The distillation of bourbon can only take place in the United States: in fact, in 1964 Congress recognized Bourbon Whiskey as a "distinctive product of the United States," creating the "Federal Standards of Identity for Bourbon" which stipulate thatitmust be made from a blend consisting of at least 51 percent corn, distilled no more than 80 percent alcohol by volume. It must be 100 percent natural, only water may be added to the mixture, and it must be aged in oak barrels, new and toasted internally to facilitate penetration of the distillate into the wood, with no more than 62.5 percent alcohol by volume. Bourbon aged for less than four years must carry the length of aging on the label. Kentucky bourbon refers to a whiskey distilled and aged for at least one year in Kentucky.

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