Mmmmm bourbon, next to rum, is my favourite tipple for my hip flask. I used to think, very naively, that bourbon was bourbon and that once you had tasted one, you had tasted them all. I can hear you all tutting now and rolling your eyes. I have been educated my friends don’t you worry.
Much like what we eat, I like to know the drinks that I love came about and what it is about them that is so special. So, here is what I have learnt about the delicious wonder that is bourbon whisky.
Much like with many alcohols, it seems that no-one seems to know how they got their names. Bourbon fits right in. It is known that the names came from and is derived from the French Bourbon Dynasty. Apparently the origins are not all that well documented. Some have said that the name came from Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Bourbon Street was a major port where shipments of Kentucky Bourbon were sold.
As well as the name, no history tells us how bourbon was born, we have information of several refinements but nothing on its origins. Perhaps it is magical. It sure tastes it!
Did you know that bourbon is an American whisky? Nope I didn’t either, I mean I know that most of is made in the states however I didn’t quite realise that proper bourbon is not made anywhere else. It is actually illegal to call anything not made in the US bourbon as it has been legally recognised as a distinctive produce of the USA. Bourbon can be made and sold anywhere in the US however, the majority is made in Kentucky due to its strong ties and connections.
There are a few speculations on how it came to be – one is that a Kentucky Minster, Elijah Craig, who in actual fact was credited with many of Kentucky’s firsts, came up with the concept of bourbon and is said to be the first to have aged the liquor in oak barrels.
Bourbon is a barrel aged whisky that is made primarily from corn. Must make it healthy right?!… Counts as some of your 5 a day…
The distillery start dates back to the 18th century and the term bourbon for this specific style of whisky has been traced back to the 1820’s. Aged in oak barrels to heighten the distinctive taste and also to give it the lovely reddish brown hue that we all associate with bourbon. It is most likely that no one person alone invented the whisky drink but an accumulation of many distillers work. Thanks guys!
I knew bourbon was a popular tipple but check this out – as at 2014, in Kentucky there was approximately 5.3 million barrels of aging bourbon in existence. Wow! That is mega amounts!!!
I feel a trip to Kentucky coming on.
The production and distilling of bourbon is also interesting and so we have written another article for you called – The Production Process of Bourbon
We also have our favourite 5 delicious bourbon drinks
Don’t forget that when good and tasty bourbon is in your hip flask, it wont stay there for long 🙂