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bourbon history

Dating Old American Whiskey Bottles

I am often asked to look at photographs of old bottles and give my opinion on the bottle’s age. It is not easy to do from photographs because there are many things I look for when I date a bottle.... Continue Reading →

Brand History – Early Times Bourbon

I was surprised to hear that Brown-Forman is selling the Early Times brand to Sazerac. Brown-Forman have owned the brand for almost a century, and in the 1950s, it was the best-selling Bourbon in Kentucky and even today, it is... Continue Reading →

Brand History – Henry McKenna

The Henry McKenna brand has grown in popularity since the 10 year old bonded Bourbon was named a best buy a couple of years ago. The brand was created by Irish immigrant, Henry McKenna. Henry McKenna was born in Ireland... Continue Reading →

On-Premise Sales Of Whiskey

On-premise sales of whiskey is the sale of drinks in a bar or restaurant. Whether it is a pour over the rocks, neat or mixed in a cocktail, the bartender is influencing that consumer of whiskey. The choice of the... Continue Reading →

From My Archive – 1930s Fortune Magazine Articles

When Prohibition came to an end, American distilleries were at a huge disadvantage in the spirits market. It is very similar to what the smaller artisan distilleries are facing in the 21st century – there were big companies with plenty... Continue Reading →

Images Of The Past: Richard Wathen’s Log Still

The Louisville Free Public Library has a pre-Prohibition trade magazine, The Wine and Spirits Bulletin, as part of their collection. Fortunately, Brown-Forman paid to have the originals reproduced for preservation purposes about 20 years ago. This was necessary as many... Continue Reading →

Researching Distilling Heritage

There are many people looking for distilling heritage. Many are distilleries who are reviving a distillery or brand. Others are people who had a family connection to the industry and want to learn more about their ancestor and the industry... Continue Reading →

19th Century Distillers – Judge William H. McBrayer

E.H. Taylor, Jr. believed the best whiskey in Kentucky was being made in the Kentucky River Valley region of the State. He also believed that McBrayer was making some of the best whiskey in that region. Today, there are very... Continue Reading →

The Marketing Revolution Of The Late 19th Century

For most of the 19th century, marketing of whiskey was mostly done by word of mouth and through newspaper advertisements. These newspapers advertisements were not fancy half-page ads with illustrations, but single-line advertisements such as those printed in the classified... Continue Reading →

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