Sometimes, it seems like all bourbon comes out of Kentucky — but the trail doesn’t stop there. While yes, the majority of bourbon production still takes place in the state, many of the companies that actually own those production sites are located all over the globe.
With their global headquarters scattered around the world, it seems like these brands have little in common. However, they convene every day on the shelf, and often seem to pit their own family of bourbon brands against each other.
A deeper dive will reveal that many of the bourbon brands you may have thought of as fierce competitors, are simply living out a sibling rivalry. VinePair has mapped out the largest bourbon brands and the houses that own them to try to explain away this mystery, but there are still some things even we can’t quite wrap our heads around.
For example, in 2019 Kentucky announced that the state had more barrels of bourbon than actual people. With 9.1 million barrels aging at the time — and a 4.5 million person population — the state truly entered a new stage in its bourbon history.
But before you make the trek out to Kentucky to see those barrels for yourself, you should consider learning about the biggest bourbon giants.
Read up on which bourbon houses own your favorite smaller brands with this poster, which clearly maps out the dizzying bourbon landscape.
Printed on matte, museum-quality paper, you’ll be able to use this print to school your friends and come one step closer to decoding the complicated bourbon world we live in.