In honor of National Bourbon Heritage Month in September, Forbes.com recently ran an article titled “6 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Bourbon.” Here is a summary of the six interesting facts:
Bourbon is heavily regulated. Unlike whiskey, it’s illegal to supplement bourbon with added color or flavoring. In addition, bourbon must be made in the U.S. from at least 51 percent corn, and aged in new charred-oak barrels.
Popular scotches often contain bourbon, too. Because bourbon has to be aged in new barrels, distilleries send the once-used barrels to scotch companies so they can be used again. Approximately three – five gallons of bourbon remain trapped in the wood.
What’s in a name? Did the name “bourbon” come from Bourbon County, Kentucky or Bourbon Street in New Orleans? Depends on where you’re from. The debate rages on.
Age doesn’t matter. Distillers say bourbon ages three to four times faster than scotch and hits its peak in 9-12 years. Because that’s very young compared to a good scotch, bourbon makers don’t brag much about age because most people don’t understand the comparison.
Born in the USA. Almost all bourbon distillers are based in Kentucky, but the law says it simply must come from somewhere in the USA.
Bourbon or whiskey? All bourbons are whiskey, but not all whiskies are bourbons.