How the American Bourbon ended up in fired barrels
At the beginning of the 19th century, the salutary properties of their oak, but also of firing inside barrels, were discovered by the Americans. One story goes, that the manager of one of the distilleries of that time, not having a new barrel to pour his liquor, decided, that he was going to wash the herring barrel. As it was not possible to wash it well, he decided to burn its interior to "black" over the fire and only then fill it with distillate. After some time it turned out, that the alcohol from this barrel changed color and the taste became unique - more harmonized.
Another story tells about the distiller Elijah Craig, who in one day, while heating the staves to a barrel, accidentally burned some of them, and being a thrifty man, he decided to use these burnt staves to make a barrel and filled it with distillate. After a few months it turned out, that the distillate from this particular barrel is many times better than the distillates from Świerzych barrels.
The first documented mention of firing the inside of oak barrels comes from 1849 year, this drink begins to be colloquially called a red elixir. After 1 Mark 1938 year, under federal law, all bourbons must undergo a minimum of two years of maturation in oak barrels fired from the inside, made of American oak.