Nine Things You Might Not Know About Bourbon

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Back to school season is here, and we’re taking it back to basics every week in August at the Bourbon Review. While some of our expert readers may not be surprised at this list, these are the things every Bourbon drinker should know about their favorite spirits.

1. There are currently more barrels of Bourbon aging in Kentucky than there are people (although we’d be happy to help even the score any time).

2. Bourbon must be aged in brand new, charred American White Oak barrels.

3. Some Scotch whisky is now aged in used Bourbon whiskey barrels.

4. In 1897, congress passed the Bottled-in-Bond act to protect distillers and consumers from diluted or boot-legged product, making it law for bottled-in-bond label Bourbon to be from one distiller using the product of one distillation period.

5. Bourbon that’s fresh off the still is called white lighting, white dog, moonshine, or hooch.

6. Bourbon must be made from 51% corn.

7. Bourbon must begin aging at no more than 125 proof, and be bottled between 80 and 160 proof.

8. Kentucky produces 95% of the world’s Bourbon, and is home to an industry that provides 17,500 jobs.

9. The angel’s share of the Bourbon is what evaporates during aging – but the Devil takes his too. The “devil’s cut” refers to what is left behind absorbed in the barrel wood after aging is complete.

We’ll dive more into specifics about Bourbon distilling, aging, and law as the we head back to Bourbon school all month!