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History Of Kentucky's Claim To Fame, Bourbon

1258 words - 5 pages

Kentucky is famous for many things. Things such as horse races, pioneers and trailblazers, such as Daniel Boone, corvettes, caves, gold, the fact that cheeseburgers were first served in 1934 in Louisville, and it is the location where the public saw an electric light for the first time, and many more. One other thing that Kentucky can use as its claim to fame is Bourbon.Bourbon is a corn based whiskey. It is moderated by a strict law that says it has to be made up of at least 51% but not more than 80% of corn. Usually, distillers use about 70%, with the rest being wheat or rye, and some other other grains. Bourbon is then distilled to no more than 160 proof, and aged in barrels for at least two years. As described on the Jim Beam website, the process by which you make bourbon can be easily described in 4 simple steps:1.“Mashing: Hammer mills grind grains of corn, rye and barley malt into a fine meal. The meal is cooked with pure iron-free water to convert the grain starches into sugars.”2.“Fermenting: The mash is pumped into a fermenter. Yeast is added to convert the sugars into ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide. This takes about three or four days to complete.”3.“Distilling: The mash is pumped into a still, where the water content of the liquid is reduced by heat. The steamy vapors are captured and cooled, resulting in a colorless condensate called "low wine." A second distilling refines the alcohol's proof and flavor, producing a new condensate called "high wine," or "white dog." The high wine is then transferred directly to barrels without filtering or additives.”4.“Aging: The distilled liquid is held in flash-charred new oak barrels set in airy hilltop rack houses. The "white dog" embraces the thin caramelized layer of sugars that rise to the surface of the charred wood. The dramatic temperature change of Kentucky's annual climate expands and contracts the bourbon in and out of the wood. The aging creates a deep, natural amber hue-no artificial coloring is used.”While Kentucky is credited with the creation of bourbon, it’s story actually starts long before its makers were even in the state. Although regular whiskey was produced all over the colonies, it was thanks to the settlers of Pennsylvania, which is actually where bourbon began. In order to help pay for the revolution at that time whiskey was extremely popular, the congress put a tax on it. Now, needless to say, the settlers were very angry about this, they didn’t want to pay extra for what they drink. The taxing of the whiskey brought upon the great whiskey rebellion of 1791. People resisted the tax with different attitudes. Most simply refused to pay the tax while others rebelled with violence. The settlers made and carried out many threats in reaction to the tax. The http://www.tasteoftx.com/spirits/whiskey.html website says “These threats were usually enough to discourage the officer from staying and trying to collect the tax....

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