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How To Celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month

As September, the official Bourbon Heritage Month approaches, it is the time to discuss everything about bourbon.

Here, we provide a quick primer on National Bourbon Heritage Month and some of the most intriguing details about this popular alcoholic beverage. If you share our passion for bourbon, you’ll know that September was designated “National Bourbon Heritage Month” by the United States Senate on August 2, 2007, in honor of the drink’s contributions to American history, culture, and family traditions.

The bill, introduced by Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning and passed with unanimous support, codifies into law the declaration made by Congress in 1964 that bourbon is America’s only national spirit. Bourbon helps us remember our roots as it represents our culture, economy, and history.

Here is everything you need to know about Bourbon Heritage Month, one of the most important and well-attended celebrations of whiskey in the United States.

What is Bourbon Heritage Month

Dubbed as “America’s Native Spirit,” bourbon was officially recognized by a Congressional Act in 1964. It recognized the profoundly ingrained history of bourbon in the country and how it has contributed to our nation’s culture, economy, and heritage. Thus, the yearly celebration every September started.

When is Bourbon Heritage Month Celebrated

The United States Senate issued a resolution in 2007 designating September as “National Bourbon Heritage Month,” honoring the spirit’s distinctively American past. This one drink is uniquely part of American history, and it has given rise to wars, the initial taxes, and some of the first consumer protection laws.

History of Bourbon

Bourbon whiskey has a 400-year history in America and has played a significant role in the country’s economic growth and cultural development. In the early years of our wonderful nation, George Washington, one of the founding fathers, carried on this distilling legacy and ran the biggest whiskey distillery in Virginia. The first ever batch of American whiskey was corn whiskey distilled in Virginia by a man named George Thorpe.

The American distiller Elijah Craig has been attributed the enviable title of founder of bourbon whiskey. In 1789 he took distilled corn whiskey and placed it in specially prepared hand-made oak barrels to mature for two years. This is still the process used to make bourbon today. However, some bourbon enthusiasts dispute this version, arguing that bourbon evolved rather than started by any individual.

Although America has a long history of distillation, bourbon is the only distilled drink designated as a uniquely American product by an act of Congress in 1964. According to federal law, bourbon must be produced in America, it should contain a minimum of 51% corn, and it should spend a minimum of two years maturing inside oak barrels.

Ways to Celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month

Here are some ideas to help you raise your bourbon game this month:

1. Create a one-of-a-kind cocktail.

September is National Bourbon Heritage Month, the perfect time to break your drinking routine and try something new. It’s time to push aside those standard old-fashioned cocktails like the Manhattan or Martini and discover one of the many delicious cocktails made from bourbon. There’s a bourbon cocktail for just about everyone.

2. Host a cookout where everyone drinks bourbon.

The first order of business is to make a batch of summer-ending bourbon-based drinks for everyone to enjoy. The second step is to cook some meat glazed with bourbon. Add some bourbon-baked beans and a bourbon-flavored dessert.

3. Be a Bourbon Steward.

You can learn more about the history, distillery process, and other interesting stuff about the drink by participating in the Executive Bourbon Steward program. Upon completion, you’ll be a qualified Bourbon Steward and enjoy its many perks. Remember, though, that the certification does not qualify you as an official bourbon distiller.

You can get certified by ordering a copy of the Bourbon Steward Handbook online, studying at your own pace in the comfort of your home, and then passing an online test when you’re ready.

4. Visit the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Since Kentucky produces 95% of the world’s supply of bourbon, the spirit plays a significant role in the state’s economy and draws visitors from all over the world. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail is the place to go if you want to see the distilleries that produce your favorite brands up and personal. To visit all 18 distilleries, you should plan on spending at least eight days there.

5. Attend the Kentucky Bourbon Festival.

The Kentucky Bourbon festival typically begins on September 12 and closes on September 16. If you’ve ever been curious about the process of producing barrels that give each batch of bourbon its distinctive flavor, this is your chance to satisfy your curiosity. This is a fun way to celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month for bourbon enthusiasts.

6. Organize a Bourbon tasting event.

Arrange a tasting of three different Bourbons, each representing a different style. For example, you could choose a Single barrel, a Barrel strength, and a Wheated bourbon. Tabulate the results and compare impressions among the tasting participants. You could choose a Bourbon of the Month based on the tasting results. Nominating a particular kind is a great way to help promote a brand.

7. Join whiskey walking tours in Louisville.

Take a free “Whiskey Walking Tour” in the heart of Louisville to learn more about the city’s unique bourbon whiskey heritage. A “Looking at Louisville” tour guide will tell you all about the city before Prohibition and the ongoing bourbon boom on Whiskey Row along a ten-block route. The 90-minute tours, which depart from the Louisville Visitor Center, are limited to 10 people. Registration is required, but the tours are free. Walk-ins are welcome, but only if there is room.


Bourbon is America’s national drink; it is uniquely American, and you are tasting American history and culture with each sip. Bourbon has been officially designated America’s national spirit by a 2007 congressional act. Whether a bourbon enthusiast or just a casual drinker, there is no better time and place to enjoy drinking and learning about bourbon than in Kentucky during September, which is bourbon heritage month.

Join the Fun and Celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month With Village Warehouse Wines and Spirits.

The American bourbon festival in Kentucky is a once-a-year celebration that can be enjoyed by whiskey lovers and anyone open to exploring the history and culture that this beverage embodies. If you can’t make it to Kentucky to celebrate bourbon heritage month then try purchasing this fantastic drink from Vail Liquor Store, where there is a comprehensive range of bourbons and the friendly staff are always eager to help you decide which ones would suit you best.

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