The Bourbon You’re Drinking Might Not Be What You Think
Nothing appeals more to the American population than bourbon. This homegrown spirit is probably one of the most popular whiskeys in America today. But how much do we know about this drink? Is the Bourbon you’re drinking actually what you think it is?
There are a lot of misconceptions and mysteries about bourbon that most people don’t know about. A lot of these rumors and misconceptions are being attributed to its surging popularity. Some of these might originate from bars and drunk conversations.
Whether it came from a verified source or not, there are things that a lot of people are unaware of their popular drink. And since it has a unique history it’s not a surprise that there are a lot of misconceptions about this drink. So, here’s why the bourbon you are drinking might not be what you think.
Bourbon Myths That Still Exist
While bourbon is exponentially growing in bars and restaurants, so are the misconceptions surrounding this drink. There are myths surrounding America’s most popular drink. And a lot of people still believe that these myths are true.
While some myths are completely untrue, there are those that has some truth. Just like the myth that the older it is, the better it tastes. This is not completely untrue because some people like the taste of more aged drinks.
The fact that these myths still exist is a sign that bourbon is booming and is still a popular drink. In fact, there’s a significant increase in its sales in the world market today. There will be more myths that will spin out of this drink for years to come.
The Misconceptions of Bourbon Whiskey
Bourbon has been around for a long time, so long that you can consider it to be as one of the oldest known sprites around the world. Being the old drink that it is, it carries with it a rich history of every brand of whiskey that’s produced.
Each distillery has their own unique tradition in making America’s oldest spirit. But with new distillers popping up every year, it’s hard to compete with something that already has a long history with the spirit. This might be true for the most part, but there are still new companies that actually buy the history from old distillers.
Bottles of this liquor are actually not what you think it is. The reality is that the liquid inside of your bottle is not the original liquor that you want to initially drink. Every misconception and myth about this liquor can be attributed to the bottle’s label.
Its Marketing Strategy
Marketing plays a big role in selling this liquor, and some distilleries often go to great lengths just to promote their product. First of all, people like to read interesting and unique stories about their favorite drink. A great success story will always be interesting to the eyes of many.
More than 200 Kentucky bourbon whiskey bottles are being sold in the market today. And each bourbon distillery has its own unique story to tell. Distillers use this background as a marketing strategy to sell their liquor.
Even new distillers use the old tales of these liquor just so they can sell their products. When new companies buy old distillers they also buy the history along with the stories surrounding the liquor. This is one reason why the bourbon that you are drinking might not be what you think.
The Numbers Don't Match
You might be wondering why there are so many bourbon brands in the market today. Does this mean that there are also a lot of distilleries in Kentucky producing 200 brands? Well, if you think 14 distilleries are already many, then be my guest.
You’ve read that right, there are more or less 14 registered distilleries in Kentucky that produces bourbon whiskey. As confusing as it may seem, the 200 brands of whiskey probably came from the same distillery but was bought by a different company.
It has already been a common practice for companies to buy and sell their properties to different owners. This is why there are a lot of brands but only a few distilleries that exist. New companies might change the name of the brand but the whiskey that they use will still come from the same barrels.
Different Brands But The Same Distiller
Out of the 14 distilleries in Kentucky, there are those which produce more than one brand without having to sell their company to a new owner. These distilleries release different drinks under a different brand name as a marketing strategy.
This strategy is one of the reasons why there are a lot of brands despite the lack of distilleries in Kentucky. What makes the other brands different is in its aging process. Each brand that the distillery releases might be just a year away from its other brands.
Distillers like to use this method to increase their sales and expand their business. Undeniably, a lot of people don’t know this fact. For those who are unaware, they’re excited to taste this new brand. And for those who already know, they are also excited to try their new product.
Same Recipe But Different Bourbons
Distillers often put on their bottle that the bourbon you’re drinking is being made with their secret ingredient. Drinkers must understand that there is no secret ingredient that’s added to the recipe. This is because when you make a certain type of whiskey there is a law that is being followed when making it.
So how can distillers make different brands with the same ingredients? The answer is simple, distillers bottle their liquor at different ages. While distillers can’t tamper with the exact ingredients used in making bourbon. They could always change the year when the liquor is being bottled.
Even if each distiller uses the same ingredients they would still have a different brand under their name. Bourbon is being stored for 2-8 years before bottling it, this gives them time to make different brands under each year.
What’s in The Bottle is Different From What’s on The Label
There are some things in the bottle’s label that don’t add up when you think about it. First of all, the label on your favorite bottle is not exactly accurate. There are things written on the bottle that’s just for marketing purposes. Even the name of the brand itself is misleading.
One thing that’s different from the bottle and the label is the location of the distillery. Some labels might credit the old distillery while in reality it’s produced on another location. The reason behind this is that some companies buy old distilleries and transfer its operations to a new facility.
Some distillers use this as a marketing tool while others use this as a means to preserve the liquors rich history. Again, a liquor that has a unique and interesting history is more likely to sell than any other brand. A label could state that the whiskey was being distilled and made in Kentucky while it’s actually made somewhere else in America.
A New Whiskey Brand or Identity Will Most Likely Not Succeed
While new players in the industry just buy off old distilleries and companies to get a head start. Making a new brand from scratch will most likely fail for various reasons. One reason for that matter is that making a brand new distillery would cost you a fortune. This is why new players tend to just buy existing companies.
Another reason is that your product will have no interesting backstory or history behind it. A lot of drinkers consume a certain drink because of its history of being the best brand. So in theory, making a new brand with no history is being ignored by old drinkers.
Finally, the most important reason why a new company can’t make it big in this industry is that whiskey takes years to make. Unless the company had already started making and storing this drink for a couple of years before they announce their product. They would have trouble making it on the spot.
Things You Didn't Know About Bourbon
Bourbon has its own unique history throughout the years and following this success, there are a lot of random facts surrounding this liquor. There are a lot of things to know about bourbon. The more you know, the more that you’ll appreciate it.
The things that you know might not be what it seems. There are a lot of misconceptions that some people still believe. And we’re here to clear up those misconceptions and finally give justice to this spirit.
Here are the things you didn’t know about Bourbon.
Bourbon is 51% Corn
Part of the law that governs making bourbon is the requirement that it be made of 51% corn. This is where the sweet taste comes from and because of that, more drinkers prefer this kind of liquor over the others.
The 51% corn is the minimum requirement. So in theory, you can make your recipe as long as you follow this strict rule. Distillers often mix other grains to make their own brand.
Another misconception is that bourbon is being made in Kentucky, this fact is actually untrue. Because of the law that governs making it, as long as you follow the law you can make bourbon anywhere in America.
Bourbon is Being Made In New Oak Barrels
There’s a story going around that says bourbon is being made in any barrel as long as its new. This story has been proven to be false as the law in making this drink specifically states that bourbon should be stored in new oak barrels. If you use any other barrel, you’re breaking the law.
New oak barrels are not enough. The oak barrels are being charred to a certain degree for it to be legally allowed. The misconception in this fact is that bourbon is being stored in American oak, which is statement is false. Bourbon is being stored in any oak barrel even if it’s not American.
As long as the barrel is new, charred, and is made from oak, you can make your own bourbon. Distillers are not allowed to stray away from the law that is set. If ever they do, the distillery is sanctioned or even closed.
Bourbon Sustained The Whiskey Industry During the Early 1900’s
There is a lot of evidence to back up the fact that bourbon whiskey sustained the industry during those times. This is because it was one of the very first liquors to be ever made which captivated drinkers. This success, however, didn’t flow through and through time.
The reason behind it is that during this time, wars were rampant and a lot of people disapproved of making whiskey. But because of the popularity of in America, this did not stop the distillers from producing more.
Bourbon didn’t only sustain the industry during those times. It also sustained the Scotch industry overseas. The reason behind this is that scotch is stored in used barrels. Distillers abroad buy used barrels from bourbon distillers because some distillers store their bourbon for only 3 years.
The American Government Benefits From Bourbon
The American government loves bourbon whiskey not because of its taste or rich history. They love it because the distilleries pay millions worth of property taxes just to store their liquor. Distilleries are quick to pay their taxes to the government, because if they don’t, they will lose more than what they’ll pay.
According to recent statistics, distilleries pay an average of 10-15 million dollars in property tax just to store their liquor. This fine spirit doesn’t only taste great, it also pays well for the government.
Bourbon Doesn't Always Need to be Aged
One misconception that you might have heard of is that every bourbon that’s distilled is aged before bottling. Well, that’s not true. This is because there’s one type of bourbon that doesn’t need to age to call it bourbon.
They call this unaged bourbon as White Dog. The process of making white dog is that before the mixture is being stored for aging, they separate it and bottle it directly. It’s a fresh hash version that’s finding its way into the market today.
Some distillers call this type of liquor as white lightning or white whiskey. The appearance of this liquor is as clear as water and smooth as most whiskey. You can mix this liquor to other drinks to make interesting new cocktails.
Making Bourbon at Home is a Criminal Offense
No matter how much you love your liquor you can’t just make it at home. There’s a federal law protecting the making of liquor in America. The law explicitly prohibits the making of any sort of alcoholic beverage.
While you can’t make your own whiskey, you could always own it. The reason why you can’t make whiskey at home is plain and simple. The materials that you need to make this liquor are vastly dangerous for many reasons. One reason is that alcohol vapor, when managed poorly, could cause explosions.
Another reason is that making this liquor is complicated enough to fit in your home. This is why making whiskey is being prohibited and protected by law.