Where'd the name originated from? The standard clarification is that the hooch is named for the first Bourbon County, Kentucky, which secured a far bigger region than the present day province (which has no refineries today) and came to be called "Old Bourbon."
As the corn bourbon made by region distillers was transported around the nation, the barrels were stamped with the region's name, and individuals began calling the Kentucky bourbons whiskey to separate them from other local styles. Whiskey County, thusly, was named for the illustrious House of Bourbon, which had monarchs at the time that controlled over France, Spain, Sicily, Naples, Spain.
Another theory attributes the name it to the bourbon's notoriety in New Orleans and inquisitive consumers searching out the bourbon sold on Bourbon Street, or "that bourbon."
So what makes Bourbon? While whiskey is conceived in Kentucky and quite a bit of it is still made there today, whiskey doesn't need to originate from Bourbon County or the Bluegrass State. So what makes whiskey?, as indicated by the Federal Standards of Identity of Distilled Spirits, is this:
It's made in the U.S.
It's refined from a grain blend that is no less than 51 percent corn.
It's matured in new, oak barrels that have been burned.
It's refined to close to 160 proof, put into the barrel for maturing at 125 proof or beneath and packaged at 80 proof or higher.
Whiskey that meets those gauges, and has been matured for no less than two years can be marked straight whiskey or straight bourbon.
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