All You Need to Know About Bourbon

Have you ever wondered what the full story behind your favorite bourbon is? The drink has a rich history, from its accidental creation to its modern-day fan following. Next time you have company over or you’re out enjoying a bourbon cocktail, drop some of these fun facts. You’ll impress everyone with your bourbon knowledge!

So What is Bourbon?

Legally, bourbon has to be at least 51% corn. The rest of the mixture can be any blend of grains. In terms of alcohol percentage, bourbon can only be sold and professionally distilled at up to 80% alcohol volume. Most bourbon don’t have any age requirements, although for a bourbon to be labeled a ‘straight’ bourbon, that bourbon must have been aging in the cask for over two years.

How to Tell Bourbon from Whiskey

How do you tell bourbon versus whiskey? Each bourbon will have a beautiful amber color to the spirit. This color comes from the charred oak casks the bourbon is aged in.  In comparison to your run-of-the-mill whiskey, bourbon has sweeter notes, as well as a hint of smokiness (which again, comes from the delicious flavors the charred oak casks add).

One Big Happy Accident

Bourbon didn’t come about with months of scientific research – quite the opposite actually! In the Southern United States in the late 1700s, an unusual amount of rain delayed farmer’s corn whiskey shipments by months. By the time these barrels of whiskey finally reached their destination in the Northern United states, the whiskey had turned bourbon’s characteristic amber color, and had a brand new taste. Thanks to that heavy rain season, bourbon was born!

Bourbon – American Cognac

Back in the 18th century, importing liquor from France and Ireland was expensive. In order for Americans to get their fix of stronger spirits without paying the high price tag of French Cognac, shopkeepers started selling bourbon as an alternative to more expensive, foreign liquors.

Where Did the Name Bourbon Come From?

Where bourbon was first created has been a huge debate over the ages. Although it’s universally agreed that the name ‘bourbon’ is inspired from the French ‘Bourbon’ family dynasty, there are several places in the United States that want to claim the name as their own. Kentucky residents will argue that the drink comes from Bourbon County, Kentucky. Folks from New Orleans will tell you the drink is inspired by Bourbon Street in downtown NOLA. Unfortunately, the early history of bourbon is poorly documented, so we will never know just who is right!

Purists will tell you to drink your bourbon straight, but it’s completely acceptable to drink your bourbon on the rocks, with whiskey rocks, or even in a cocktail! Looking to impress company with your bourbon knowledge? A set of rocks bourbon glasses will be the perfect way to compliment the delicious spirit.  Browse through our full selection of whiskey products on

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