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Tags: Bourbon  

Bourbon Basics

 What is Bourbon?

Bourbon is America’s contribution to the world of Whiskey. In 1964, about 200 years after the first bourbon went to barrel, congress declared bourbon as Americas Native Spirit. Like all whiskies the main ingredients are distilled grain and water. Bourbon, by law, must have at least 51% corn in the grain mix. The result is a sweeter truly American whiskey.  


By law Bourbon must meet the following government standards:

  • Produced in the United States
  • Consist of a grain mix of at least 51% corn
  • No additives, except water to reduce proof where necessary
  • Must be aged in new, charred white oak barrels
  • To be called “straight” bourbon the whiskey must be aged a minimum of two years


Six Fun Facts About Bourbon

1. All Bourbon is Whiskey but not all whiskey is bourbon

2. In 1964 Under Bourbon lover Lyndon Johnson’s administration, Congress declared bourbon, “America’s Native Spirit”

3. In 2014 Congress passed house resolution 579 recognizing the 50th anniversary of the congressional declaration of bourbon as a distinctive product of the united states

4. Where other whiskey producers can and may add colors and flavors to their products, the only thing that can be added to Bourbon is water (and only to lower the proof)

5. Other whiskeys (like scotch) can be aged in “re-used” Barrels. By Law Bourbon must use NEW charred American white oak barrels.

6. It can’t say “bourbon” on the label if it’s not distilled in the United States. And it can’t be “Kentucky Bourbon” unless it’s distilled in Kentucky

Last modified on 2014/11/11 by Phil
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