From 17th Century France, to Scotland, Ireland, Germany and the American South – read the globetrotting spirit behind the drink bourbon – then get yourself in the draw to win a classic Jim Beam Travel Bag
- It’s thought that the origins of the name bourbon come from the ruling French royal family of the 16th-18th centuries, who were called the House of Bourbon and were in charge of things when the French claimed Louisiana in America as a colony.
- Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans was named after the royal family, and it’s believed the spirit takes its name from here, as New Orleans was a major shipping port where whiskey and cognac was imported and sold.
- Bourbon likely evolved from whiskey in the late 1700s thanks to the Scottish and Irish settlers that came to the American South at that time, bringing with them their distilling knowledge.
- Bourbon today is protected in the US by law, and can only call itself bourbon if it is made in the USA, from at least 51% corn (whiskey can be made from any grain), and is aged in charred new American oak barrels – a process that gives bourbon its sweet flavours of caramel and vanilla, and its distinctive red hue.
- No other US state is associated with bourbon more than Kentucky. It’s here that Jim Beam has been making bourbon since 1795, when Jacob Beam began selling a version of the corn-whiskey his German-immigrant father had made. After two further generations ran things, in 1933 great-great-grandson Colonel James B. Beam relaunched the brand as Jim Beam – a legacy that continues to be run in Kentucky by the seventh generation of the Beam family.
- All Jim Beam bourbons are aged for a minimum of four years – twice as long as US law requires – this gives it a smooth taste, and brings out the flavours of caramel, vanilla and oakiness.
Now that you’ve read about the wanderlust origins of bourbon, whet your own appetite for travel by getting yourself into our amazing Jim Beam prize-draw.
This week Toast has two classic Jim Beam Travel Bags (pictured) to give away to lucky readers who fancy doing a spot of globetrotting themselves.
To enter, click here