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Understanding bourbon

Kentucky produces 95 percent of the world’s bourbon, which is highly regulated and must meet many criteria.

All bourbon must be made in the United States. While all bourbon is whiskey, not all whiskey is bourbon. Bourbon is a special class of whiskey that must be aged in new charred  oak barrels. Those containers can be used only one time, and interestingly, the used bourbon barrels are often shipped to Ireland and Scotland to be used in aging scotch and Irish whiskey.

Distilleries use different recipes, but all are required to use at least 51 percent corn. No artificial colorings or additives are allowed anywhere in the regulated distillery process, and the bourbon can be distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof.