History of Bourbon
Bourbon whiskey // is a type of American whiskey, a barrel-aged distilled spirit made primarily from corn. The name ultimately derives from the French Bourbon dynasty, although the precise inspiration for the whiskey's name is uncertain; contenders include Bourbon County in Kentucky and Bourbon Street in New Orleans, both of which are named after the dynasty. Bourbon has been distilled since the 18th century. The name "Bourbon" was not applied until the 1850s, and the Kentucky etymology was not advanced until the 1870s. Although bourbon may be made anywhere in the United States, it is strongly associated with the American South and with Kentucky in particular. As of 2014, distillers' wholesale market revenue for bourbon sold within the U.S. was about $2.7 billion, and bourbon made up about two-thirds of the $1.6 billion of U.S. exports of distilled spirits. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, in 2018 U.S. distillers derived $3.6 billion in revenue from bourbon and Tennessee whiskey (a closely related spirit produced in the state of Tennessee) sold in the United States.
It was recognized in 1964 by the United States Congress as a "distinctive product of the United States". Bourbon sold in the United States must be produced in the U.S. from at least 51% corn and stored in a new container of charred oak.
Continue reading at source: Wikipedia
As one might expect, the history of bourbon is a little sketchy. Many important dates are disputed, many were forgotten (a few on purpose) and still more may have become hazy due to the nature of the subject at hand. Here is a timeline of those important moments, or supposed moments. Many of these events had an impact that reached beyond those who make and drink "America's Native Spirit."
1783: Samuels Family Tradition Begins
The Samuels family claims the title of the oldest bourbon family still going strong. Prior to 1840, the Samuels family did not produce bourbon commercially.
It wasn't until T.W. Samuels (grandson of Robert Samuels who created the "secret" family recipe) came along and constructed a distillery at Samuels Depot, Kentucky that the family made a business of bourbon.
1783: First Commercial Distillery in Kentucky
In 1943, after a break during Prohibition, Bill Samuels Sr. burned that famous family recipe. Bill Sr. wanted to create a bourbon without the bitterness, and so he did: Maker's Mark. The company is now in the hands of his son, Bill Samuels Jr., who continues the family bourbon tradition today.
When Evan Williams opened his distillery on the banks of the Ohio River in Louisville, it was the first commercial distillery in Kentucky. The bourbon that still bears the distiller's name is one of the popular bourbons today.
Continue reading at source: The Spruce Eats