Spiritless was born from a love of bourbon, which is why we celebrate it all year long. But since September is officially National Bourbon Heritage Month — when bourbon lovers the world over toast the craftsmanship and contributions of America’s Native Spirit — we thought we’d share a few things we’ve learned over the years. Read on to pick up five fun facts that’ll have you looking like a bourbon baller.
Bourbon’s Origin Story. According to Louisville historian and bourbon aficionado, Michael Veach, the name “bourbon” may not have originated in Bourbon Country, Kentucky. It may actually come from… wait for it… New Orleans! Around 1807, two men known as the Tarascon brothers began shipping Kentucky whiskey to NOLA’s famous entertainment district, Bourbon Street. The goods were so, well, good that people started asking for it by name, as in, “Give me that whiskey they sell on Bourbon Street,” which eventually became, “that bourbon whiskey.” Today, though, almost all bourbons are birthed in Kentucky; the Bluegrass State produces 95% of the world’s bourbon.
Bourbon for Breakfast? Sure. Try a Kentucky coffee: strongly brewed coffee, cream, sugar and a splash of bourbon. We also loooooove this buttery, brioche-y, bourbon-y pecan French toast with bourbon maple syrup recipe from Epicurious. Kentucky 74 is the perfect substitute for traditional bourbon if you’d like to go totally Spiritless in either of these recipes.
Bourbon is Whiskey but Whiskey’s not Bourbon. Bourbon is always classified as a whiskey... but not all whiskeys are bourbons. Bourbon whiskey is distilled from a mixture of grains that’s at least 51% corn — which lends bourbon its sweetness — and aged in charred oak barrels, which gives it its distinctive oaky-smoky flavor and caramel color. We worked hard to recreate that special flavor profile in Spiritless Kentucky 74, mixing and matching, blending and bottling until we landed on the exact right combination.
Whisky. Whiskey. What?! Is it whisky or is it whiskey? Technically, both spellings are correct, though “whisky” is specific to Scotch, while “whiskey-with-an-e” is Irish. Bourbon, aka American whiskey aka Mother’s Milk (to those of us born and bred in Kentucky), is a whiskey. You’ll find the “e” on every bottle of U.S.-based bourbon whiskey distilled over the past century.
All About that ABV. When bourbon is bottled, it has to be at least 80 proof (40% ABV). By comparison, Spiritless Kentucky 74 is non-alcoholic and that’s how we’re breaking all the rules. No wonder there’s no hangover! In fact, you might just want to double up; may we suggest signing up for our subscription service?