Bourbon is an American whiskey, a type of
distilled spirit, made primarily from corn and named for Bourbon County,
Kentucky. It has been produced since the 18th century. While it can be
made anywhere in the United States, it is strongly associated with the
Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Left: A selection of
Bourbons offered at a liquor store in Decatur, Georgia.
Almost all bourbons marketed today are made from more than
two-thirds corn, have been aged at least four years, and qualify as "straight
bourbon" (aged for a minimum of two years). The typical grain mixture for
bourbon is 70% corn, with the remainder being wheat and/or rye, and malted
Bourbon may be produced anywhere in the United States where
it is legal to distill spirits. Currently most brands are produced in Kentucky,
where bourbon has a strong association. Estimates are that 95% of the world's
bourbon is distilled and aged in Kentucky. Bourbon has also been made in
Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia.