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Crash Course: How Whiskey and Bourbon are Made
Whiskey must follow a specific set of legal requirements to be called a bourbon. It’s unique to the United States and must be made here — but it doesn’t have to be from Kentucky. Millions of people around the world enjoy alcohol: but do they know how it's made? Bourbon and whiskey are two of the most popular liquors out there, but most people don't know the root that goes into their creation is! If a spirit doesn't follow the following: - Only whiskey produced in the United States can be called bourbon. - Bourbon must be made of a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn (maize). - Bourbon must be distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof (80% alcohol by volume). - Neither coloring nor flavoring may be added. - Bourbon must be aged in new, charred oak barrels. - Bourbon must be entered into the barrel at no more than 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume). - Bourbon, like other whiskeys, must be bottled at not less than 80 proof (40% alcohol by volume.) - Bourbon that meets the above requirements and has been aged for a minimum of two years may (but is not required to) be called Straight Bourbon. - Straight Bourbon aged for a period less than four years must be labeled with the duration of its aging. If an age is stated on the label, it must be the age of the youngest whiskey in the bottle.
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