Bourbon whiskey has a storied, often apocryphal history, with interesting main characters, complex governmental regulations and a variety of subtypes, each with their own flavor profile. I'll tell a bit of this story, along with some tips for finding and recognizing older or important bottles of Bourbon on liquor store shelves. ;
A lot of foundational stories are only to be taken at face value. And yet there’s a deep history of pioneer families who started out making whiskey as part of the homesteading experience and with enough generations, some of their descendants are still manning stills throughout Kentucky.
While the main focus here will be on Kentucky Bourbon whiskey, much of this information applies to other grain whiskies made in other states as well. Delicious rye whiskey abounds, and a few intrepid people make spirits from wheat or other exotic grains.
So pour a glass of the stuff and sip it as you read.