Bourbon whiskey is a type of American whiskey that is made primarily from corn and aged in new, charred oak barrels. The name "bourbon" is derived from the fact that it was first produced in Bourbon County, Kentucky. To be legally defined as bourbon, the whiskey must be made in the United States and meet certain requirements, such as being aged for a minimum of two years and made from a mash bill (the recipe of grains used in production) that is at least 51% corn.
Bourbon has a rich, sweet flavour profile with notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak, and is typically aged for four to twelve years. The length of aging, as well as the specific type of oak used in the barrels, can have a significant impact on the final flavour of the whiskey.
Bourbon is typically consumed neat or on the rocks, and is also used as a key ingredient in cocktails such as the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned. It is widely produced in the United States, with significant production in Kentucky, Tennessee, and other states.
Bourbon is often categorised based on its proof, or alcohol by volume (ABV), with higher proof bourbons having a more robust flavour profile. There are also specialty bourbons, such as Small Batch and Single Barrel, which are produced in limited quantities and are often considered to have a higher quality and unique flavour profile.