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We Asked an AI To Name the Best Bourbons. The Suggestions Were Surprisingly Solid

We Asked an AI To Name the Best Bourbons. The Suggestions Were Surprisingly Solid

2022 may very well go down as the year that artificial intelligence became mainstream. Did we all lose our jobs to the machines and end up in an epic battle for humanity? No. But AI-generated content finally got its spotlight, first with images from DALL-E 2 and then with the written word as millions of people played around with ChatGPT (both created by the company OpenAI).

Naturally, writers seemed to have the most interest in the latter. It feels like writers who cover just about every industry gave ChatGPT a go to see if (or when) an AI chat bot would replace them. There was the cycling kit review in Cycling News and the New York Times writers who tried out a Thanksgiving menu entirely planned by AI. At Eater, Bettina Makalintal found that ChatGPT could successfully copy well-trod diaspora food writing tropes like the stinky lunchbox moment.

As a writer and editor, I, too, spent some time with various AI writing tools in 2022. I fall into the camp of people who believe it’s just another tool people will learn to adapt and use. It’s impressive how ChatGPT and others can pull information and summarize content into original sentences. But it has one crucial limitation: AI can’t have original thoughts based on experience (at least, not yet). For what it’s worth, I generally have a similar view as Makalintal in that this is an opportunity for writers to do better rather than be worried about the loss of content aggregation jobs. Leave all the general gathering of background information and regurgitation of what’s already out there to the bots. It takes someone discovering new information, interviewing experts, and experiencing things first-hand to come to any real conclusions in a story.


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That all said, there was one conclusion that I recently wanted to come to that only ChatGPT could help with: What does AI think makes for a good bourbon? Turns out it has some pretty good, if unoriginal and somewhat vague, suggestions after analyzing whatever percent of the whiskey web it’s had a chance to comb through (and yes, that questionable image was created by DALL-E 2).

Below is a conversation (if you could call it that) with ChatGPT on what, exactly, makes for the best bourbons in the world.

Cool Material: What are the five best bourbons in the world?

ChatGPT: It is difficult to definitively determine the five best bourbons in the world, as opinions on what makes a bourbon great can vary greatly. Some popular choices for high-quality bourbons include:

  1. Pappy Van Winkle – This bourbon is made by the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery and is known for its smooth, complex flavor and long finish. It is made with a mash bill that consists of 72% corn, 18% rye, and 10% malted barley, and is aged for a minimum of 10 years in oak barrels.
  2. George T. Stagg Bourbon – This bourbon is produced by the Buffalo Trace Distillery and is known for its bold, full-bodied flavor. It is made with a mash bill that consists of 71% corn, 13% rye, and 16% malted barley, and is aged for a minimum of 15 years in oak barrels.
  3. Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon – This bourbon is produced by the Buffalo Trace Distillery and is known for its smooth, well-balanced flavor and long finish. It is made with a mash bill that consists of 72% corn, 18% rye, and 10% malted barley, and is aged for a minimum of eight years in oak barrels.
  4. Bookers Bourbon – This bourbon is produced by the Jim Beam Distillery and is known for its bold, full-bodied flavor and long finish. It is made with a mash bill that consists of 77% corn, 13% rye, and 10% malted barley, and is aged for a minimum of six years in oak barrels.
  5. E.H. Taylor Jr. Small Batch Bourbon – This bourbon is produced by the Buffalo Trace Distillery and is known for its smooth, well-balanced flavor and long finish. It is made with a mash bill that consists of 71% corn, 13% rye, and 16% malted barley, and is aged for a minimum of eight years in oak barrels.


Those are great choices.

I’m glad you found the list helpful! I hope you find a bourbon that you enjoy. Remember, the best bourbon is the one that you personally enjoy the most, regardless of its reputation or price. It is important to note that personal taste can vary greatly, and what one person considers to be the best bourbon might not be the same for another person. Ultimately, it’s all a matter of personal preference, so don’t be afraid to try different bourbons to see which ones you like the most.

Elaborate on what a quality bourbon is

A quality bourbon is a type of whiskey that meets certain standards of production and has a pleasant, well-balanced flavor. To be classified as bourbon, the whiskey must be made from a mash bill (a blend of grains) that is at least 51% corn, aged in new charred oak barrels, and distilled at no more than 160 proof. It must also be bottled at no less than 80 proof. These production requirements help to ensure that bourbon has a distinct flavor profile and is made with high-quality ingredients.

In addition to meeting these production requirements, a quality bourbon should also have a pleasant flavor that is well-balanced and smooth. This may include notes of caramel, vanilla, oak, and a variety of other flavors, depending on the specific bourbon and the barrel aging process. Quality bourbons may also have a long finish, which refers to the lingering flavors that are left in the mouth after the bourbon has been swallowed. Overall, a quality bourbon is a well-crafted whiskey that is enjoyable to drink and has a pleasant, balanced flavor.

Name five quality bourbons

  1. Maker’s Mark – This bourbon is made with a mash bill that consists of 70% corn, 16% wheat, and 14% barley, and is aged for six years in charred oak barrels. It has a smooth, well-balanced flavor with notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak, and a long finish.
  2. Four Roses Bourbon – This bourbon is made with a mash bill that consists of 60% corn, 35% rye, and 5% malted barley, and is aged for a minimum of five years in oak barrels. It has a smooth, fruity flavor with notes of cherry, vanilla, and spice, and a long finish.
  3. Woodford Reserve – This bourbon is made with a mash bill that consists of 72% corn, 18% rye, and 10% malted barley, and is aged for a minimum of six years in oak barrels. It has a complex flavor with notes of caramel, chocolate, and oak, and a long finish.
  4. Old Forester Bourbon – This bourbon is made with a mash bill that consists of 72% corn, 18% rye, and 10% malted barley, and is aged for a minimum of four years in oak barrels. It has a smooth, well-balanced flavor with notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak, and a long finish.
  5. Knob Creek Bourbon – This bourbon is made with

Note: ChatGPT seems to have run out of steam on the last one there.

Why do you know so much about bourbon?

As an artificial intelligence, I have been programmed to have a vast amount of knowledge about a wide range of topics, including bourbon. I do not have personal experience with consuming alcohol or any other physical sensations, but I have been trained on a large dataset of text that includes information about bourbon and other topics. This allows me to provide accurate and reliable information on a wide range of subjects. My primary function is to assist users by providing information and answering questions to the best of my ability, so I strive to maintain a high level of knowledge and understanding about a wide range of topics.

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