Bourbon HistoryBourbon is the whiskey born in America.
Scotch and Irish immigrants who settled in Appalachia brought along their whiskey distillation skills, but had difficulty finding the proper grains, such as rye. Since corn was plentiful, a little Yankee ingenuity soon had them using corn in place of half the hard-to-find grains, resulting in the birth of bourbon.
Its name evokes thoughts of Europe, and in a way, it is indirectly named for the Bourbon monarchs of Europe. Most historical sources espouse the theory that the name actually comes from Bourbon County, named in honor of settlers' former Bourbon French rulers. This county was originally located in Virginia, but due to moving of boundary lines on numerous occasions, Bourbon County is currently in Kentucky.
Although spirits had been made of corn as early as 1746, the creation of bourbon is credited by some historians to a Baptist minister, Reverend Elijah Craig. Reverend Craig allegedly began distilling the unique spirit dubbed bourbon but still known as corn whiskey, in the town of Royal Spring, Virginia (now known as Georgetown, Kentucky), in 1789.
Notwithstanding the foregoing information, writer Charles Cowdery has a well-reasoned, albeit somewhat differing explanation for the origin of the bourbon term, as first printed in the Bourbon Country Reader. The first advertisement for bourbon whiskey, appearing in the Western Citizen, didn't occur until 1821.
By the mid-1800s, Kentucky bourbon had its own reputation in taverns where it was served from barrels. Bourbon was first bottled in 1870.
Bourbon production is now regulated by law with specific guidelines and requirements.
More About Bourbon Whiskey and Bourbon Recipes: Bourbon History
Bourbon Lore and Legends
What is bourbon?
Bourbon Laws & Regulations
Bourbon Cooking Tips
Bourbon Alcohol Content in Recipes
Alcohol Burn-Off Chart
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