National Bourbon Day is a national holiday we can really get behind. After all, we’ve developed a reputation as one of the best places to drink bourbon in the Metro Atlanta area. Bourbon is kind of our thing! Smooth and approachable, we love bourbon because it’s highly drinkable. Featuring subtle flavors of oak, vanilla, fruit, spices, and honey, it’s a spirit that is easy to enjoy. Straight up or on ice, bourbon tastes magnificent alone, or in classic craft cocktails like our McCray’s Old Fashion. In honor of National Bourbon Day on June 14th, we’re exploring everything you need to know about this classic American whiskey.


Facts About Bourbon


“Real” bourbon can only be made in America

The art of bourbon making is distinctly American. With origins that can be traced back to the late 1700s, bourbon has a uniquely different taste compared to other whiskeys. True bourbon must be made in America, and must be predominantly corn-based. While other grains like rye, wheat, and barley malt may be used, a minimum of 51% distillate must originate from corn. 


Bourbon’s low proof preserves its flavor

By law, bourbon may be distilled only to a maximum of 160 proof. While some neutral spirits like vodka are commonly distilled to 190 proof, keeping bourbon’s distillation low proof preserves the complex flavors of the grains.


Bourbon must be made in unused barrels

Bourbon has no artificial colors or flavor additives. All bourbon is stored in charred oak barrels, where rich colors and complex flavors emerge over time as the drink matures. All barrels must be new, so used bourbon barrels are frequently recycled and given to other industries.


Bourbon is aged a minimum of 2 years

Straight bourbon has a minimum aging requirement of 2 years, and any bourbon aged less than 4 years must include an age statement on the label. Different combinations of charred oak, temperature, and length of time contribute to different taste profiles.


Kentucky supplies the majority of the world’s bourbon

Kentucky is the source of 95% of the world’s bourbon. In fact, there are more barrels of bourbon in Kentucky than there are people! It’s estimated there are as many as 9.2 million barrels of bourbon and just 4.4 million people in the state.


Experience the Best in Bourbon 

For the best bourbon in Lawrenceville, head to McCray’s Tavern, where we’ve partnered with Maker’s Mark Distillery out of Kentucky to curate a truly unique bourbon tasting experience. McCray’s Private Select is our own original bourbon featuring one-of-a-kind tasting notes personally selected by our tastemaker team. It’s best enjoyed in our signature Old Fashion, where you’ll discover charred oak, vanilla, cedar, and honey flavors, along with spicy cloves and hints of sweet brioche. 

Head to McCray’s Tavern Lawrenceville for Bourbon Cocktails

Join us on the patio for drinks this June 14th! We’re featuring bourbon draft cocktails, top-shelf selections, and our own Private Select Maker’s Mark. With rooftop and streetside dining, our tavern on the square is the place to be in Lawrenceville! McCray’s Tavern is serving up elevated tavern fare and hearty southern favorites all week long. See you soon!