Trivia Minute June 14, 2015

106: One Bourbon, One Scotch, Some Trivia

by Marcus Michelson
A glass of bourbon whiskey (Photo from liquor.com)
A glass of bourbon whiskey (Photo from liquor.com)

According to legend, on June 14, 1789, the Reverend Elijah Craig was the first person to distill what today is called bourbon whiskey.

Here are a few things you may not know about bourbon whiskey.

First: Craig probably wasn’t actually the first person to distill whiskey from corn. Many farmers in Kentucky were making similar products and calling it “bourbon” to distinguish it from rye-based whiskey made further east.

Second: Bourbon has a legal definition. It can be made anywhere in the United States; the grain used to make it must be at least 51 percent corn; It has to age in new oak barrels; It must be distilled to less than 160 proof, barreled at no more than 125 proof and bottled at a minimum of 80 proof.

Third: 95 percent of all whiskey calling itself bourbon is made in Kentucky. Although products labeled “Tennessee whiskey” meet all requirements to be called bourbon as well. There are no operating distilleries located in Bourbon County, Kentucky.

Our question: What is the best-selling brand of bourbon in the United States?

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(If you’re paying attention, that is two George Thorogood references in as many days in the episode titles. We apologize).

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