Native to Kentucky, but legally distilled anywhere in America, bourbon is a straight whiskey made from at least 51% corn grain mash. By law, bourbon must be distilled at less than 160 proof, made without additives, and aged in new, charred white oak barrels. A minimum of two years’ aging is required to call the liquor “straight bourbon.”
While bourbon may be made anywhere in the United States, it is strongly associated with the American South in general, Kentucky in particular.
Tennessee Sour Mash
Similar to bourbon, these whiskeys are filtered through maple charcoal chunks in a process that gives them a smoky flavor of cigarette ashes or chimney soot.
As with vodkas and rums, many whiskey distillers are now flavoring their spirits with honey, cinnamon, apple, maple syrup and more. According to market researchers, flavored whiskeys are the fastest growing segment of the bourbon industry in the 21st century.
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In Good Spirits:
A man drinks a shot of whiskey every night before bed, but wife wants him to quit. She gets two shot glasses, filling one with water and the other with whiskey. After handing them to him, she pulls a worm from his bait box and says "I want you to see this. " She puts a worm in the water it, and it swims around. She puts a worm in the whiskey, and the worm dies immediately. "What do you have to say now?" He responds: "If I drink whiskey, I won't get worms!"