So, what exactly is Bourbon?

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“Bourbon is the most heavily regulated product in the world. Our Federal Government tell you how you have to make bourbon.” – Eddie Russell

All bourbons are whiskey but not all whiskies are bourbon. Just like all thumbs are fingers but not every finger is your thumb. Listed below is a set of rules that make America’s only native spirit exactly that;

A – American Made! Despite popular belief that bourbon can only be made in Kentucky, if it is made anywhere in the USA this criterion is met.

B – Barrels! The spirit must be aged in a new charred oak barrel.

C – Corn! The mash must contain over 51% Corn.

D – Distillation proof. After the stripping run is complete the new make’s alcohol content cannot be higher than 160 proof (50ABV).

E – Entry Proof. When the new make enters the barrel it cannot have an alcohol volume above 125 proof (62.5 ABV).

F – Fill proof. When the bourbon enters the bottle (as is with all whisk(e)y’s world wide), it must be 80 proof (40% abv) or higher.

G – Genuine. The bourbon must be pure and contain no added color or flavor.

If all the above criteria are met, you have yourself a bottle of bourbon. Full stop. But some of you will be thinking, ‘But some bottles I have seen in Dam Murphy have “Bottled in Bond” written on them. I wonder what that means?’ Great question.

Bottled in Bond mean that the bottle of Bourbon hat that you are holding has been aged and bottled according to a set of legal regulations contained in the United States government’s Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits, as originally laid out in the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897. That was the year that Colonel Taylor led a crusade against sub standard or even unlawfully made Bourbon. The Bottled0in-Bond Act means that the bottle you are now holding MUST;

1 – Be a product of one distilling season, one Master Distiller & one distillery

2 – It must be aged in a Federally bonded warehouse under Government supervision for a minimum of 4 years

3 – It must be bottled in glass, and be at least 100 proof.

You are now an expert in the requirements of making bourbon. Spread the word.

1 COMMENT

  1. Love this step by step guide. Very similar information i got from the small batch sessions tasting i went to not long ago. Look him up. He’s a lovely little guy called Joe and he’s Melbourne based

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