5 things you should know about bourbon

5 things you should know about bourbon

Happy National Bourbon Day! June 14 is a day to celebrate the quintessential American spirit, bourbon. But what exactly is bourbon, and how is it different from other American whiskies and Scotch whisky?

Here are five easy facts about bourbon that you should know:

1) Bourbon is named after the Bourbon County in Kentucky.

During the revolutionary war when the Americans fought against the British, the French helped them, and one of the forts in Kentucky was named Bourbon County, after a French county in France.

Bourbon County then started making whiskey and they sent it down to New Orleans, where there was a street called Bourbon Street, and that’s where the name ‘bourbon’ stuck.

2) But bourbon doesn’t actually need to be made in Kentucky

Yes, most of the bourbon produced today comes from the state of Kentucky – Michter’s, Evan Williams, and Heaven Hill, which makes Elijah Craig, and many more well-known brands are all based there.

But the regulations governing bourbon doesn’t require bourbon to be made there, just that it has to be made within the United States. For instance, Redemption Whiskey in Indiana state may be well-known for its rye whiskey, but it also makes a bourbon as well.

3) Bourbon has to be made out of at least 51% corn grain

One of the main rules of making bourbon is that it has to contain more than 50% corn whiskey. The rest can be rye, barley, wheat, or any other grain whiskey – but the corn has to be king.

That’s not to say bourbon makers can’t put more corn in their bourbon though. If they want a sweeter profile, then usually the producers would add more corn whiskey into the blend. But some producers go the other way, using the bare minimum corn whiskey while using other whiskies to influence the flavour.

4) Bourbon needs to be matured for at least two years in new, charred white oak barrels

Where do you think the Scotch whisky industry gets all those lovely ex-bourbon barrels to age their whiskies? Bourbon has to be matured for at least two years in new, charred white oak barrels,  after which the barrels cannot be reused again. Hence, many of these barrels are shipped to Scotland to age Scotch whisky. The distillers also cannot alter the original colour and flavour of the whiskey in any way, so what comes out of the barrel is usually what you’ll get.

5) There is a difference between bourbon and Tennessee whiskey

The process of making bourbon and Tennessee whiskey like Jack Daniels is almost identical, except for one part – Tennessee whisky has to be filtered through maple charcoal, a process called the ‘Lincoln County process’. Oh, and Tennessee whiskey has to be made in Tennessee, of course.


In conjunction with National Bourbon Day in the US,, Wholly Spirits Retail is offering a 10% discount on all bourbon AND non-bourbon American whiskies storewide!

Yes, you got that right, the offer is for ALL American whiskies, not just bourbon.

The Bourbon Day offer is only applicable on Friday, June 14, 2019. For inquiries, Whatsapp us at 012-5805813. Our opening hours are 12pm-9pm daily.


If bourbon is what you want, we do have a good range of bourbons in-store, ranging from artisanal brands to the more commercial ones. Here is a brief list of what’s available in our store:

  • Michter’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Evan Williams Bourbon
  • Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
  • Redemption Bourbon
  • Russel’s Reserve
  • Woodford Reserve
  • Maker’s Mark
  • Wild Turkey