Bourbon is a type of American whiskey, a barrel-aged distilled liquor made primarily from corn. The name ultimately derives from the French Bourbon dynasty, although the precise inspiration for the whiskey's name is uncertain; contenders include Bourbon County in Kentucky and Bourbon Street in New Orleans, both of which are named after the dynasty. Bourbon has been distilled since the 18th century. The name "Bourbon" was not applied until the 1850s, and the Kentucky etymology was not advanced until the 1870s. Although bourbon may be made anywhere in the United States, it is strongly associated with the American South and with Kentucky in particular.
It was recognized in 1964 by the United States Congress as a "distinctive product of the United States". Bourbon sold in the United States must be produced in the U.S. from at least 51% corn and stored in a new container of charred oak.