Since the end of Prohibition, bourbon has dominated the American whiskey scene. Bourbon is a legally defined term and can have a lot of requirements.
In short, to be a bourbon, a whiskey must be made in the US from at least 51% corn, aged in charred, virgin (or unused) oak barrels, contain no added coloring, and it no longer has a minimum age requirement. If it was barreled at 125 proof or less for at least two years and not blended with other spirits, then it can be labeled a "straight bourbon." If it is aged for less than four years, it must have an age statement on the label.
Bourbons tend to be fairly heavy-bodied, sweeter than other whiskeys, and range from toffee-sweet to pepper-spicey and everything inbetween. As an iconic American spirit, bourbons are fantastically diverse and highlight the creative genius of every corner of the country. While Kentucky still reigns as the home of the most revered bourbons (with everything from Evan Williams to the elusive Pappy van Winkles), this style of whiskey has seen tremendous growth in every state. There is nothing quite as genuinely American as sitting back with a glass of bourbon and toasting our collective spirit of innovation.