For bourbon lovers, there might not be any better month of the year than September, the U.S. Senate-declared National Bourbon Heritage Month that celebrates bourbon’s rich history and status as America’s national spirit. However, if you’re not a tried-and-true bourbon aficionado, you might wonder, what’s the big deal?
Here at Lux Row, we think bourbon is a very big deal, so we’re offering up a crash course in all things bourbon, from its historical roots to how you can celebrate this September in the Bourbon Capital of the World.
How Bourbon Became America’s National Spirit
Bourbon is nearly as old as the country itself. While the exact person and place to produce bourbon is a topic of hot debate, everyone can pretty much agree that bourbon caught on as a spirit of choice for early Americans in the late 1700s and that the original maker most certainly lived in Kentucky. Kentucky produces a vast majority of the world’s bourbon, and for good reason. The geography and geology provide the perfect water sources, agricultural setting, and year-round temperatures necessary for achieving a great-tasting bourbon whiskey.
Throughout the 1800s and early 1900s, distillers fine-tuned their recipes and mash bills, and laws rose up regarding bourbon production. Bourbon enjoyed its fame for over a century until Prohibition brought the country’s drinking habits to a screeching halt.
After Prohibition, bourbon slowly regained its popularity. In 1964, Congress named bourbon as America’s Native Spirit. In 1999, Kentucky further embraced its connection with bourbon by creating the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Finally, in 2007, the U.S. Senate declared September our National Bourbon Heritage Month.
Of course, we did say this was a crash course, so there are far more details surrounding bourbon’s advent, decline, and eventual return to glory, so be sure to check out our other blogs regarding all things bourbon for more info whenever you have a chance. In the meantime, here are some favorite ways to celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month, whether you’re a long-time bourbon fan or a newcomer to the world of whiskey.
How to Celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month
A no-brainer best way to celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month is with a trip along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. With over a dozen stops primarily centered between Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky, the trail takes you to both world-famous distilleries and some distilleries that might not be as well-known. Many distilleries promote special offerings during September and you’ll find that the Kentucky September weather is highly agreeable — even if the tourist crowds haven’t quite died down for winter yet.
If you’re only in Kentucky for a short time and can’t travel the entire trail, make sure to stop into Lux Row Distillers for a distillery tour and tasting. We offer a range of on-site experiences, from unique tastings to behind-the-scenes tours. Here’s what you can expect on a tour.
Can’t make it to the Bluegrass State? You can still celebrate in high style at home when you pick up a bottle of your favorite Lux Row Distillers whiskey and try your hand at mixing up some of our favorite cocktails. Early fall favorites include a classic Old Fashioned or a refreshing Cranberry Lime Seltzer. If you’re not a cocktail fan and prefer your bourbon neat or on the rocks, consider creating a bourbon journal for the month; every day, taste a new-to-you whiskey and record your tasting notes, including nose, taste, and finish.
However you celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month, you’re sure to be able to taste the history and heritage in every sip of Kentucky bourbon and whiskey.