Why did you sign up for the Bourbon Society of Baton Rouge? What is it about bourbon that brought you here? What I love about bourbon is that it has the ability to connect people. Think about our group, BSoBR. There’s 170 members from Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas. We come from all walks of life but are united in our fondness for bourbon. There’s something really cool about the fact that we are all joined together for this purpose. Today I wanted to talk about bourbon a little bit, issue a challenge, and make a request.
Did you know that September is National Bourbon Heritage Month? Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning was able to get his resolution passed on August 2, 2007.This is the final text of the resolution:
“Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) designates September 2007 as ‘‘National Bourbon Heritage Month’’;
(2) recognizes bourbon as ‘‘America’s Native Spirit’’ and reinforces its heritage and tradition and its place in the history of the United States; and
(3) recognizes the contributions of the Commonwealth of Kentucky to the culture of the United States.”
Bunning, a Kentuckyian and former MLB pitcher, recognized the potential of bourbon and how important it is to this country. He coined the term “America’s Native Spirit” the rest of the bourbon world has ran with it. I want us to really go deep into the heritage of Bourbon this month. Join me in celebrating all things bourbon. As we prepare to honor bourbon and it’s place in this great country, I want to first remind everyone what bourbon actually is.
There are very strict rules about the actual definition of bourbon, a definition that was set in place way back in 1964. I decided it was time for me to search the actual Codes of Federal Regulation on TTB’s website to determine the exact wording for bourbon whiskey. 27 CFR § 5.22 has the legal definition of my favorite spirit. “Bourbon Whisky is whisky produced at not exceeding 160 proof from a fermented mash not less than 51 percent corn and stored at not more than 125 proof in new charred oak containers.” It has to be produced in the United States and must be a minimum of 80 proof at bottling. For it to be considered straight bourbon, it must be aged for at least 2 years and have an age statement if it is under 4 years old. Pretty simple, right? Basically, has to be made somewhere in this country, mashbill must have a majority of corn in it, aged in new charred barrels, can’t be distilled higher than 160 proof, goes in the barrel at 125 proof or less and can’t be below 80 proof at bottling.
So now, if anyone asks you, you can definitely say what bourbon is, right? We thought the perfect first step in celebrating National Bourbon Heritage Month was to just get the definition correct. Well now that we’ve spent some time discussing bourbon, let’s get to the part about actually enjoying bourbon!
Who here has heard of the Whole 30 diet? What about the 30 day bikini diet? Or Atkins for 30 days? Well we are going in the exact opposite direction of that! I say for Bourbon Heritage Month we celebrate America’s Native Spirit by doing Bourbon 30! Right now, you’re asking yourself, is he seriously asking me to drink bourbon every day for the next 30 days, liver be damned? And yes, yes I am! Join me in honoring that sweet nectar of the gods by drinking bourbon every day in September. The reason we are all here together is bourbon so I say we celebrate it by drinking the delicious stuff. I’ll be documenting my process on the FB group, Instagram, Discord, and whatever other forms of social media we have. I ask that y’all do the same and tag us (@BourbonSocietyBR) and use #bsobrbourbon30.
Well, y’all got a little history and a challenge. Now, last request is this: What else about bourbon do y’all want to know? I have several topics I’m going to be addressing this month. They will delve deeper into the mythos and culture of bourbon. This post is just meant to get your feet wet and get you excited to drinking bourbon for 30 days straight. If there’s anything you want me to address or write about, please let me know. Post in the comments, Facebook group, Instagram posts or even the Discord. I’m really excited to spend the next month going over my favorite spirit.
Go forth and enjoy bourbon!
President & Co-Founder, BSoBR