Monday, 14 September 2009

Elijah Craig Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Elijah Craig a Baptist preacher from Kentucky is credited with the invention of bourbon whiskey. He was also the founder of Georgetown College, in Georgetown, Kentucky.

Craig was born in Orange County, Virginia in 1738. He was ordained a Baptist minister in 1771, however he was imprisoned briefly in South Carolina, they say for disturbing the peace with his sermons.

He then moved to a large region of Kentucky known as Bourbon County, Kentucky and settled in the area of Frankfort in 1785. Two years later In 1777, he became pastor of Blue Run Church.

Craig was a shrewd businessman and a local entrepreneur; he built Kentucky's first fulling mill, its first paper mill, and founded a distillery around 1789 in Georgetown, Kentucky.

It's said that Craig's distillery was the first to age corn whiskey in new charred oak barrels, which is the decisive step in turning moonshine into Bourbon whiskey. This appears to have happened by chance.

After experiencing a fire in his barn where he stored his whiskey barrels. He continued to deposit his new whiskey in the burnt barrels anyway, Craig soon discovered that the whiskey aged better in the charred barrels, picking up colour and flavour, and earning Craig the title of the "Father of Bourbon."

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1 comment:

kybarrels said...

A correction on your history.
Almost everything was shipped in barrels at that time. Just as today barrels were expensive. Elijah Craig was cleaning out used barrels that he had purchased. He burned out the inside of the barrels and the rest is history. Thankfully we use NEW white oak barrels to make Kentucky Bourbon today.