How Bourbon is Made: The ABC’s in 9 Minutes

Head over to Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty’s web entry on Bour­bon, and you will learn that, back in 1964, the U.S. Con­gress rec­og­nized Bour­bon Whiskey as a “dis­tinc­tive prod­uct of the Unit­ed States,” and the Fed­er­al Stan­dards of Iden­ti­ty for Dis­tilled Spir­its (27 C.F.R. 5.22) estab­lished a bunch of laws defin­ing what Bour­bon is, and isn’t. The Stan­dards read as fol­lows:

  • 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.

If a spir­it does­n’t com­ply with these rules, it ain’t Bour­bon.

In the video above, Gear Patrol takes a clos­er look at how Bour­bon is made. The pro­duc­ers toured 12 dis­til­leries in five days, and asked each to explain the Bour­bon-mak­ing process. Along the way, you will fig­ure out why so much Bour­bon comes from Ken­tucky. It comes down to geol­o­gy, not chance.

via Devour

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Physics of Guin­ness Beer Demys­ti­fied

How to Open a Wine Bot­tle with Your Shoe for the DIY Con­nois­seur

Sci­ence & Cook­ing: Harvard’s Free Course on Mak­ing Cakes, Pael­la & Oth­er Deli­cious Food

MIT Teach­es You How to Speak Ital­ian & Cook Ital­ian Cui­sine All at Once (Free Online Course)

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.