View Full Version : non kentucky borbouns

11-28-2001, 20:03
well i know this is going to sound like a bit of a silly questions but i'm a bartender in Michigan and in the course of my readings on various websites i'm learning the history of bourbon and what makes bourbon a bourbon. My question is that i understand that anyone can make bourbon. Morevover it does not HAVE to be made in kentucky or in old bourbon country. everyone at the bar says.. "you're wrong, it has to be made in bourbon county, ky" and we end up whipping out all the makers and beam and so forth and they all go "see, only kentucky" anyways to make my naivete brief could any of you name some other straight, rye or any bourbons that are made elsewhere in the u.s. or world? i know the whole greater than 50 percent corn and the oak barrel, two years bit. but my comrades don't seem to believe that that's all you need. Any help would be appreciated. thanks

11-28-2001, 22:18
Bourbon must be made in the US, but as you state, not necessarily in Kentucky. The best examples I can think of are the Hirsch 16 & 20 yo. They are exceptional bourbons that were made in Pennsylvania.

11-29-2001, 01:29
They sure knew how to make bourbon in Pennsylvania! I have a bottle of the 16 y.o. Hirsch ... fabulous!

Other non-Kentucky bourbons I know of are 'Virginia Gentleman', from Virginia, and 'Sam Cougar', available on the Australian market; FAIK this comes from Indiana. Then there is the Viking distillery in Georgia, but I haven't seen their bourbon bottled yet (anyone?).

There is also a very bourbon-like-tasting Japanese whiskey, called 'Hips' (from Kirin-Seagram). On the label it does hint at being a bourbon, but as it is non-US, it doesn't explicitly say so. I've had a taste, but it's nothing special, very light and inoffensive.

Cheers, Lex

11-29-2001, 12:39
Actually, while a lot of bourbon is made in Kentucky, not a single drop of it is made in Bourbon County, Kentucky. The last Bourbon County distillery closed in the 70s, or thereabouts.

Virginia Gentleman is the most widely known non-Kentucky bourbon. McCormick, made in Missouri, is another non-Kentucky bourbon. At one time there was a very large bourbon industry in Peoria, Illinois.

Here's something that might help. If bourbon can only be made in Kentucky, then why do the Kentucky distilleries all put "Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey" on their labels? If bourbon was an exclusive product of Kentucky, that would be redundant.

Perhaps your patrons also believe all vodka is made in Russia from potatoes?

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

11-29-2001, 15:05
Now, note that I am talking about 30+ years ago, when I was young and much poorer. I used to frequently drink a straight bourbon called Old Hickory that was made in Pennsylvania. It had a picture of Andrew Jackson on the label and it was my favorite cheap bourbon.

I haven't seen it in years, but the principles remain the same. Genuine bourbon must be made in the USA, but not necessarily in Kentucky.


11-30-2001, 12:16
thank you everyone. your information has proved very helpful, and surprising for a few patrons.

11-30-2001, 12:49
There will also be a whiskey entering the market in 2002, "Conecuh Reserve," made by Conecuh Ridge distillery in Bullock County, Alabama, although their first few batches will be produced under contract at a Kentucky distillery.

11-30-2001, 14:42

Now you know I've had close relations with more than just a few sexy Alabainian girls. What makes this whiskey so different? If it's that good should I go down to Talledega and pick up a new sweetie? Everyone knows that I like a smooooth southern sweetie with chrome plated spinner pasties! Ah Yes! You've never heard a Rebel Yell like this 'un!

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

12-01-2001, 10:44
I don't know that much about it really. The founder, Kenny May, says that it'll be Southern sippin' whiskey and that they'll use his father's recipe. Apparently his father was a well known moonshiner in Bullock county. I'm hoping it has been in barrels for a few years and that it won't turn out to be something like Georgia Moon.


12-02-2001, 09:00
I, for one, am VERY pleased to know of a bartender who is seeking out the information. You may, or may, not be surprised at all of the misinformation that bartenders seem to have. And there are some very good books on bourbon (and on whisk(e)y, for that matter) that would help you along the way.

Enjoy -- and thanks for taking such an interest in your trade!


12-02-2001, 12:15
<html>I hear ya. The last time I was at a bar I asked the bartender what their bourbon selection was and she named them off, starting with Crown Royal! After that I said I'd look over what they had and get back to her.


12-03-2001, 20:51
http://www.straightbourbon.com/images/icons/wink.gif At least she started at the top!