Bourbon whiskey

Bourbon whiskey /bɜːrbən/ is a type of American whiskey, a barrel-aged distilled spirit made primarily from corn. The name ultimately derives from the French Bourbon dynasty, although the precise inspiration for the whiskey's name is uncertain; contenders include Bourbon County in Kentucky and Bourbon Street in New Orleans, both of which are named after the dynasty.[1] Bourbon has been distilled since the 18th century.[2] The use of the term "bourbon" for the whiskey has been traced to the 1820s, with consistent use beginning in Kentucky in the 1870s.[1] Although bourbon may be made anywhere in the United States, it is strongly associated with the American South and with Kentucky in particular. As of 2014, distillers' wholesale market revenue for bourbon sold within the U.S. was about $2.7 billion, and bourbon made up about two-thirds of the $1.6 billion of U.S. exports of distilled spirits.[3][4]

It was recognized in 1964 by the United States Congress as a "distinctive product of the United States". Bourbon sold in the United States must be produced in America from at least 51% corn and stored in a new container of charred oak.[5]

A selection of Bourbons and Tennessee whiskeys offered at a liquor store in Decatur, Georgia
Evan Williams
Evan Williams bourbon whiskey


Beam Rack House
American white oak barrels filled with new bourbon whiskey rest in a rack house, giving bourbon its well-known copper color

Distilling was most likely brought to present-day Kentucky in the late 18th century by Scots, Scots-Irish, and other settlers (including English, Irish, Welsh, German, and French) who began to farm the area in earnest. The origin of bourbon as a distinct form of whiskey is not well documented. There are many conflicting legends and claims, some more credible than others.

For example, the invention of bourbon is often attributed to Elijah Craig, a Baptist minister and distiller credited with many Kentucky firsts (e.g., fulling mill, paper mill, ropewalk) who is said to have been the first to age the product in charred oak casks, a process that gives bourbon its reddish color and distinctive taste.[6] Across the county line in Bourbon County, an early distiller named Jacob Spears is credited with being the first to label his product as Bourbon whiskey.

Although still popular and often repeated, the Craig legend is apocryphal. Similarly, the Spears story is a local favorite but is rarely repeated outside the county. There likely was no single "inventor" of bourbon, which developed into its present form in the late 19th century. Essentially, any type of grain can be used to make whiskey, and the practice of aging whiskey and charring the barrels for better flavor had been known in Europe for centuries.[7] The late date of the Bourbon County etymology has led Louisville historian Michael Veach to dispute its authenticity. He proposes the whiskey was named after Bourbon Street in New Orleans, a major port where shipments of Kentucky whiskey sold well as a cheaper alternative to French cognac.[1]

Another proposed origin of the name is the association with the geographic area known as Old Bourbon, consisting of the original Bourbon County in Virginia organized in 1785. This region included much of today's Eastern Kentucky, including 34 of the modern counties.[8] It included the current Bourbon County in Kentucky, which became a county when Kentucky separated from Virginia as a new state in 1792.[9][10][11]

When American pioneers pushed west of the Allegheny Mountains following the American Revolution, the first counties they founded covered vast regions. One of these original, huge counties was Bourbon, established in 1785 and named after the French royal family. While this vast county was being carved into many smaller ones, early in the 19th century, many people continued to call the region Old Bourbon. Located within Old Bourbon was the principal port on the Ohio River, Maysville, Kentucky, from which whiskey and other products were shipped. "Old Bourbon" was stencilled on the barrels to indicate their port of origin. Old Bourbon whiskey was different because it was the first corn whiskey most people had ever tasted. In time, bourbon became the name for any corn-based whiskey.[11]

Although many distilleries operated in Bourbon County historically, no distilleries operated there between 1919, when Prohibition began in Kentucky, and late 2014, when a small distillery opened – a period of 95 years.[12][13] Prohibition was devastating to the bourbon industry. With the ratification of the 18th amendment in 1919, all distilleries were forced to stop operating, although a few were granted permits to bottle existing stocks of medicinal whiskey. Later, a few were allowed to resume production when the stocks ran out. Distilleries that were granted permits to produce or bottle medicinal whiskey included Brown-Forman, Frankfort Distillery, James Thompson and Brothers, American Medical Spirits, the Schenley Distillery (modern-day Buffalo Trace Distillery), and the A. Ph. Stitzel Distillery.[14]

A refinement often dubiously[15] credited to James C. Crow is the sour mash process, which conditions each new fermentation with some amount of spent mash. Spent mash is also known as spent beer, distillers' spent grain, stillage, and slop or feed mash, so named because it is used as animal feed. The acid introduced when using the sour mash controls the growth of bacteria that could taint the whiskey and creates a proper pH balance for the yeast to work.

A concurrent resolution adopted by the United States Congress in 1964 declared bourbon to be a "distinctive product of the United States" and asked "the appropriate agencies of the United States Government ... [to] take appropriate action to prohibit importation into the United States of whiskey designated as 'Bourbon Whiskey'."[16][17] Federal regulation now defines bourbon whiskey to only include bourbon produced in the United States.[18]

In recent years, bourbon and Tennessee whiskey, which is sometimes regarded as a different type of spirit but generally meets the legal requirements to be called bourbon, have enjoyed significant growth in popularity. The industry trade group Distilled Spirits Council of the United States tracks sales of bourbon and Tennessee whiskey together.[3]

According to the Distilled Spirits Council, during 2009–2014, the volume of 9-liter cases of whiskey increased by 28.5% overall.[4] Higher-end bourbon and whiskeys experienced the greatest growth. During 2009–14, the volume of the value segment increased by 12.1%, premium by 25.8%, high-end premium by 27.8%, and super-premium by 123.8%.[4] Gross supplier revenues (including federal excise tax) for U.S. bourbon and Tennessee whiskey increased by 46.7% over the 2009–14 period, with the greatest growth coming from high-end products (18.7% growth for value, 33.6% for premium, 44.5% for high-end premium, and 137.2% for super-premium).[4] In 2014, more than 19 million nine-liter cases of bourbon and Tennessee whiskey were sold in the U.S., generating almost $2.7 billion in wholesale distillery revenue.[4] U.S. exports of bourbon whiskey surpassed $1 billion for the first time in 2013; distillers hailed the rise of a "golden age of Kentucky bourbon" and predicted further growth.[3] In 2014, it was estimated that U.S. bourbon whiskey exports surpassed $1 billion, making up the majority of the U.S. total of $1.6 billion in spirits exports.[3] Major export markets for U.S. spirits are, in descending order: Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, and France.[3] The largest percentage increases in U.S. exports were, in descending order: Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Israel, and United Arab Emirates.[3] Key elements of growth in the markets showing the largest increases have been changes of law, trade agreements, and reductions of tariffs, as well as increased consumer demand for premium-category spirits.[19]

Legal requirements

Bourbon's legal definition varies somewhat from country to country, but many trade agreements require that the name "bourbon" be reserved for products made in the United States. The U.S. regulations for labeling and advertising bourbon apply only to products made for consumption within the United States; they do not apply to distilled spirits made for export.[20] Canadian law requires products labeled bourbon to be made in the United States and also to conform to the requirements that apply within the United States. But in countries other than the United States and Canada, products labeled bourbon may not adhere to the same standards. For example, in the European Union, products labeled as bourbon are not required to conform to all the regulations that apply within the United States, although they still must be made in the U.S.

The Federal Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits state that bourbon made for U.S. consumption[20] must be:

Bourbon has no minimum specified duration for its aging period.[24] Products aged for as little as three months are sold as bourbon.[25] The exception is straight bourbon, which has a minimum aging requirement of two years. In addition, any bourbon aged less than four years must include an age statement on its label.[26][27]

Bourbon that meets the above requirements, has been aged for a minimum of two years, and does not have added coloring, flavoring, or other spirits may be – but is not required to be – called straight bourbon.[28]

  • Bourbon that is labeled as straight that has been aged under four years must be labeled with the duration of its aging.[29]
  • Bourbon that has an age stated on its label must be labeled with the age of the youngest whiskey in the bottle (not counting the age of any added neutral grain spirits in a bourbon that is labeled as blended, as neutral-grain spirits are not considered whiskey under the regulations and are not required to be aged at all).[26]

Bottled-in-bond bourbon is a sub-category of straight bourbon and must be aged at least four years.

Bourbon that is labeled blended (or as a blend) may contain added coloring, flavoring, and other spirits, such as un-aged neutral grain spirits, but at least 51% of the product must be straight bourbon.[30][31]

Bourbon that has been aged for fewer than three years cannot legally be referred to as whiskey (or whisky) in the EU.[32]

Bourbon-bottle from Gettysburg.jpeg
Nineteenth century bourbon bottle

Geographic origin

On May 4, 1964, the United States Congress recognized bourbon whiskey as a "distinctive product of the United States" by concurrent resolution. Bourbon may be produced anywhere in the United States where it is legal to distill spirits, but most brands are produced in Kentucky, where bourbon production has a strong historical association.[33] The filtering of iron-free water through the high concentrations of limestone that are unique to the area is often touted by bourbon distillers in Kentucky as a signature step in the bourbon-making process.[34]

Barrels with a flavour to impart - - 286747
Used bourbon barrels awaiting fresh contents in Scotland

On August 2, 2007, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution sponsored by Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) officially declaring September 2007 to be National Bourbon Heritage Month, commemorating the history of bourbon whiskey.[35] Notably, the resolution claimed that Congress had declared bourbon to be "America's Native Spirit" in its 1964 resolution.[35] However, the 1964 resolution did not contain such a statement; it declared bourbon to be a distinctive product identifiable with the United States (in a similar way that Scotch is considered identifiable with Scotland).[16][36] The resolution was passed again in 2008.[36]

As of 2018, approximately 95% of all bourbon is produced in Kentucky, according to the Kentucky Distillers' Association. At that time, the state had more than 8.1 million barrels of bourbon that were aging – a number that greatly exceeds the state's population of about 4.3 million.[37][3][38][39]

Bardstown, Kentucky, is home to the annual Bourbon Festival held each September. It has been called the "Bourbon Capital of the World" by the Bardstown Tourism Commission[40] and the Kentucky Bourbon Festival organizers[41] who have registered the phrase as a trademark. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail is the name of a tourism promotion program organized by the Kentucky Distillers' Association that is aimed at attracting visitors to the distilleries in Kentucky, particularly Four Roses (Lawrenceburg), Heaven Hill (Bardstown), Jim Beam (Clermont), Maker's Mark (Loretto), Town Branch (Lexington), Wild Turkey (Lawrenceburg), and Woodford Reserve (Versailles).[42]

Tennessee is home to other major bourbon makers, although most prefer to call their product "Tennessee whiskey" instead, including giant Jack Daniel's. It is legally defined under Tennessee House Bill 1084, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and at least one other international trade agreement as the recognized name for a straight bourbon whiskey produced in Tennessee.[43][44] It is also required to meet the legal definition of bourbon under Canadian law.[45]

Although some Tennessee whiskey makers maintain that a state-mandated pre-aging filtration through chunks of maple charcoal, known as the Lincoln County Process, make its flavor distinct from bourbon, U.S. regulations defining bourbon neither require nor prohibit its use.[24][43][46][47] Prior to 2013, the Lincoln County Process was not legally required for products identified as Tennessee whiskey.[A]

Bourbon also was and is made in other U.S. states.[50][51][52] The largest bourbon distiller outside of Kentucky and Tennessee is MGP of Indiana, which primarily wholesales its spirits products to bottling companies that sell them under about 50 different brand names – in some cases, misleadingly marketed as "craft" whiskey, despite being produced at a large wholesaler's factory.[53][54]

Production process

To be legally sold as bourbon, the whiskey's mash bill requires a minimum of 51% corn, with the remainder being any cereal grain.[2] A proposed change to U.S. regulations will expand allowable "grains" to include seeds of the pseudocereals amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa.[55] A mash bill that contains wheat instead of rye produces what is known as a wheated bourbon.[56][57] The grain is ground and mixed with water. Usually mash from a previous distillation is added to ensure consistency across batches, creating a sour mash. Finally, yeast is added, and the mash is fermented. It is distilled to (typically) between 65% and 80% alcohol using either a traditional alembic (or pot still) or the much less expensive continuous still. Most modern bourbons are initially run off using a column still and then redistilled in a "doubler" (alternatively known as a "thumper" or "retort") that is basically a pot still.[58]

The resulting clear spirit, called "white dog", is placed in charred new oak containers for aging. In practice, these containers are generally barrels made from American white oak. The spirit gains its color and much of its flavor from the caramelized sugars and vanillins in the charred wood. Straight bourbon must be aged at least two years, and blended bourbon must contain at least 51% straight bourbon on a proof gallon basis (i.e., most of the alcohol in the blend must be from straight bourbon).[59] The remainder of the spirits in a blended bourbon may be neutral grain spirits that are not aged at all. If a product is labeled merely as bourbon whiskey rather than straight or blended, no specific minimum aging period is prescribed – only that the product has been "stored at not more than 62.5% alcohol by volume (125 proof) in charred new oak containers".[59] Bourbons gain more color and flavor the longer they age in wood. Changes to the spirit also occur due to evaporation and chemical processes such as oxidation. Lower-priced bourbons tend to be aged relatively briefly. Even for higher-priced bourbons, "maturity" rather than a particular age duration is often the goal, as over-aging bourbons can negatively affect the flavor of the bourbon (making it taste woody, bitter, or unbalanced).

After maturing, bourbon is withdrawn from the barrel and is typically filtered and diluted with water. It is then bottled at no less than 80 US proof (40% abv).[23] Although most bourbon whiskey is sold at 80 US proof, other common proofs are 86, 90, and 100. All "bottled in bond" bourbon is 100 proof. Some higher-proof bottlings are marketed as "barrel proof", meaning they have not been diluted or have been only lightly diluted after removal from the barrels. Bourbon whiskey may be sold at less than 80 proof but must be labeled as "diluted bourbon".

After processing, barrels remain saturated with up to 10 gallons of bourbon, although two to three is the norm.[60] They may not be reused for bourbon, and most are sold to distilleries in Canada, Scotland, Ireland, Mexico, and the Caribbean for aging other spirits. Some are employed in the manufacture of various barrel-aged products, including amateur and professionally brewed bourbon-barrel-aged beer, barbecue sauce, wine, hot sauce, and others. Since 2011, Jim Beam has employed barrel rinsing on a large scale to extract bourbon from its used barrels, mixing the extract with a 6-year-old Beam bourbon to create a 90-proof product that it sells as "Devil's Cut".[61]

The bottling operation for bourbon is the process of filtering, mixing together straight whiskey from different barrels (sometimes from different distilleries), diluting with water, blending with other ingredients (if producing blended bourbon), and filling containers to produce the final product that is marketed to consumers. By itself, the phrase "bottled by" means only that. Only if the bottler operates the distillery that produced the whiskey may "distilled by" be added to the label.[62]

Labeling requirements for bourbon and other alcoholic beverages (including the requirements for what is allowed to be called bourbon under U.S. law) are defined in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.[63] No whiskey made outside the United States may be labeled bourbon or sold as bourbon inside the United States (and in various other countries that have trade agreements with the United States to recognize bourbon as a distinctive product of the United States).

Recent experiments suggest that Kentucky Bourbon has a superior taste partly because it is shipped down the Ohio River and Mississippi rivers, and up the US Coast Line to New York, by barge. The action of gentle sloshing of the whiskey in barrels for a period of 2-4 weeks during the river trip leads to a dramatic improvement in smoothness and taste. [64]


Bourbon is served in a variety of manners, including neat, diluted with water, over ice ("on the rocks"), with other beverages in simple mixed drinks, and in cocktails, including the Manhattan, the Old Fashioned, the whiskey sour, and the mint julep. Bourbon is also used in cooking and was historically used for medicinal purposes.[2]

Bourbon can be used in a variety of confections such as a banana bourbon syrup for waffles, as a flavoring for chocolate cake, or in fruit-based desserts like grilled peach sundaes served with salted bourbon-caramel or brown sugar shortcake with warmed bourbon peaches. It is an optional ingredient in several pie recipes traditional to American cuisine including pumpkin pie, where it can be combined with brown sugar and pecans to make a sweet and crunchy topping for the creamy pumpkin pie filling.[65] It can also be used as a flavoring in sauces for savory dishes like grit cakes with country ham served with bourbon mayonnaise, Kentucky bourbon chili or grilled flank steak.[66]

See also



  1. ^ Prior to 2013, the use of the Lincoln County Process was not actually required for making products identified as Tennessee whiskey. However, on May 13, 2013, the Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee signed House Bill 1084, requiring the Lincoln County process and the existing requirements for bourbon to be used for products identified as "Tennessee whiskey". As a grandfathering measure, the law exempted one small producer, Benjamin Prichard's.[48][49] As U.S. federal law requires statements of origin on labels to be accurate, and various international trade agreements also codify this requirement, the Tennessee law effectively gives a firm definition to Tennessee whiskey.


  1. ^ a b c Kiniry, Laura. "Where Bourbon Really Got Its Name and More Tips on America's Native Spirit". June 13, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Zeldes, Leah A. (February 23, 2011). "Eat this! Bourbon, America's native spirits". Dining Chicago. Chicago's Restaurant & Entertainment Guide, Inc. Archived from the original on September 14, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Associated Press, "Bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey Sales Up in US; Exports Top $1B" Archived December 30, 2015, at the Wayback Machine (February 3, 2015).
  4. ^ a b c d e "Wayback Machine" (PDF). May 25, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  5. ^ "Best Driving Vacations: Kentucky Bourbon Trail". Mar 19, 2019.
  6. ^ John E. Kleber, ed., The Kentucky Encyclopedia (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1992), 103
  7. ^ Cowdery, Charles K., "Who Invented Bourbon?" Malt Advocate Magazine, (4th Quarter 2002), pp. 72-75
  8. ^ The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, John T. Edge, volume editor, Volume 7: Foodways, p. 128.
  9. ^ Leon Howlett, The Kentucky Bourbon Experience: A Visual Tour of Kentucky's Bourbon Distilleries, "Bourbon- A Short History", 2012, pg. 7.
  10. ^ "How Bourbon Whiskey Really Got Its Famous Name". May 13, 2008. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Cowdery, Charles K., Bourbon, Straight: The Uncut and Unfiltered Story of American Whiskey, p. 25
  12. ^ "Bourbon County Kentucky". Archived from the original on May 2, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  13. ^ "Hartfield & Co. homepage". Archived from the original on December 8, 2015. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  14. ^ "Kentucky Bourbon Timeline". Kentucky Distillers Association. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  15. ^ Veach, Michael R. (2013). Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky. pp. 7–9, 40–52. ISBN 978-0-8131-4165-7.
  16. ^ a b "Wayback Machine" (PDF). September 24, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  17. ^ Defining "Bourbon". The State (Columbia, SC), 5-1-02, p. D1.
  18. ^ "27 C.F.R. sec 5.22(b)(2)". Archived from the original on March 18, 2018. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  19. ^ "Wayback Machine" (PDF). June 16, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  20. ^ a b "27 C.F.R. sec 5.1". Archived from the original on March 18, 2018. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  21. ^ "27 C.F.R. sec 5.22(l)(1)". Archived from the original on March 18, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  22. ^ a b c d "27 C.F.R. sec 5.22(b)(1)(i)". Archived from the original on March 18, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  23. ^ a b "27 C.F.R. sec 5.22(b)". Archived from the original on March 18, 2018. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  24. ^ a b Favorite whiskey myths debunked Archived July 9, 2017, at Wikiwix, The Chuck Cowdery Blog, December 16, 2009. (Accessed January 2011.)
  25. ^ "Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey review at Spirits Review". Archived from the original on February 9, 2011. Retrieved February 4, 2011.
  26. ^ a b "27 C.F.R. sec 5.40". Archived from the original on March 18, 2018. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  27. ^ "Glossary of bourbon and whiskey terms". Kentucky Distillers Association. Archived from the original on February 28, 2014. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
  28. ^ "27 C.F.R. sec 5.22(b)(1)(iii)". Archived from the original on March 18, 2018. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  29. ^ "27 C.F.R. sec 5.40(a)". Archived from the original on March 18, 2018. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  30. ^ "27 C.F.R. sec 5.22(b)(4)". Archived from the original on March 18, 2018. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  31. ^ "27 C.F.R. sec 5.23". Archived from the original on March 18, 2018. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  32. ^ "EU whisky aging regulations". Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  33. ^ "Kentucky Bourbon History". Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Kentucky Distillers' Association. December 6, 2010. Archived from the original on December 21, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  34. ^ "About Kentucky Bourbon". Waters of Life. Kentucky Barrels LLC. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  35. ^ a b S. Res. No. 110-294 (2007).
  36. ^ a b Is Bourbon Officially America's Native Spirit? Archived July 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, The Chuck Cowdery Blog, April 27, 2009.
  37. ^ "Bourbon Facts". Kentucky Distillers' Association. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  38. ^ "Maker's Mark to restore alcohol content of whiskey" Archived July 10, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, USA Today, February 17, 2013.
  39. ^ "Kentucky Bourbon Trail expands to include stop in downtown Louisville…". June 28, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  40. ^ "Bardstown - Nelson County Tourist & Convention Commission". April 27, 2007. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  41. ^ "Welcome! - Kentucky Bourbon Festival : Bourbon Capital of the World : Bardstown, Kentucky". Archived from the original on December 28, 2006.
  42. ^ "Kentucky Bourbon Trail – Where the Spirit Leads You". Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  43. ^ a b "North American Free Trade Agreement Annex 313: Distinctive products". Archived from the original on December 15, 2011. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
  44. ^ SICE - Free Trade Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Chile Archived June 13, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, Section E, Article 3.15 "Distinctive products".
  45. ^ "Canada Food and Drug regulations, C.R.C. C.870, provision B.02.022.1". Archived from the original on January 6, 2011. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
  46. ^ Charles K. Cowdery, Tennessee Whiskey Versus Bourbon Whiskey Archived July 10, 2017, at Wikiwix, The Chuck Cowdery Blog, February 21, 2009. (Accessed January 2011.)
  47. ^ Filtration and the Lincoln County Process Archived July 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, The Bourbon Observer, June 13, 2009.
  48. ^ Zandona, Eric. "Tennessee Whiskey Gets a Legal Definition". EZdrinking. Archived from the original on January 7, 2014. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  49. ^ "State of Tennessee Public Chapter No. 341 House Bill No. 1084" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on October 5, 2013.
  50. ^ "Whisky Regions". Archived from the original on May 13, 2008. Retrieved April 21, 2008.
  51. ^ "Handmade Texas bourbon hits HillCo". Archived from the original on March 28, 2010. Retrieved July 29, 2010.
  52. ^ "Smooth Ambler Spirits debuts new Yearling Bourbon". Retrieved April 11, 2012.
  53. ^ Felten, Eric (July 28, 2014). "Your 'Craft' Rye Whiskey Is Probably From a Factory Distillery in Indiana". The Daily Beast. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  54. ^ Noel, Josh (July 14, 2015). "Templeton Rye reaches lawsuit settlement, will pay refunds". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  55. ^ Stevens, Ashlie (January 14, 2019). "Quinoa Whiskey? Modified Crop List Spurs Distilleries To Try Alternative Grains". The Salt. National Public Radio. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  56. ^ "W.L. Weller". Archived from the original on March 26, 2014.
  57. ^ LeNell Smothers. "Bourbon Guide". Archived from the original on May 1, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  58. ^ Pot Stills Versus Column Stills Archived December 25, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, The Chuck Cowdery Blog: American Whiskey & Other Stuff, February 26, 2008. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  59. ^ a b "Chapter 4: Class and Type Designation" (PDF). TTB Online. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  60. ^ "Distilleries". Modern Marvels. Season 11. Episode 27. July 14, 2004.
  61. ^ Thomas, Richard (June 17, 2013). "Jim Beam Devil's Cut Bourbon Review". Archived from the original on March 4, 2018. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  62. ^ "Wayback Machine" (PDF). January 1, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  63. ^ "27 CFR 5.22 - The standards of identity". LII / Legal Information Institute. Archived from the original on January 30, 2017. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  64. ^ "Bourbon Vs. Bourbon: Did Whiskey Really Taste Better in the 1800s?". June 21, 2018. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  65. ^ Schmid, Albert W. The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook. The University Press of Kentucky. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  66. ^ "9 Ways to Cook With Bourbon". New York Times. Retrieved 26 January 2019.

Further reading

  • Carson, Gerald. The Social History of Bourbon: An Unhurried Account of Our Star-Spangled Drink (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky), 1963. ISBN 0-8131-1509-4.
  • Cowdery, Charles K. Bourbon, Straight: The Uncut and Unfiltered Story of American Whiskey (Chicago: Made and Bottled in Kentucky), 2004. ISBN 0-9758703-0-0.
  • Crowgey, Henry G. Kentucky Bourbon: The Early Years of Whiskeymaking (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky), 1971. ISBN 0-8131-1225-7.
  • McFarland, Ben; Sandham, Tom (May 3, 2014). "Thinking Drinkers: a beginner's guide to bourbon". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved November 11, 2014..
  • Regan, Gary and Mardee Haidin Regan. The Bourbon Companion: A Connoisseur's Guide (Philadelphia, PA: Running Press), 1998. ISBN 0-7624-0013-7.

External links

American whiskey

American whiskey is a distilled beverage produced in the United States from a fermented mash of cereal grain. The primary types of spirit included under this designation are bourbon whiskey, rye whiskey, rye malt whiskey, malt whiskey, wheat whiskey, Tennessee whiskey, and corn whiskey. All of these are made from mashes with at least 51% of their named grains.

Also included are blended whiskeys, blends of straight whiskeys, grain whiskeys, and spirit whiskeys, which do not specify a dominant grain. In the case of blends, American whiskeys may include artificial colors and flavorings. Laws regulating the above products vary between those produced for consumption within the United States and those exported abroad.

Bourbon County, Kentucky

Bourbon County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 19,985. Its county seat is Paris.Bourbon County is part of the Lexington–Fayette, KY Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is one of Kentucky's nine original counties, and is best known for its historical association with bourbon whiskey.

Bourbon chicken

Bourbon chicken is a dish named after Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana and for the bourbon whiskey ingredient. The dish is commonly found at Cajun-themed and Chinese restaurants.

The recipe includes soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and bourbon whiskey in the base, and the chicken is marinated in this sauce. Honey can also be used in the marinade.

Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is a distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky, that is owned by the Sazerac Company. It has historically been known by several names, including the George T. Stagg Distillery and the Old Fire Copper (O.F.C.) Distillery. Its namesake bourbon brand, Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskey, was introduced in August 1999. The company claims the distillery is the oldest continuously-operating distillery in the United States. The company says the name "Buffalo Trace" refers an ancient buffalo crossing on the banks of the Kentucky River in Franklin County, Kentucky. The Sazerac Company purchased the distillery in 1992.Under its old name, George T. Stagg Distillery, the property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 2, 2001, and designated a National Historic Landmark on March 11, 2013.

Bulleit Bourbon

Bulleit Bourbon is a brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey produced at the Kirin Brewing Company Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, for the Diageo beverage conglomerate. It is characterized by a high rye content for a bourbon (at approximately 28% of the mash bill) and being aged at least six years. It is bottled at 45% abv (90 proof) for the US, Canadian, British, Dutch and Mexican markets. For Australian and Danish markets, it is bottled at 40% abv. It is also sold in Germany, Norway and Sweden.In the U.S. and other markets, Bulleit also offers a rye whiskey.

Cougar Bourbon

Cougar bourbon whiskey, formerly called Sam Cougar's, is a brand of bourbon whiskey produced in Lawrenceburg, Indiana by MGP Indiana. It is an export-only brand owned by Foster's Group (a division of SABMiller) that is bottled and sold in Australia and New Zealand, where it is a popular bourbon whiskey. It is sold at 37% alcohol by volume.

Evan Williams (bourbon)

Evan Williams is a brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey bottled in Bardstown, Kentucky, by the Heaven Hill company. The product is aged for a minimum of four years (which is more than the two year minimum to be called 'straight' bourbon, but is the minimum requirement for a straight whiskey that does not have an age statement on the label). It has been ranked as one of the world's best selling whiskey brands.

Four Roses

Four Roses is a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey brand owned by the Kirin Brewery Company of Japan. Effective September 1, 2015, Brent Elliott is the master distiller of Four Roses.

Heaven Hill

Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc. is an American, private, family-owned and operated distillery founded in 1935 and headquartered in Bardstown, Kentucky, that produces and markets the Heaven Hill brand of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and a variety of other distilled spirits. Its current distillery facility, called the Heaven Hill Bernheim distillery, is in Louisville, Kentucky. It is the seventh-largest alcohol supplier in the United States, the second-largest holder of bourbon whiskey inventory in the world, the largest, independent, family-owned and operated producer and marketer of distilled spirits in the United States, and the only large family-owned distillery company headquartered in Kentucky (not counting Brown-Forman Corporation, which is publicly traded but more than two-thirds family-controlled, or Sazerac Company, which is family-owned but headquartered in Louisiana).

Jim Beam

Jim Beam is a brand of bourbon whiskey produced in Clermont, Kentucky, by Beam Suntory, a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings of Osaka, Japan. It is one of the best-selling brands of bourbon in the world. Since 1795 (interrupted by Prohibition), seven generations of the Beam family have been involved in whiskey production for the company that produces the brand, which was given the name "Jim Beam" in 1933 in honor of James B. Beam, who rebuilt the business after Prohibition ended. Previously produced by the Beam family and later owned by the Fortune Brands holding company, the brand was purchased by Suntory Holdings in 2014.

Kentucky Bourbon Trail

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail (sometimes informally shortened to "the Bourbon Trail") is the name of a program sponsored by the Kentucky Distillers' Association (KDA) to promote the Bourbon whiskey industry in Kentucky. The KDA has registered the phrase "Kentucky Bourbon Trail" as a protected trademark.

Maker's Mark

Maker's Mark is a small-batch bourbon whiskey produced in Loretto, Kentucky, by Beam Suntory. It is bottled at 90 U.S. proof (45% alcohol by volume) and sold in squarish bottles sealed with red wax. The distillery offers tours, and is part of the American Whiskey Trail and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Old Crow

Old Crow is a low-priced brand of Kentucky-made straight bourbon whiskey distilled by Beam Suntory, which also produces Jim Beam and several other brands of whiskey. The current Old Crow product uses the same mash bill and yeast as Jim Beam, but is aged for a shorter period of time and mixed to a more lenient taste profile before bottling.

The Old Crow brand has a venerable history as one of Kentucky's earliest bourbons. Old Crow is aged in barrels for a minimum of three years, and in the United States is 80 proof while the slightly higher quality, but still inexpensive Old Crow Reserve is aged for a minimum of four years and is 86 proof.

Schenley Industries

Schenley Industries was a liquor company based in New York City with headquarters in the Empire State Building and a distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. It owned several brands of Bourbon whiskey, including Schenley, The Old Quaker Company, Golden Wedding Rye, I.W. Harper (Named after proprietor Isaac Wolfe Bernheim) and possibly others. It also owned a controlling interest in Blatz beer and made a Canadian whisky called Schenley Reserve, also called Schenley Black Label. It was the only liquor available to submarine officers at Midway in World War II, where it was held in low regard and known as "Schenley's Black Death". It also imported Dewar's White Label Scotch.

Schenley Products Company was organized in the 1920s by Lewis Rosenstiel. The company bought numerous distillers, including one in Schenley, Pennsylvania, and acquired a license to produce medicinal whisky. (The United States government had authorized six companies to produce medicinal spirits. The others were: Brown-Forman, Frankfort Distilleries, the A. Ph. Stitzel Distillery, the American Medicinal Spirits Company, and James Thompson and Brother.) In 1933, when Prohibition ended, Schenley Distillers Company was formed as a publicly owned company. The name was changed to Schenley Industries in 1949. Schenley became one of the largest liquor companies in the United States. It was one of the "Big Four", which dominated liquor sales, and included Seagram, National Distillers and Hiram Walker.Schenley was acquired by the financier Meshulam Riklis in 1968. He sold the company to Guinness in 1987. Schenley had formerly imported Guinness into the United States.The company sponsored the Schenley Award in the Canadian Football League from its establishment in 1953 until 1988. The trophy is still awarded for outstanding play, despite the fact the company stopped its sponsorship in 1988 and has not been sponsored since.

Single barrel whiskey

Single barrel whiskey (or single cask whiskey) is a premium class of whiskey in which each bottle comes from an individual aging barrel, instead of coming from blending together the contents of various barrels to provide uniformity of color and taste. Even whiskeys that are not blends may be combined from more than one batch, or even from differing years to achieve consistency. The whiskey from each barrel is bottled separately, with each bottle bearing the barrel number and in most cases the dates for the beginning and end of aging. Each barrel is believed to contribute unique characteristics to the finished whiskey.There has been some recent controversy over whether single cask whiskeys are indeed all from single casks. Whiskeys sold by Scottish distilleries such as Ben Nevis and GlenDronach as "single casks" have been revealed to be vattings of multiple barrels, which may have been of different kinds, with the "single cask" designation referring only to the final cask for maturation. In the absence of specific regulation regarding this language, it is not clear to what extent this practice is prevalent in the industry as a whole.

Single barrels may further be at cask strength or non-chill-filtered to further avoid adulterating the taste of a cask.

Small batch whiskey

Small batch whiskey is whiskey produced by mixing the contents of a relatively small number of selected barrels. Small batch whiskeys are commercially positioned for the upper-premium market. The term is most commonly used for American whiskey but is sometimes used for other whiskeys as well. For example, the Bowmore distillery in Islay, Scotland, has produced a single malt Scotch whisky labeled as "small batch".American small batch whiskeys are typically aged from six to nine years in oak barrels, but more limited series that are aged up to 23 years are also available. There are generally no clear criteria as to what defines a "small batch". For example, there are no federal regulations that define the use of the term in the United States. Many producers of whiskeys labeled as such do not provide a clear indication of what they mean by the term.

Small batch whiskey should not be confused with pot still distilling (a batch process) that is common for malt whiskey in Scotland and Ireland. The vast majority – and almost all major brands – of American whiskeys are produced from continuous column stills, also known as a Coffey still.

Sour mash

Sour mash is a process used in the distilling industry that uses material from an older batch of mash to start the fermentation of a new batch, analogous to the making of sourdough bread with a starter. The term can also be used as the name of the type of mash used in that process, and a Bourbon made using this process can be referred to as a sour mash Bourbon. Despite a common misconception, sour mash does not refer to the flavor of the Bourbon.

Wild Turkey (bourbon)

Wild Turkey is a brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey distilled and bottled by the Wild Turkey Distilling Co, a division of Campari Group. The distillery is located near Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. It offers tours and is part of the American Whiskey Trail and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Woodford Reserve

Woodford Reserve is a brand of premium small batch Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey produced in Woodford County, Kentucky, by the Brown-Forman Corporation. It is made from a mixture of pot still spirits produced at the company's Woodford Reserve Distillery, and column still spirits from the Brown Forman Distillery in Shively, Kentucky. Each 45.2% alcohol by volume (90.4 US Proof) bottle bears a unique batch and bottle number. The brand was introduced in 1996.

Whisky types
Other designations
Whisky by region
Whisky production
Whisky tourism
See also

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