Bourbon Boom Sets Records

This just in, bourbon is setting records.

According to the Kentucky Distillers Association, distillers filled 1,886,821 barrels last year, the most since 1967. The previous all-time high was 1,922,009 barrels filled in 1967, the KDA reported. According to the group, Kentucky Bourbon production has skyrocketed more than 315 percent (455,078 barrels were filled in 1999).

The Commonwealth has a total bourbon barrel inventory of 6,657,063, the most since 1974 when 6,683,654 were aging in Bluegrass warehouses. That’s 1.5 barrels for every person in Kentucky.

Here are some other key points announced:

  • Distillers also are paying $17,814,134 in ad valorem barrel taxes this year, another all-time high. Revenue from this tax funds education, public safety, public health and other needs in local communities where barrels are stored.
  • Amounts include all distilleries in Kentucky compiled from state Department of Revenue data. The KDA represents 28 of the state’s distilleries, from global brands to emerging micro distillers.
  • Bourbon isn’t the only spirit aging in barrels. When you include brandy and other whiskies, the state’s total barrel inventory was 7.2 million in 2015, the highest total since 1973.
  • Production in 2014 was 1,306,375 barrels. That means distilleries filled more than 580,000 barrels in 2015 over the previous year (44 percent increase). That’s the biggest difference in year-to-year production since 1967 and triples the previous record.
  • The tax-assessed value of aging barrels this year is $2.4 billion, an increase of $299 million from 2015 and a 135 percent increase over the last 10 years.

I personally think this is just the beginning, and we have 20 years of bourbon growth. Read a recent post about new consumers.

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