Today, June 14th, is National Bourbon Day! 

Also called America's Native Spirit, bourbon has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years - enough to get it's own national day (June 14th) and even a full celebratory month in September.

If you're not sure what all the bourbon fuss is about, here's a quick Bourbon 101 guide to get you up to speed for today:

  1. Bourbon's are made in the USA. If it's not, it's not Bourbon.
  2. At least 51% but no more than 79% of the bourbon grains must be Indian Corn. Other grains used include malted barley and rye or wheat.
  3. Bourbon must be aged at least 2 years in charred oak barrels made of American White Oak. Many types are aged 4 years or more.
  4. Bourbon barrels are one-use-only and most are turned into furniture or firewood once used.
  5. Lyndon B. Johnson designated bourbon as “The Official Spirit of America” in 1964
  6. The most famed Bourbon of them all is Pappy Vanwinkle. It is so rare, that only 170 restaurants in the USA carry it and  you'll likely never come across a bottle twice.

If you are a true Bourbon fan and want to celebrate the day, 3 area restaurants currently have bottles at their locations - but it's going to cost you!  An ounce of Pappy can cost roughly $90.  According to the PursuitofPappy.com, Brick Alley Pub in Newport, Charred Oak Tavern in Middleboro, and 20byNine on the Vineyard are the only three places with Pappy behind the bar.

Even if you're not a connoisseur, have a sip anyway. It's the Spirit of America!