When you open a bottle of bourbon, do you ever stop to think about where it came from? I like to picture an old man, maybe two, filling my bottle by hand after having tasted the recipe over and over to make sure it was just right. Just for me.

It may come as no surprise to you that I’m pretty far off the mark. (It’s also possible that I’m confusing the bourbon-making process with how illegal moonshine is made.) Bourbon is an $8.5 billion industry in Kentucky. And if you’re watching bourbon being made, you’re likely to see more people in white coats than old dudes in overalls.

Reporter Ashlie Stevens has been looking into the chemistry and technology behind the bourbon industry. She joins us on today’s show.

Jonese Franklin is the WFPL Program Director and host of WFPL's All Things Considered.