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Today, June 14, the official Spirit of America is recognized - it is National Bourbon Day.

Like Scotch, Cognac and some other spirits that must meet certain standards as well as be produced in a particular geographical region, Bourbon is a whiskey which is only so named if distilled in the United States. To legally be a considered Bourbon, it must be 51 percent corn, stored in new (not aged) charred-oak barrels and distilled no more than 160 proof and barreled at 125 proof.

This particular whiskey derives its name from the Kentucky county which was established in 1785 and was a large producer of corn. The corn, once distilled, would be put in barrels and stamped “Old Bourbon” and shipped down the Ohio River.

In 1964, a Congressional Resolution designated Bourbon as America’s native spirit. Since then, there is nowhere else in the world that can make a whiskey and call it Bourbon.

Charred Oaks Inn, a Select Registry Kentucky bed and breakfast, open year round, is located on the west side of Lexington and is within a 20 minute drive to several of the area's bourbon distilleries: Buffalo Trace, Woodford Reserve, Castle & Key, Four Roses, Wild Turkey, Town Branch and James E. Pepper. The inn offers large guestrooms, comfortable common areas, 21st century amenities, delicious made-to-order gourmet breakfasts, afternoon snacks and evening desserts, and easy access to the downtowns of Lexington, Versailles, Frankfort and Midway.

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