Adrienne Holtzworth pours a sample of J. Smith Bowman's single barrel bourbon at the 2019 Bourbonanza. (Photo by McKenna Horsley)

For every Kentuckian, there’s two barrels of bourbon aging in the state. 

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association said on Wednesday that the bourbon and distilled spirits industry set two modern records by filling more than 2.1 million barrels with bourbon and aging 9.1 million barrels of spirits. 

According to the barrel inventory records kept by the KDA beginning 52 years ago, that’s the highest inventory of barrels on record. This is also the first time since 1967 that distillers have filled more than two million barrels of America’s only native spirit.  

For each living Kentucky resident, there are two barrels of bourbon and aging spirits, according to the latest U.S. Census projections, which puts Kentucky’s population at 4.5 million people. 

“This is a historic day that cements Kentucky’s rightful title as the one, true and authentic home for Bourbon and distilled spirits,” KDA President Eric Gregory said via press release. “It’s also further proof of Kentucky Bourbon’s monumental economic impact and ever-increasing demand.”  

Kentucky’s bourbon industry is worth about $8.6 billion and generates more than 20,100 jobs in the state.

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