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Tippling Point | The story of Elijah Craig, the father of bourbon

The eureka moment came when a conflagration ate into the stock of a distillery owned by Elijah Craig, a Baptist preacher, and educator charring some of his oak barrels

September 19, 2020 / 09:59 AM IST
Representative image

Representative image

When a fire broke out in a small distillery in Kentucky, no one thought it would turn a new chapter in the history of brewing.

It was towards the end of the 18th century and Kentucky in the US was one of the happening places where crude distilleries were popping up with more frequency than ever.

The eureka moment came when a conflagration ate into the stock of a distillery owned by Elijah Craig, a Baptist preacher, and educator charring some of his oak barrels. He tasted the ingredients of those casks to find that the fire had lent some smooth and rich texture to the whisky! Abracadabra! Bourbon was born!

Thus began the iconic process of charring the barrels in the world of whisky, including bourbon.