Neat Mental Floss blog article about the rules and regulations about making bourbon. It’s easier than you think.
Here’s the meat of the article. Click the link to see the rest of it.
mental_floss Blog – What Makes a Whiskey Bourbon? (And Other Bourbon FAQs)
What makes a whiskey bourbon?
The Federal Standards of Identity for Bourbon stipulate what is and what isnâ..t bourbon. For a whiskey to call itself bourbon, its mash, the mixture of grains from which the product is distilled, must contain at least 51% corn. (The rest of the mash is usually filled out with malted barley and either rye or wheat.) The mash must be distilled at 160 proof or less, put into the barrel at 125 proof or less, and it must not contain any additives. The distillate must be aged in a new charred oak barrel. (Most often these barrels are white oak, but they can be any variety of oak.)
There’s also this:
Bourbon can only be made in Kentucky, right?
Nope, but itâ..s a common misconception. â..Kentucky straight bourbonâ. can only be made in the Bluegrass State, but a handful of other bourbon distilleries are sprinkled around the country. Among them, Tuthilltown Spirits in New York makes its own Hudson Baby Bourbon, which is aged for just three months, and A. Smith Bowman Distillery of Virginia makes, among other products, a yummy 90-proof small batch bourbon under its Virginia Gentleman label. As long as it meets the base criteria to be bourbon, itâ..s bourbon, no matter where itâ..s produced.