Does Kentucky Love Bourbon More Than Any Other State?

Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

Kentucky bourbon is a quintessential part of American life. With origins dating back to the late 18th century, the beloved whiskey variety makes up 20% of all spirits exported from the U.S.A. In fact, Congress even declared Bourbon to be “America’s Native Spirit” in the 1960s. 

The same legislation also spells out the precise criteria that must be met for a whiskey to be considered a bourbon. Specifically, the grains used in the fermentation process must contain at least 51% corn, and it needs to be aged in new, charred oak barrels. It must also be distilled at no more than 80% alcohol, and bottled at no less than 40%.

Although it doesn’t need to come from Kentucky to be considered bourbon, federal regulations state it must originate from the United States.

With bourbon sales booming both internationally and across the rest of the country, we’re wondering if Kentucky still holds the crown as the state where bourbon is the most popular.

While we wait for the latest news on legalized Kentucky sports betting, decided to crunch the numbers to determine which U.S. states love Bourbon the most.

Which States Love Bourbon The Most?

First, we found out the states that have googled “bourbon” the most since 2021 by consulting Google Trends. Then we used’s data to determine the weekly consumption of straight bourbon per capita in each state. Taking both factors into consideration, we came up with the rankings below.

Overall Rank State Rank Per Capita Consumption Rank Per Google Trends Total
9North Carolina344276
T14South Carolina204363
15New Mexico362561

Fear not Kentuckians, your state remains the center of the bourbon universe. 

Get ahead of sports betting and check out our Kentucky Sportsbook app reviews. We have all of the information you need to prepare for sports betting in Kentucky.

How Much Bourbon Flows Through Kentucky?

It’s estimated that as much as 95% of the world’s supply of bourbon is brewed in the Bluegrass state. According to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, as we speak there is $5.2 billion worth of bourbon is being aged in over 11.4 million barrels 

That’s over 600 million gallons — or enough bourbon to fill 900 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

In other words, there are over two barrels of bourbon per resident of Kentucky. And those barrels are stamped with names like Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey, and Woodford Reserve — just four of the best-selling Kentucky Bourbons available for purchase across the globe.

Stick with as we will have the best Kentucky sports betting promo codes once it launches. 


Jeff Parker is a writer for A writer for film, television, and the internet, Jeff is a life long movie buff, with an actual Masters Degree in Popular Culture. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he works full-time as a documentary filmmaker and producer.

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