Bourbon History


bourbon history

Contract Distilling

Contract distilling has been around since the birth of the distilling industry in America. In the earliest days it was simply getting a distiller to make whiskey out of your excess corn when you did not own a still yourself.... Continue Reading →

The Medley Factor In The Distilling Industry

In the year 1634, John Medley became one of the English Catholics that came to the new world and settled in Maryland. He brought a still with him from England and settled in the area that became known as Medley... Continue Reading →

How Old Is Old Whiskey?

There is a lot of interest in “Extra-Aged” whiskey today. The market is mourning the loss of age statements and consumers are paying high prices for whiskey that still have age statements with double digit numbers. At the same time... Continue Reading →


In American whiskey, proof is simply twice the alcohol by volume percentage – i.e. 50% alcohol by volume is 100 proof. Legend has it that the term “proof” comes from proving the whiskey by gunpowder. On the frontier, to prove... Continue Reading →

A Typical Frontier Distiller In Kentucky

I was having a discussion with a friend the other day and was asked, “What was the typical distiller doing in 18th century Kentucky?” I thought we had an interesting conversation that I would turn into a blog. First of... Continue Reading →

Pre-Prohibition People Of Influence

The 19th century laid the foundation of the modern whiskey industry in the United States. There are certain people in that century who had a large influence on what is being done today in the industry. I thought I would... Continue Reading →

Brand History – Mount Vernon Rye

Mount Vernon Rye is a very old rye whiskey brand that I would love to see revived. I am sure that it would be a hard case to get this brand back on the market since it has been abandoned... Continue Reading →

Images Of The Past – The Joseph S. Finch Distillery, Schenley, Pennsylvania

In 1856, Joseph S. Finch built a distillery near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. By 1911, the distillery was worth between $200,000 and $250,000 in Mida’s Financial Index. In 1892, the Sinclair brothers and their partner Henry Bischoff built a distillery in Schenley,... Continue Reading →

The Fight For Bottled-In-Bond

The Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 was the result of a struggle between straight whiskey producers and rectifiers, who purchased bulk whiskey and/or neutral spirits to make whiskey. It was a long struggle with an economic impact on the distilling industry... Continue Reading →

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