November 8, 1789: Bourbon Whiskey “First” Distilled

On this day in 1789, the Reverend Elijah Craig began distilling whiskey in Woodford County, Kentucky. According to legend, this was when bourbon was first created.

Elijah CraigOn this day in 1789, the Reverend Elijah Craig began distilling whiskey in Woodford County, Kentucky. According to legend, this was when bourbon was first created.

Before the creation of bourbon, whiskey was distilled from corn and clear, i.e. moonshine. It wasn’t until the whiskey was aged in charred oak barrels that the beloved spirit known as bourbon was discovered.

Whether it was Craig or one of his contemporaries in nearby Bourbon County (the namesake of the drink) that first created bourbon is uncertain. Regardless, he is honored today with a high-end label named in his honor.

Note: Bourbon differs from Tennessee whiskey in the fact that the latter is filtered through a bed of sugar-maple charcoal.

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