In general, the entire continent of America was founded on a healthy appreciation of alcohol. But in America, the colonial beverage of choice often include beer, wine and whiskey, and surely the consumption of these drinks by the Founding Fathers has played an important role in the creation of this nation.

As the new republic was being formed, a new all – American drink was coming into being due to the revolution, taxation, and American ingenuity, the colonial whiskey became a uniquely American spirit called “bourbon”.

The whiskey was popular with Scots-Irish immigrants who settled in colonial America. The spirit drink was so important to their lives they brought their distillation equipment and treasured tradition distiller long tradition with them when they crossed the Atlantic. Because of embargoes, wartime molasses and sugar was needed to make rum; whiskey and Irish whiskey became the most popular alcoholic beverages in the colonies.

Because of the potential to make money for the fledgling government, the Continental Congress began taxing whiskey production to pay off the war debt associated with the revolution. Whiskey settlers in the regions of Appalachia were outraged and refused to pay, so the Continental Army was finally sent to rural Pennsylvania in 1794 to calm the “Whiskey Rebellion”. To allow an agreement with the Scots-Irish settlers stubborn, the government created incentives for corn production in Bowling Green, Kentucky (then part of Virginia).

Thomas Jefferson, the governor of Virginia, offered the 25 hectares of land for settlers in Kentucky, in exchange for establishing a settlement and start farming corn. But 25 hectares of farmland produces a significant amount of corn, more than could be consumed by a family personally. Naturally, intelligent Scots-Irish found a perfect application for excess crops.

History of the Bourbons

Bourbon was born in Kentucky in the late eighteenth century. The “corn whiskey” took by name in the region where it was distilled. The Old Bourbon, incidentally named after the French Bourbon family. Oak barrels beverage were sealed with “Old Bourbon” to mark their place of origin, the word eventually became synonymous with bourbon any corn whiskey made in America.

Elaborating the corn whiskey or “Bourbon”

The whiskey distillation process has not changed much since the first round. Corn is the primary grain used, with the rest wheat or rye, and barley. This mixture of grains, known as the  mash is fermented. The mash can be fermented by itself or combined with a sour mash fermentation. The acid incorporated into the mash prior distillation with the new mash. This process ensures that multiple batches to maintain a constant pH level. The fermented mash is distilled next to reach an alcohol percentage between 65% and 80%. The clear spirit is aged in charred oak barrels, which give the liquor its distinctive red color. The Bourbons continue to darken over time they age.

Production process, in chronological order:

Grain selection and mixing.


Cooking grains.

Yeast management.



Mashed acid.

Packed in barrels.


Bottle filling.

Check out other articles about Bowling Green and Kentucky by Raquel Moran