Admittedly, ‘bourbon’ is a strange name for a type of whiskey, especially when you consider that most of the world’s whiskey styles have admirably straightforward appellations. The whiskey made in Scotland by Scots is called scotch, the whiskeys made in Ireland and Canada are called Irish and Canadian respectively. Even bourbon’s closest relations, Tennessee Whiskey and rye, frankly describe either their state of origin or principal ingredient, both completely logical approaches.
So why is America’s best known and most popular whiskey style called bourbon, a name borrowed from French royalty? The French, after all, don’t even make whiskey or any other significant grain-based spirit, preferring to mess around with grapes instead.
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