It’s a well known fact that Bourbon is delicious, and that Bourbon and Kentucky go together like peanut butter and jelly. While there are a lot of ‘facts’ out there about Bourbon – we wanted to know, what’s the true history of Bourbon in Kentucky?

According to the Kentucky Distillers Association (1) Bourbons rich tradition dates back to the early 1700s. Settlers wanted to transport crops, and it was easier in liquid form. (Also makes for a tasty drink to pass the time, I assume)

Now a common misconception, so often reminded to me by my friends out West, is that Bourbon HAS to be made or produced in Bourbon County in order to (technically) be called Bourbon. Wrong. There is a County in Kentucky, Bourbon County, which transported barrels of Whiskey across the region. Each barrel was stamped ‘Bourbon County’, which lead folks to start calling it ‘Bourbon Whiskey’. It quickly became popular, and soon to just be called Bourbon, and in 1964 was deemed by Congress as America’s Official Native Spirit. As it damn well should be.

According to Wikipedia, which is very reliable, Bourbon isn’t named after Bourbon County, it’s named after Bourbon street in Louisiana… I’m going with the KDA on this one. Wiki also claims that Elijah Craig led the charge in the Bourbon Industry, and is the one who formed the process using the American Oak Charred casks, giving it a distinct taste and color. (2) Now that might be true.

Regardless of which tale is true, Bourbon is a multi-Million dollar industry bringing this tasty beverage to folks across the World. There are certain specifications though, to be deemed a Bourbon. While it doesn’t have to be made in Bourbon County, KY – there are a few things that must be in place in order to claim the Bourbon category.

1. Must be made in the USA ;

2. Made from grain mixture that is at least 51% corn;

3. Aged in new, charred oak barrels;

4. Distilled to no more than 160 proof or 80% alcohol by volume;

5. Entered into the barrel to age at no more than 125 proof;

6. Be bottled at 80 proof or more.


Which ever way you spin it, we’re pretty proud of our Kentucky Bourbon Heritage. And with the impressive stats from the KDA, The Bourbon Trail, and Individual Distilleries – I’d say folks around the world would agree.

The Bourbon Social is excited to become a part of the Bourbon scene, and our goal is to give folks near and far a big dose of the craft and culture of Bourbon, as well as the people, places, and purveyors around us that fit together so nicely. From distillery tours, to tastings, to cocktail competitions, and local Bourbon and Southern inspired cuisine – we hope to provide our guests with an over-the-top, all inclusive view into the great state of Kentucky and all it has to offer.  (And let’s be honest, when you’re drinking that much Bourbon, you need tasty treats to follow. Who doesn’t love anything locally grown and perfectly paired with your cocktail.) {You can thank us later}


-> ->Getting excited about The Bourbon Social? We are too! Don’t miss your opportunity to get Early Bird Single tickets to the VIP & Main event (October 11th at Fasig-Tipton) or Early Bird Package tickets to all six events (October 10-12). Limited quantity, limited time offer. <- <-

{Tickets open March 14th 2014 at 12:00 PM, through our website}



– Cheers,

The Bourbon Social Checkers Team