Bourbon: All Bourbon is Whiskey, but not all Whiskey is Bourbon

Posted by Denise Burkey on

I’m sure you’ve heard that saying before!!!  If you define whiskey it is a distilled spirit from a fermented grain mash then aged in wooden barrels.  Whiskey can be made anywhere in the world.  Popular styles of whiskey include Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey, and American whiskey.  The most popular whiskey in America is, you guessed it, bourbon!

Bourbon has some specific regulations to be called a bourbon.  It needs to be produced in the US, made from 51% corn and stored in a new, charred oak barrel, and aged at least 18 mos.  Whiskey does not have the same regulations – the barrels need to be oak but not new, can be made anywhere and can contain any percent of wheat, rye, barley and/or corn in the mash.

Standards for bourbon in the US were set in the Bottle In Bond Act of 1897.  This requires the spirit to be the product of one distillation season and one distiller at one distillery.  It needs to be stored and bottled in bonded warehouses under US government supervision for no less than 4 years.

So, to note, a bourbon MUST:
Be made in the US;
Contain at least 51% corn;
Aged in new oak charred barrels for at least 18 mos;

No additives, coloring or flavoring.

Now that you know all about bourbon, stop by either one of our Plano locations so that you can Taste Before You Buy and pick up a bottle of your favorite bourbon.

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