Bourbon Whiskey Definition
- "Spirits distilled from a fermented mash of grain at less than 95% alcohol by volume (190 proof) having the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to whisky and bottled at not less than 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof)"
and Bourbon, as a subtype, is further defined as:
- "Whisky produced in the U.S. at not exceeding 80% alcohol by volume (160 proof) from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn and stored at not more than 62.5% alcohol by volume (125 proof) in charred new oak containers."
Bourbon Whiskey was officially defined on May 4th, 1964 in the Senate Concurrent Resolution 19. Senate Concurrent Resolution 19
May 4, 1964
Ordered to be printed as passed
Whereas it has been the commercial policy of the United States to recognize marks of origin a applicable to alcoholic beverages imported into the United States; and
Whereas such commercial policy has been implemented by the promulgation of appropriate regulations which: among other things, establish standards of identity for such imported alcoholic beverages; and
Whereas among the standards of identity which have been established are those for "Scotch whiskey" as a distinctive product of Scotland, manufactured in Scotland in compliance with the laws of Great Britain regulating the manufacture of Scotch whisky for consumption in Great Britain and for "Canadian whisky" as a distinctive product of Canada manufactured in Canada in compliance with the laws of the Dominion of Canada regulating the manufacture of whisky for the consumption in Canada and for "Cognac" as grape brandy distilled in the Cognac region of France, which is entitled to be so designated by the laws and regulations of the French Government; and
Whereas "Bourbon whisky" is a distinctive product of the United States and is unlike other types of alcoholic beverages, whether foreign or domestic; and
Whereas to be entitled to the designation "Bourbon whisky" the product must conform to the highest standards and must be manufactured in accordance with the laws and regulations of the United States which prescribe a standard of identity for "Bourbon whiskey"; and
Whereas Bourbon whisky has achieved recognition and acceptance throughout the world as a distinctive product of the United States:
Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring),
That it is the sense of Congress the recognition of Bourbon whisky as a distinctive product of the United States be brought to the attention of the appropriate agencies of the United States Government toward the end that such agencies will take appropriate action to prohibit the importation into the United States of whisky designated as "Bourbon whiskey."