The bad national economy hasn't put a dent in one of Kentucky's signature exports. In fact, bourbon production has increased 115% over the past 13 years, according to Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers Association.
He says the state now has more than 5.4 million barrels of bourbon and rye whiskey aging in barrells, Kentucky's largest inventory since 1977.
"In our industry, a big inventory is a good thing," says Gregory. "Because we're looking to the future. Those barrels aren't going to be ready for another six, seven, ten, twenty years. The projected tax assessment on those barrels is $1.7 billion, which is up $350 million from the previous year."
Kentucky produces 95% of the world's bourbon.
Bourbon producers are looking to grow bourbon's image and appeal overseas. Maker's Mark recently began an effort to market its bourbon in India.