Bourbon History



Repeal Day Celebrations

Repeal Day has become quite an event since I first started celebrating it in the late 20th century. My first celebration of Repeal Day was with some co-workers from the Filson Historical Society. We went to D’Maries, an early Bourbon... Continue Reading →

Prohibition Speakeasies

There is a romanticized image of Prohibition era speakeasies in the modern world. There are many bars that call themselves “speakeasies” in most every major city in the United States and even overseas, where speakeasies were not found in the... Continue Reading →

Prohibition And American Whiskey

I was recently asked to write an article for an auction magazine about Prohibition bottles. I thought it was a good article, so I thought I would publish it on my website. I have touched upon many of the points... Continue Reading →

How Prohibition Came To The United States

On January 16, 1919, the 18th amendment was ratified and went into effect one year later on January 17, 1920.  A century later, the question is, “How did this happen?” There are a lot of factors leading to Prohibition that... 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 →

Doing Business During Prohibition

There was a legal spirits business during prohibition. There were six companies that applied for the license to sell “medicinal alcohol” during the great dry spell of the United States. These six companies were: American Medicinal Spirits, which later became... Continue Reading →

Some More Thoughts on Rye

Before Prohibition, rye whiskey was the most popular whiskey in the United States. The big brands were based in Pennsylvania and Maryland, but Kentucky distillers also offered rye whiskies. W. L. Weller, Old Crow and others had rye whiskey versions... Continue Reading →

A Brief History Of The Repeal Of Prohibition

There are many myths about Prohibition. To start with it was not illegal to own alcohol during Prohibition. If you purchased spirits before Prohibition began there was nothing illegal about owning those spirits. It was not illegal to drink alcohol... Continue Reading →

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