used on almost any grill. It is worth double-checking the dimensions to make sure it’s a good fit for your model. It’s not too big, so it shouldn’t be an issue. While it’s great for vegetables, you can cook anything with this and it makes it exceptionally easy. It saves cleaning your grill and prevents any lost food. It’s a great addition to your BBQ.
7. Victoria Cast Iron Grill Press
When it comes to pressing down your meat, most people will use the back of a spatula. It’s not what it’s designed for and isn’t great for the task. Instead, you should get a cast iron grill press.
It will help to reduce cooking time while also adding excellent flavor to your food. This model is seasoned with flaxseed oil to produce great results. It’s the ideal tool for searing or flattening meat.
It’s also simple to use, thanks to its excellent design. It has a removable cool-touch wood handle along with a textured bottom for a secure hold. It can be used for a wide variety of different meats and is ideal to have while grilling.
8. OXO Good Grips Meat Shredding Claws
Shredded meat can add an extra dimension to your food in both texture and taste. It works brilliantly with pork but you can also get wonderful results with the likes of chicken and beef.
When it comes to shredding meat, most people try to do it with regular forks, which can be extremely difficult. With these meat shredding claws, you’ll find the task to be incredibly easy.
The long handles and interlocking teeth mean that the task will get completed in no time at all. The grips are also comfortable and have a high level of heat resistance. If you want delicious shredded meat, then there’s no better tool than this.
9. Ofargo Plastic Marinade Injector
Adding flavor to your meat can be difficult. One method is to pierce holes into it with a fork or knife and try to rub marinade or seasoning in. The problem with this is that it’s not very efficient and produces mediocre results. With a marinade injector, you can put that flavor directly into the meat. The difference in results is huge.
You’ll find the meat to be much tastier and the flavor to be much more consistent throughout the meat. This injector is perfect for the job. It’s lightweight and compact so you can just place it on your shelf next to the grill, ready to go. It can easily be used one-handed and is food-safe too.
There are two different needles, one for sauce and another for liquid. It’s a great addition to your grill and takes the flavor to another level.
10. Hudson Durable Goods - Professional Grade Chef Apron
Unless you want clothes that are full of grease, food splashes, and charcoal stains, it’s a good idea to get an apron. This one comes in six different colors and they all look stylish. They’re made from heavyweight cotton that is very tough while still being comfortable to wear. Once you’ve finished using it, then you can throw it in the washing machine before using it again.
There are some great features here, such as the back straps which will prevent any neck pain. There are also four pockets and a towel look, for easy use. It’s easily adjustable and can be taken off quickly with the back buckle.
The versatile apron can be used for a lot more grilling and can be used time and time again. The quality is excellent throughout and most importantly. It’ll keep you and your clothes protected.
See more about - The 8 Best Aprons For Men Who Love To Cook
Grilling Tools FAQs
At a very basic level, you definitely need a spatula, fork, and tongs. After that, it depends on what you’re cooking and how you want it to be cooked. For safety, an apron and gloves are essential whereas other tools such as cedar planks are a great luxury extra.
Grilling tools need to cope with a high level of heat and need to keep you protected from that heat. They should also be comfortable and allow you to grill with ease. Once they tick those boxes, it’s all about how they make your life easier or improve the taste of your food.
This is difficult to answer as there is a vast range of brands that make a wide array of high-quality grilling tools. We think it’s more important to focus on the quality of the product if the tool meets your needs and the customer reviews. All the tools we looked at here get our seal of approval.
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The Difference Between Bourbon and Whiskey
The difference between bourbon and whiskey is as clear as mud when you’re trying to choose between brands and bottles. Bourbon needs to be American-made, aged in oak for four years, and have at least a 51% mash bill, while other American Whiskeys are made using wheat and/or rye or utilize other variations in the distillation process.
Whiskey was a term first employed during the late 1800s to differentiate Irish Whiskey and American liquor from Scotch whisky and Canadian whisky (which everyone called rye). The in-vogue Japanese whisky also went with the Scotch spelling (click here for the full breakdown of whisky versus whiskey).
The following article defines what mash bill is needed to make bourbon, but also identifies the other major American whiskey styles, bottled-in-bond, Tennessee whiskey, and single malt varieties that are beginning to become more prevalent in the US.
What Makes a Liquor Bourbon?
A frequent refrain that can be heard in Kentucky is: “Not every whiskey is a bourbon, but every bourbon is a whiskey.” To be called bourbon:
The liquor needs to be crafted from at least a 51% corn fermented grain mash bill that has been stored in charred oak barrels for four years. The spirit must have been distilled within the United States.
95% of the bourbon whiskey bottled in the U.S. is distilled in the state of Kentucky.
Is All Bourbon From Kentucky?
Kentucky is considered bourbon country, and your home bar is most likely to be stocked with expressions from the Bluegrass state. The majority of bourbon has been distilled in Kentucky since American whiskey production was drawn from the corn-producing farms of the 1700s.
Despite this, other regions – such as Tennessee, Colorado, California, and even New York – are beginning to craft and/or bottle amazing bourbon expressions. Just like with peat and barley malt for Irish Whiskey and single malt and blended Scotch in the British Isles, your liquor of choice comes from the source material.
Finding the best Kentucky bourbon is like finding the best single malt Scotch – it’s entirely subjective and based on a wide variety of factors including flavor, taste, aroma, price, and accessibility.
See more about - The Top 10 Best Kentucky Bourbon Brands To Try In 2021
Wheated bourbons are those made with a large proportion of the mash bills secondary grain being wheat, in addition to the mandated 51% minimum corn. Wheat as the secondary grain provides subtlety and contrast, adding a creaminess and gradual sweetness to the spirit than that derived from the majority corn, malted barley, or rye recipe.
Wheat is also useful during oak barrel aging, with a tendency to age much better than many traditional bourbons (up to around the 20 year mark).
Best choice: Maker’s 46 Wheated Bourbon
Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon and Whiskey
The Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 was a set of legal regulations created by the U.S. Government to standardize and authenticate the quality of American distilled alcoholic beverages, especially bourbon, wheat, and rye whiskey.
Prior to the time the Bottled-in-Bond Act was legislated, the American whiskey market was being decimated by inferior quality, unregulated booze. Bottled-in-bond is a whiskey label that adheres to a set of legal regulations contained in the United States government’s Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits.
The regulatory jargon breaks down as follows:
- The whiskey must be the product of a single distillation season
- The distilled spirit must be made by one distiller at one distillery
- The distilled spirit must be at least four years old
- It must be stored and aged in government bonded warehouses
- The whiskey must also be at least 100 proof (50% ABV)
- Only water may be added to the mash bill
If you purchase a bourbon whiskey or rye labeled bottled-in-bond the regulations from the Act must be met.
Best choice: New Riff Straight Bourbon Whiskey
American Rye Whiskey
For a spirit to call itself American rye whiskey, the grain mash must be made up of at least 51% actual malted rye cereal grain.
Certified rye whiskey’s initial alcohol content can’t be higher than 160 proof, or roughly 80% alcohol before it’s distilled down and eventually bottled.
Aside from the straight rye whiskey, you’ll find some rye mash bills filled out with brown sugar, corn, or malted barley, or have the wooden barrel finish in wine, rum, or brandy casks to add another flavor dimension.
Best choice: WhistlePig Rye 10 Year
American Single Malt Whiskey
Single malt and blended whiskey expressions made from malted barley are becoming more popular craft spirits in the U.S.
With Scotch whisky at its highest popularity level of all time and the emergence of Japanese whisky as a power player in the billion-dollar market for blended malt whisky, there’s an opportunity for local distillers to make quality single malt. While it lacks the cultural cachet of Scotch, American malt whisky is meticulously crafted and caters well to craft distillation.
Best choice: Westward American Single Malt
There’s a simple, yet important distinction between Kentucky bourbon and Tennessee whiskey which makes a huge impact on the taste and what goes on the label. The crucial difference is that Tennessee whiskey is filtered through sugar maple charcoal as part of the Lincoln County Process, a charcoal filtration method in which fresh whiskey passes through charcoal chips and is then put in oak casks for maturation.
For a whiskey to attain the Tennessee label, it must go through the charcoal mellowing stage, in the state of Tennessee.
Best choice: Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey
To be called bourbon, your whiskey needs to be distilled in America for a minimum of four years in oak barrels, with a mash bill of at least 51% corn. If it’s predominantly rye, wheat, or malt grain-based, then by law the spirit can’t be called bourbon.
Figuring out what constitutes whisky or whiskey is a lot simpler than in the past when nobody really knew what was going on. The simplest way to remember is If the country of origin has an “e” in it, then spell it whiskey. See, clear as mud!
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The 10 Best Jordans of All Time
Even if you are not a sneakerhead and don’t know all the nitty-gritty details of every pair of kicks on the market, you’re sure to recognize a pair of Jordans when you see them. Or not. I can spot a pair from a mile away; however, I have a friend that doesn’t know the difference between a pair of Nike Jordans and a pair of Adidas Gazelles, which is upsetting, but I digress…
One of the most classic and iconic sneaker styles ever, Jordans have been around for over 30 years and continue to be a part of rare and exclusive collaborations, making them a collector’s dream, with some pairs going for $12k or more. So get your wallet and credit cards out because you may just max them out as you go through this list.
1. Jordan 1 Retro Chicago (2015)
Undoubtedly the most popular style and colorway of all time as far as Jordan’s go. Last released in 2015, this iconic high-top silhouette has become the staple for street ballers, basketball fans, and sneakerheads alike. Since the airing of The Last Dance, the white/varsity red-black Chicago colorway has skyrocketed in popularity, but for the right price you can still get your hands on a pair.
2. Jordan 3 Retro Black Cement (2018)
To celebrate Mr. Jordan’s 55th birthday in 2018, the Jordan 3 Retro emblazoned sneakers feature the original “Nike Air” branding on the black cement for the first time since 2001. This mid-top kick has a black-based leather upper with cement grey, fire red, and white accents. Finished off by the iconic elephant print detailing, it’s one of the most iconic Jordan’s around.
3. Jordan 6 Retro Black Infrared (2019)
The Air Jordan 6 Retro “Infrared” is a 2019 re-release of the OG colorway. The shoe’s black nubuck upper includes a reflective 3M layer with perforations throughout for breathability. The heel, tongue, and lock sport Infrared accents, with the color also featured on the signature midsole detailing. Visible Air in the heel provides cushioning, while the translucent sections continue down onto the outsole for traction.
4. Jordan 1 Retro High OG Shadow 2.0
This very rare OG colorway has hit shelves only three times in the 30 year history of Jordans, making these a must-own for any AJ1 collector. The shoe features a black and grey leather upper with original “Nike Air” branding on the tongue tag and insoles, along with a white midsole and black outsole. It should be noted that the grey leather panels found on the “Shadow 2.0” are lighter in color than the original grey leather on the first “Shadow.”
5. Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Shattered Backboard
Released in 2015, the “Shattered Backboard” Air Jordan 1 High is inspired by a 1985 exhibition game in Italy in which Michael Jordan broke the glass backboard after a dunk. Constructed in high-quality tumbled leather in the original high top silhouette, the orange, black, and white colorway is taken from the team uniform MJ wore during the game and modeled after the OG “Black Toe” AJ1 color block. Highly limited upon its initial release, the “Shattered Backboard” Air Jordan 1 disappeared quickly and is now one of the most sought after pairs of not just Jordans, but of sneakers, in general.
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6. Air Jordan 1 Retro Royal (2017)
An original colorway of Michael Jordan’s first signature shoe, this 2017 re-release receives an upgrade in regards to the quality of materials used and its shape, which is truer to the actual 1985 release. The Varsity Royal blue paneling appears in tumbled leather on the toe box, Swooshes, heel, and ankle.
Black premium leather covers the remainder of the upper to complete the classic color blocking. A clean, white midsole balances out the shoe, maintaining the iconic motif along with the Varsity Royal outsole.
7. Jordan 13 Retro Low Chutney
Putting a spin on the iconic Jordan 13 design, Tinker Hatfield designed the Chutney as a stand out in the Air Jordan family. And stand out they do.
The difference between this chutney design and a traditional 13 lies in the cut. These retros replace the classic high top style with a mid top and feature a tan suede upper.
8. Jordan 1 Retro High Dior
If you happen to have $10k-12k burning a hole in your pocket then here is a place for you to spend it. One of the most highly anticipated launches, The Dior x Air Jordan 1 High sneakers are the first collaboration between the luxury brand and sneaker giant.
Featuring a premium white leather upper with wolf grey overlays and the classic Dior logo on the swoosh, this version of the iconic high-top silhouette is a stand-out. The collar has also been altered, stamped with a special “Air Dior” logo.
9. Air Jordan 1 Retro High Rust Pink
Again, if you happen to have $6+ grand just waiting to be spent, first, what do you do for a living, if I may ask, and second, please buy these shoes. These Jordan 1 Retro High Rust Pink kicks were released in early 2017, adding a coral pink “Rust Pink” hue to the two-tone color blocking previously seen on other classic AJ1 silhouettes.
The black paneling features a premium tumbled leather construction, while the midsole appears in white.
10. Air Jordan 5 Retro SP PS “Off-White - Sail
Every sneakerhead remembers when Nike teamed up with Virgil Abloh for the now iconic “The Ten” collection. Abloh added a second colorway to his Jordan 5 collaboration with the Jordan 5 Retro High “Off-White Sail.” This release pays homage to the first pair of Jordans that Virgil ever owned, the Air Jordan 5.
In signature fashion, Virgil has reimagined this classic silhouette with his own recognizable style. This Jordan 5 consists of a sail textile mesh upper with translucent netted panels and circular window inserts throughout the shoe. 3M reflective tongues, fire red Jordan branding, and an aged translucent outsole completes the design.
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