8 Amazing Facts About Bourbon Whiskey that You had No Idea About


To drink is to celebrate or maybe drown out some bad memories. Whatever it may be we all have our choice that we cannot do without, be it with friends, family or while hitting the pub after a hard day's work! The following article is all about Bourbon whiskey, and we bet that you will learn something new today. If not, then congratulations! You have earned a drink.


Alcohol and the distilleries that manufacture them are often time revered by the drinkers and fans of a particular drink. They often give you a tour, and you can select your favorite beverage. Buy it, store it for an occasion or have it to celebrate a day with someone special. So the next time you look up the internet to search for "distilleries near me” and visit the place, keep in mind the following interesting facts about the bourbon!

Let us have a look!

George Washington invented it  

It all started with the Tea Act. The government taxed the British tea import, and it sparked the rebellion which is commonly known as the Boston Tea Party rebellion. Well, 16 years later the government made another erroneous decision of taxing the second most popular beverage, the whiskey! Whiskey, the liquid gold for the frontier farmers was like the unofficial currency for the trading of goods, so they rose against it. However, George Washington and his state led troops had no problems in quashing the rebellion. The angry farmers settled far west fleeing from the government forces in the state of Kentucky. That is where it all began, as the farmers doubled up their efforts on distilling and this led to the invention of the Bourbon that we all know and adore today. In a way the credit should go to the former president George Washington, ironical isn't it?

Bourbon whiskey can be manufactured anywhere in the U.S.

Kentucky is the home of Bourbon. But, a liquor made exclusively in the U.S. alone can be called the Bourbon. However, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is the most famous and the biggest concentration of distilleries in the country. And it will be naïve not to mention the unique limestone filtered water that makes the production of Bourbon easier in the southern state of Kentucky. It is what adds up to the charm of Bourbon and a Kentucky spirit is authentic Bourbon. More than 90% of all Bourbon is manufactured in Kentucky and is more than 2/3rd of the net spirits exported by the country. That is some heritage and a record!

Not all whiskey is Bourbon conundrum

All Bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is Bourbon. The next time you are at a party, this is something that you can amaze your buddies with. There are strict regulations with respect to the distillation of Bourbon. Firstly it has to be manufactured in the U.S., but besides that, it must be at the very least 51% corn and has to be aged, in specially designed new oak container but charred!
The other variety, the Scotch whiskey is made from malted Barley. Now you know the difference. More technical facts for you dear reader! No additives are allowed in the Bourbon, thereby making is single malt! The mash has to be carefully regulated as well. The distillation is done at 160 proof or less and put into the charred oak casket or the barrel at 125 proof or less.

Debatable origins: The historical perspective

A Baptist Preacher Elijah Craig who also doubled up as a distiller often gets credit as the inventor of Bourbon whiskey. He was reportedly the first one to age the whiskey in charred oak casks which gave the distinct color and taste to the spirit. But as luck would have it, as the story goes Jacob Spears, a resident of Kentucky's Bourbon County was the first to label his barrels as Bourbon, and these were shipped to New Orleans and the Bourbon Street. The credit should go to both; Preacher Craig for the invention and Mr. Spears for the coinage and popularity.

The barrels have a story to say

For the bourbon, the charred oak barrels must be brand new. That is a pre-requisite and must be abided by if you are making Bourbon anywhere in the U.S. But the amazing fact is that the barrels are rarely chucked away after the distillation of Bourbon. These are the same barrels which are shipped to Scotland for the distillation of the Scotch Whiskey. Scotch aging is different than Bourbon, and they use the old barrels. Keep this fact in find if you get a whiff of Bourbon in your favorite Scotch whiskey. Wood can retain traces of Bourbon sometimes as much as 5 gallons. This might get added to the scotch whiskey's overall flavor.

Cows and Bourbon, really?

Well no! Cows don't really drink the whiskey! But after the bourbon mash has served its purpose, it is usually recycled as a cattle feed. Distillers in the old days used to keep herds near or at their property. The grains were fed to fatten the livestock up.
“Moonshine” is how it all begins
"Moonshine," "white whiskey" or the "white dog" the country spirit of America during the Prohibition is the starting point for your favorite Bourbon. Whiskey is usually known for its amber color and smooth texture. Well, the white whiskey is put into the barrels where the caramelized sugar present in the wood gives the trademark color to the drink. So, the Bourbon is a legalized high proof moonshine. No wonder it knocks people off!

Proudly, American

The 1964 Congress declared the Bourbon a distinctive product of America. This act was passed a couple of decades after the Prohibition Act. What is interesting is to keep in mind that distilleries were anyway getting around the no-hooch law as they were essentially manufacturing and bottling medicinal alcohol.

The Congress act was all about protecting the interests of the American Distillers against the Foreign Competitors but what transpired was a complete legitimizing of the drink. Do you know the name of the clerk who was in charge of the handling the legislation? August Bourbon!

So how many of these did you know? 

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