Gear Patrol takes us on a tour of 12 bourbon distilleries, and talks to experts about the bourbon-making process. Those experts include: the education director and the miller at Maker’s Mark, a tour guide at Buffalo Trace, master distiller at Willett Distillery, a tour guide at the Jim Beam American Stillhouse, and the master distiller at Woodford Reserve.

Below are 5 important rules that distilleries must follow to be able to call their product bourbon:

1. Needs to be made from at least 51% corn 

2. Has to be aged in a new, charred oak container

3. Can’t be distilled any higher than 160 proof

4. Can’t be barreled for aging at more than 125 proof

5. Can’t have flavor/color additives

Fun fact: One of the reasons Kentucky makes so much bourbon is because of its water. The part of the state where most distilleries are located sits on a limestone bed, and the water filters through the limestone. The water picks up calcium, which gives a nice and sweet flavor, and the limestone filtration removes iron.

Watch the video above to learn even more about America’s unique take on whiskey.


[via Gear Patrol]

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