Think that you’re a bourbon connoisseur? Test your knowledge with these 10 interesting facts about bourbon.

  1. All bourbon is whiskey but not all whiskey is bourbon. By definition, whiskey is a spirit distilled from fermented grain mash — grain varieties include wheat, rye, barley, and corn — and then aged in wooden barrels. To be bourbon it needs to be produced in America and made from 51 percent corn.
  2. Bourbon, by law, must be aged in a brand-new, charred white oak barrel to be called straight bourbon whiskey. After the barrels have been used once, they can no longer be used for bourbon again and many times the barrels then used for aging Scotch.
  3. Where does all the corn and other grain go after it’s done making bourbon? It gets shipped off to farms to be used as feed for cows. So, drink your bourbon and feel good about it!
  4. In 1964, Congress declared bourbon “America’s Native Spirit.” That means to be called bourbon, it must be made in the U.S. But really, everyone knows that means Kentucky—95 percent of the world’s bourbon is made in Kentucky.
  5. There are more barrels of bourbon than people in Kentucky. The state has more than 7.5 million barrels of bourbon that are currently in storage aging – a number that exceeds the state’s population of 4.454 million. There are now almost two barrels for every person living in Kentucky.
  6. The name originally derives from the French royalty, the House of Bourbon. In the 1780s, Thomas Jefferson offered farmers 60 acres of prime Kentucky real estate to grow “crops of native origin”. He called the area Bourbon County in honor of the French contribution to the American Revolutionary War.
  7. During World War II, many distilleries were converted to produce penicillin, which is also a product of fermentation that will cure what ails you.
  8. According to USA Today, Kentucky distillers pay over $23 million state and local barrel taxes. The Bourbon tax rate is the highest of all 536 manufacturing industries in Kentucky.
  9. Home distillation is illegal – so don’t try this at home!
  10. Kentucky distillers are committed to being responsible. In 2018, they have delivered over 3,700 free rides to reduce impaired driving with Lyft and prevented underage access to alcohol by catching 250 fake IDs at their distilleries with Intellicheck.