Bourbon whiskey is a liquor made from a fermented mash of grain, containing at least 51% corn, distilled at not more than 160° proof. Straight bourbon, aged in charred oak barrels for two years in bonded warehouses, is a heavy, dry, mellow, full-bodied spirit. Blended bourbon, which contains neutral spirit, is lighter in body and in taste.
The first still for making corn-based whiskey was set up by Elijah Craig, a Baptist minister, in Georgetown, Kentucky, in the late 1780's. The liquor was named for Bourbon county, Kentucky. Bourbon, long a popular American drink, is a popular export.