Just How Popular Is Bourbon Anyways?


United States whiskey, mainly bourbon, has been on the rise in sales this past decade. Bourbon sales have grown by 150%, according to various craft distilleries. In a survey in 2018, 32.52% of young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 said they drank whiskey, scotch, or bourbon at least once in the past three months. So, what makes bourbon so unique?

What Is Bourbon?

First, let’s look at how bourbon is crafted. Made with the ratio of 51% corn, no more or less, aged in a small oak barrel, and poured at 80% proof, bourbon is born! It is named after the French royal dynasty, though bourbon has been crafted in Kentucky since the first European settlers came to the Kentucky region. Federal law even commented that bourbon was the most popular form of whiskey.

The Recipe for Bourbon Popularity

So, what’s the recipe behind bourbon’s booming popularity? It may be the small oak barrel they are fermented in. Bourbon sales for Kentucky bourbon have gone up by 36% over the last five years. Exports of brown liquor went up 56% from 2010. While the drink has risen in popularity among the millennials, its sweet smooth flavor has caught on overseas. This leads to numerous overseas companies buying out American companies, causing exploding sales growth, especially outside the United States. Before, you could find your favorite bourbon brand and liquor on the market shelves, but now they are empty and often unable to keep up with the demand.

The Way They Make It

The burgeoning popularity may be due to the way bourbon is made. Bourbon is a stand-out among all other whiskeys. Bourbon is a whiskey, but to say whiskey is bourbon is wrong. Whiskey is considered a spirit and is made by fermenting grains.

The kind of grain and the type of barrel differentiates the kind of whiskey created. Bourbon is made with a fermented grain mash that features 51% corn. It is then placed in a small oak barrel and must sit to mature for four years or more, because the longer bourbon sits, the better it tastes. Thanks to the massive influx of bourbon love, many places encountered a supply and demand quandary.

Pop Culture

A contributing factor to bourbon’s popularity is that television shows like Mad Men hosted a retrospective past-time feeling where bourbon was in its original prime. Old fashion became new again, causing bourbon to trend. Of course, taking something old and making it current and hot is another pop culture favorite. Young mixologists took the whiskey to a whole new level, creating inspiring cocktails. Thanks to social media, the bourbon boom began.

Now, just how popular is bourbon anyway? The most expensive bourbon, Pappy Van Winkle’s 25-year-old brewed Bourbon, goes for $34,900.00. Guess it shows that bourbon is just that good. Cheers!

Leave a Comment