The history of Bourbon

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A buddy and I over the years have found a love for GOOD bourbon and Scottish Whisky. (No that’s not a typo) the scots spell it with a k y and we spell it with k e y. Over the years we have Talk about what it would be like to open our own Distillery, and brew the nectar we love so much. We have researched it and have a goal of one day opening our own, and to make world class bourbon that will be held as one of the top Bourbons in the country. But until then We are going to write about the bourbons we have drank and want to try and write about them as a non pro bourbon Sommelier and noser. This adventure is going to be fun and exciting, and Hope you follow our adventure into the Craft Distilleries of the world. But first I wanted to know more about the history of this one spirit that I love so much and here is the research I have found:

History of U.S. Bourbon:
Who knows how they discovered the idea of making whiskey out of native corn and good water that was filtered through Kentucky limestone. But one thing is for sure over the decades the refinement of this spirit has changed America.
Back in the beginning farmers would harvest the corn in late summer and start making the whiskey in the fall. Before they could ship the nectar, they would have to wait until the spring rainy season so the Ohio and the Mississippi waters would be high enough to ship the whiskey. All the while the nectar would be sitting inside of those barrels aging. Shipping could take weeks and maybe even months before it hit its destination. With all the time it took to ship, it would take the aging to a new level. Un- aged whiskey has a harsh taste and with the aging process it turned into a amber color and evened out the flavors with a smoother taste and it was much better. So who founded the casks that we still use in today’s distilleries. Well I found the Father of Bourbon and who he was. Before I even knew who this man was I was given a bottle of Elijah Craig as a gift some time ago and found that I LOVED it. It was smooth and had quite a nice finish (look at me using Sommelier verbiage) and could not wait for that second taste.

The Father of Bourbon:
Elijah Craig an ordained Baptist minister, moved to what we know now as Kentucky; to escape prosecution from the Anglican Church and Purchasing 1,000 acres of land in a town called Lebanon. It was renamed Georgetown in 1790 in Honor of George Washington, Reverend Craig opened his distillery in 1789 in Lebanon” Georgetown” according to legend, his key contribution to the making of bourbon was the use of charred oak barrels.
There are two legends as to how this came about. The first one is the barrels were scorched in a fire and Elijah thought of being thrifty and using them anyway. The second Legend say the Reverend was trying to recycle the used barrels by charring the inside of the barrels. So basically both legends lead me to believe that Reverend Craig was a cheapskate and was not overly concerned with the quality of the whiskey he was making. There is no real evidence the Reverend invented the char but the name Father of Bourbon has stuck with the legend.
So far so good on the history of America’s spirit. Next time we will take a look on Bottled in Bond and the History of George Washington(what’s not in the History books).

Thanks for reading,

Drunk Joe.

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  1. JackVM

    WOW… i’ve always heard about Bourbon and had it in a mint julep and loved it but other than that I know nothing. This looks great and lots of fun.

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