The Kentucky Distillers’ Association told The Spirits Business that there are more than five million barrels of bourbon in the state of Kentucky right now, up 150% in the last 15 years. The increased demand for American whiskey has caused a massive upswing in distillery investment in the last decade, with distilleries ramping up production to meet the demand. The number of barrels aging in Kentucky right now has returned to its highest level since 1977 (apparently, there was a huge demand for bourbon in the ‘70s too).
How much is all that bourbon resting in barrels worth? Not much. Just $1.9 billion. Some distillers still claim there is a shortage of supply based on short term demands, but the $1.9 billion worth of bourbon waiting in the wings is comfort to those of us with a long-term commitment to whiskey.