Thomas Jefferson, governor of Virginia, set aside 60 acres in Bourbon County, Ky., for farming. He instructed pioneers to build a permanent structure to raise, store and export “native corn.” The crop turned out to be too perishable and was bulky for transporting. When families consumed only limited amounts of the grain, ingenious farmers utilized Kentucky’s perfect combination of water, climate and white oak forests to create another product: Kentucky bourbon. As noted in a previous column, a manufacturing boom in Kentucky is breaking records and creating jobs. Production of bourbon has increased 21 percent with more barrels of bourbon in Kentucky than people. The secret to the increase is overseas sales. Local bourbon taster Billy Edrington informed me iron-free water makes the best bourbon. Fastcast: Brrrrr!

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