Whiskey vs Bourbon glasses

Unraveling the Origins of Bourbon: A Journey Through Whiskey History

What is whiskey glass?

A whiskey glass is a type of glassware specifically designed for drinking whiskey. 

It is typically a short and wide glass with a thick bottom that allows the whiskey to be swirled around and the aroma to be captured. 

The wide opening of the glass also allows for the whiskey to be appreciated visually, while the short stature of the glass keeps the aroma concentrated for the nose to enjoy. 

There are various types of whiskey glasses, including the classic tumbler or Old Fashioned glass, the lowball glass, and the copita glass, each designed to enhance the drinking experience of the whiskey in its own unique way.

The intriguing history behind American whiskey, particularly bourbon, often leaves us pondering its French-sounding name and Southern roots. 

How did this iconic American spirit end up with a moniker borrowed from French royalty?

Bourbon’s American Spirit with French Origins: 

The etymology of bourbon’s name is not entirely clear, but it holds intriguing connections to French history. 

The word “bourbon” is derived from the House of Bourbon, a renowned French dynasty. 

This linkage to the American South can be traced back to the region’s historical ties with France, notably when Louisiana was a French colony.

Further adding to the puzzle, in 1785, a vast Virginia county, encompassing areas that now belong to Kentucky, was named “Bourbon County” as a token of gratitude for French support during the American Revolution. 

Today, Bourbon County, Kentucky, still exists, and fittingly, its county seat is named Paris.

Contrary to the popular belief that bourbon got its name from Bourbon County, bourbon historian Michael Veach suggests an alternate theory. 

He proposes that “bourbon” actually references Bourbon Street in New Orleans. 

In the 1800s, Bourbon Street was a bustling hub of bars and restaurants, tempting patrons with drinks like mint juleps and the original Sazerac (which, interestingly, initially called for brandy).

According to Veach, the modern bourbon’s roots can be traced back to two French brothers who relocated to Louisville, Kentucky, in the 19th century. 

They began shipping whiskey from Kentucky distilleries down the Ohio River to New Orleans, storing it in charred oak barrels. 

By the time it reached New Orleans, it had acquired the deep color and oaky flavor that bourbon is renowned for today. 

This unique Kentucky whiskey gained popularity in bars and restaurants along Bourbon Street, eventually leading to requests for “Bourbon Street whiskey,” which eventually simplified to “bourbon whiskey.”

The rise of early bourbon distillers like Jack Daniel, Elijah Craig, and Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. further fueled the bourbon craze in New Orleans and beyond. 

By the 1880s, bourbon whiskey had firmly established itself on an unstoppable trajectory.

Bourbon Today: 

While bourbon stands as the most renowned American whiskey, it is just one of approximately 20 defined categories of American whiskey. 

This list includes other favorites like rye whiskey and Tennessee whiskey, as well as unique varieties like corn whiskey and light whiskey. 

Beyond these American options, there are also world whiskies such as Scotch, Irish, and Canadian.

One of the most exciting aspects of crafting bourbon today is the incredible diversity it offers. There has never been a better time to be a bourbon enthusiast or blender. 

At Barrell Craft Spirits, our mission was clear from the start: to create the finest whiskeys possible. 

Rather than building a distillery, we harnessed the immense variety of bourbons and other whiskeys available today by focusing on blending rather than distillation.

The results have been outstanding. Barrell Craft Spirits has earned numerous accolades, including Best American Whiskey of the Year, Best Small Batch Bourbon, and numerous gold and double gold medals.

However, our primary goal aligns with the vision of those French entrepreneurs in Louisville 170 years ago: to craft spirits that people genuinely love.

For us, this means producing cask strength bottlings, meticulous blends, and a mindset that combines tradition with experimentation.

We are confident that you will discover a Barrell Bourbon that perfectly suits your palate, whether it’s the sweet and floral Barrell Bourbon New Year 2021 Limited Edition or the richly spiced BCS Bourbon. 

So, whether you savor it neat or use it to craft a classic Manhattan, raise your glass to the rich history and promising future of bourbon.

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