September is National Bourbon Heritage Month

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Did you ever take a sip or bite of something and just look at it like you had just seen the face of God for the very first time?

That was the feeling I got when I had my first taste of Pappy Van Winkle 23. I couldn’t believe how much flavor was going on in this one tiny sip that I took.

Caramel. Toffee. Cinnamon. Not to mention it not tasting like any other bourbon I had before.

It was glorious. Bourbon shot right up my spirit chart to number one, dethroning Irish whiskey.

Did you know?

Bourbon is growing 6x as fast as all other spirits and is on pace to double by 2020; 8.5 million more people are drinking Bourbon today than in 2000.

  • Since 2013, Bourbon has seen 15% growth each year, making it the second largest spirit category after vodka.
  • Millennials and women, account for much of the growth with flavored Bourbons, Rye and “Premiumization” driving these trends.
  • Inventories (mostly young liquid not ready for bottling) reached roughly five million barrels last year in Kentucky— the highest level since 1977!
  • Whiskey exports from the U.S. exceeded $1 billion in value in 2012 and 2013— up 3x from 2002.

For everyone else who shares this affinity with America’s true spirit there is a whole month dedicated to this wonderful elixir of our forefathers.

September is National Bourbon Heritage Month, and I don’t think there’s a better time for it.

bourbon cigar

With cooler weather creeping in and the leaves changing colors, there is no better time than to unwind with a tumbler of bourbon.

Sunday School: The history of bourbon

Bourbon Fun Facts

  • Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and George Brown, the three pioneers of Bourbon, were all born in 1846. These three family businesses account for nearly all American whiskey produced today.
  • Bourbon is the only major distilled spirit that can trace its roots to America.
  • DYK you have to make beer to make Bourbon? The initial fermented product is a simple distillers beer.
  • There are more bourbon barrels in Kentucky than there are people.
  • On August 2, 2007, the U.S. Senate passed a bill declaring September as “National Bourbon Heritage Month,” to coincide with the 1964 Act of Congress that made bourbon “America’s Official Spirit.”

Now, while a lot of us have this love for the best use for corn, others cannot stand it. Crazy, I know, but it’s true.

Whether it was the last shot that put them over the edge or a night spent in a dorm room chugging Old Crow out of a plastic handle (been there, done both) they are put off.

Well, non-bourbon believers — I challenge you to have one quality bourbon drink during September.

It doesn’t have to be 2 ounces neat in a tumbler. It could be a Chocolate Revolver from Stock’s on 2nd. A treat, and it really is, made with Old Forester Bourbon, Kahlua and crème de cacao.

Do I have your attention now?

Maybe go with the classic Old Fashioned or Manhattan? Both are drinks any bartender should know how to make their own. Some will even put a twist on it like adding some chocolate bitters to bring out a certain undertone in the bourbon.

Old Fashioned at The Mill

Another option is to find a middle of the road like Jefferson’s or Four Roses and ask for it on the rocks. The ice you get at whiskey bars will not dilute or water down the drink, but instead might make it a bit smoother.

Don’t forget to check out our Fine Wine & Good Spirits Bourbon-specific Pinterest Board for inspiration, sales and recipe ideas.

Or, check out Sara’s Kitchen Apple Cider Harvest Punch!

Sara’s Kitchen: Apple Cider Harvest Punch #30daysofBourbon

Take a moment during September between all of the football to get back to your patriotic instincts with America’s Native Spirit.

Good night and God bless the United States of America … because it gave us bourbon.

James Werner
Author: James Werner

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