Had a bad day at work? Bourbon time! Have a great day at work? Let’s celebrate with bourbon! It’s a boy, hooray! Let’s have some bourbon! What? You’re pregnant? Oh god, I need bourbon!
See? It never fails. Bourbon is a whiskey made from at least 50% corn mash (the rest of the malts are various grains, usually barley, rye, or a wheat) and aged in oak barrels. And it is American, sir. In fact, it is from only one state in America, at that. And only certain regions of that state—Kentucky—at that! Don’t let some imitation whiskey take you on a wild ride through the night claiming to be bourbon if it ain’t from Kentucky, got it? (Actually, do let that happen; it sounds fun. You can clear up the specifics of categorization in the morning).
Beyond the requirements of production location, corn mash content, and oak barrel aging, there are some pretty broad legal stipulations as to the alcoholic content of bourbon, but beyond that it’s game on for various distilleries to make whatever twist on bourbon they would like. And they do. And we thank them, from the bottom of our glasses and our hearts.