American Bourbon Whiskey

Bourbon is the most prominent style of whiskey produced in the USA, enjoyed in saloons around the world sipped neat or in brilliant bourbon cocktails. Back in the days of yore (around the late 18th Century, specifically), Irish and Scottish immigrants brought distillation to Kentucky. A farmer would whack a portion of their crops into their still and they’d have what we’d see today as the precursor to bourbon whiskey.

There are a few theories as to how the name for bourbon came around, but nothing concrete. It’s derived from France’s Bourbon dynasty, but no one is 100% sure where exactly the name for the spirit came from. Some people say it was named for Bourbon County in Kentucky, while others say it was from Bourbon Street in New Orleans. If you’re a time traveller, do us all a favour and go find out, would you?

So, what is bourbon? Well, there are a few laws dictating how bourbon is made. Firstly, it must be made in the United States (and it is indeed made all across the USA – not every bourbon is a Kentucky bourbon!). The mash bill of a bourbon must be made with at least 51% corn (the most common others types of grain used in bourbon production are rye, barley and wheat). Bourbon must be aged in new, charred oak barrels (with no minimum specified ageing period – though if it has been aged for fewer than three years, it can’t legally be called whiskey here in Europe). The spirit can’t be distilled to more than 80% ABV, and bourbon must be bottled at 40% ABV or more.

If all that law learnin’ has made you mighty parched, we have many of the best bourbon brands in stock, including Blanton’s, Woodford Reserve, Four Roses and more. And as for those aforementioned bourbon cocktails, you can’t go wrong with a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned.

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