“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.