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Bourbon History

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whiskey history

Bourbon And The American Civil War

Most people don't know Prohibition was the law of the land in the Confederacy.

American Blended Whiskey: A Dying Category

American Blended Whiskey is a dying category with a rich heritage. Blended whiskey as a category had its start in the 19th century with the growing rectifying business in America. The invention of the column still in the 1840s made... Continue Reading →

Pioneer Distillers: Jacob Beam

The Boehm or Beam family came to America to settle first in Pennsylvania and later in Kentucky. The family was part of the German and Swiss wave of settlers that arrived in Pennsylvania, between 1710 and 1780. A wave of... Continue Reading →

The Van Winkle Factor in the Bourbon Industry

The Van Winkle Family have never been distillers. They have never held a job where they made the mash or ran the still to make their living, however they still had a huge impact on the industry and Bourbon as... Continue Reading →

Pioneer Distillers: Elijah Craig

Elijah Craig is credited with being the inventor of Bourbon in 1789, but as you may know I don’t believe that to be a true claim. There is no evidence that supports the claim earlier than the 1870s when he... Continue Reading →

Whiskey Taxation, Part Two: The American Civil War And Beyond

In 1861 President Lincoln needed money to pay for troops to put down the rebellion of the Southern States. A whiskey tax was brought back but it was different from the first two periods of taxation discussed in Part One... Continue Reading →

Whiskey Taxation, Part One: Before The American Civil War

Taxation of Whiskey plays an important role in American history. The Nation’s first constitutional crisis was the Whiskey Rebellion. The constitution was only a few years old and, for the States to ratify it, the new government was to take... Continue Reading →

African-Americans And The Bourbon Industry

Researching the African-American involvement in the Bourbon industry before Prohibition is difficult at best. There are not a lot of written sources as enslaved people did not get mentioned much in business documents and if they are mentioned it is... Continue Reading →

William Mida: A Forgotten Hero Of Whiskey

When I first started as an Archivist at United Distillers in the early 1990s, on top of my list of things to do was find historical sources of information on the whiskey trade. Some of the best sources were the... Continue Reading →

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