Kentuckians have flocked to social media to show their displeasure with a Wall Street Journal article that suggests New York bourbons are closing in on Kentucky-made bourbon.
The article claims no one is laughing at Brooklyn bourbon anymore. In fact, Kings County Distillery co-founder Colin Spoelman, who is a Kentucky native, said New York distilleries are leaders.
In addition to Kings County, other New York distilleries mentioned in the Wall Street Journal article include Black Dirt Distillery and Hudson Whiskey — names that don't quite compare to the likes of Kentucky's Maker's Mark, Woodford Reserve and Jim Beam, among countless others.
Earlier this year, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer made a bold claim that Widow Jane, a spirits brand based in Brooklyn, produces some of the best bourbon in the world. While that may be the case, some of Widow Jane's products are distilled in other states, including Kentucky.
Commenters on the Wall Street Journal's article called it "comical" and just flat out "wrong." Others said that it cannot be called bourbon since it is not from Kentucky.
That's a common misconception, as the Federal Standards of Identity for Bourbon stipulate that bourbon must contain 51 percent corn, be in a mash distilled at 160 proof or less, put into a barrel at 125 proof or less and it must be aged in a new, charred, oak barrel. Nothing in the regulations state bourbon must be distilled in Kentucky.
That being said, Kentucky is widely known for its bourbon, which gets a lot of respect as well as buyers. The same cannot be said about New York, at least in the eyes of Kentuckians.
Former Gov. Steve Beshear was fond of saying that "some 95 percent of the world’s bourbon is produced here, and we like to think the rest of it is counterfeit."
Kentucky water, thanks to the vast deposits of limestone, and the fertile ground have allowed the state's bourbon industry to shine.
Bourbon is an $8.5 billion industry in Kentucky and generates 17,500 jobs.
The article comes at a time when bourbon is in the spotlight ahead of Saturday's Kentucky Derby.
But of course, take the article with a grain of salt. The Wall Street Journal also claimed that New York has reached the upper echelon for barbecue. The South scoffs at that suggestion as well.