I just heard that Library Journal gave “American Whiskey, Bourbon and Rye” a starred review. (That’s a good thing.) Here’s their verdict:
This book will delight those interested in learning about the history, traditions, and comparative taste of whiskey, and the gorgeous images will conjure up memories of grandfather’s old favorites. A fascinating read as well as a valuable reference guide, this work is sure to be a hit, especially in regions where the beverage is gaining popularity.
He offers takes on the excellent whiskies, and doesn’t hold back while describing the bad (“Drinking George Dickel No 8, I can’t get away from the thought of Robitussin poured over cornflakes”), lending authority to his assessment of an overwhelming number of choices.
My very good friends at Chapter16.org, Humanities Tennessee’s website for all things literary, were kind enough to do a Q&A with me about “American Whiskey, Bourbon and Rye.” You can check it out here.
It was only a matter of time before Mexico joined the increasingly crowded list of countries with their own whiskeys. There’s a longer tradition of whiskey distilling in Mexico than people realize: as Prohibition cast its shadow over the United States, several distilleries decamped for the northern part of our southern neighbor, the better to supply booze across the border surreptitiously.
When Prohibition fell, a number of them continued making the stuff. As late as 1964, there was at least one distillery making bourbon for American consumption, which at the time was a term free to use by anyone, anywhere. It was that year, of course, that Congress passed a resolution declaring that anything sold as “bourbon” in the United States has to be made in the United States. (In other words, you can make bourbon in France, and sell it as such in France, but we won’t let you sell it here.) Interestingly, one of the few legislators to oppose the measure was Rep. John Lindsay of Manhattan. Turns out two of his wealthy constituents, a pair of sisters, had inherited a distillery in Mexico that still churned out bourbon for the U.S. market. Continue reading “Whiskey From … Mexico?” »
On Friday I’m flying to London for work. I’ll be there for a few weeks, and in my free time I’m hoping to hit up some good whisky spots — bars as well as stores. In this area, I am ignorant. I know I need to visit the Whisky Exchange, and I’ve got an appointment to meet the folks at Berry Bros. & Rudd. Is there anywhere else I should go?
Second, and this is slightly embarrassing: what should I pick up? I’m not looking to sling around a lot of scratch. But I want to get a few bottles that I know I can’t find in the US. I’ve got some Japanese/world whisky in mind, but what about scotch? I’m just a bourbon guy; my knowledge of scotch is severely limited to what I can buy here in the States. If you had to buy just one bottle over in the UK, what would it be? Within reason, of course.
Don’t you wish you’d had the money and foresight to buy one of these two years ago?:
At the very top, the price increases have been even more dramatic. In 2011, William Grant & Sons USA was fetching $16,000 a 750-ml. for its rare Glenfiddich 50-year-old. Its retail price escalated to $23,000 in 2012, and then hit $27,000 this year. (source: Shanken News Daily, 10/9/2013)
Bourbon-barrel-aged stouts can sometimes sound better than they taste. Marry the coffee and chocolate notes of a stout with the vanilla and spice of whiskey — even Carrie Nation might approve. But in many cases the result is a boozy mess, an unbalanced, over-the-top bomb in which the stout’s complexity is wiped out by the whiskey flavors (and let’s not start on the markup that some brewers get for using barrels from “name” whiskeys like Pappy Van Winkle instead of more pedestrian brands like Jim Beam, when the effect of either is almost exactly the same). As with hops, sometimes American craft brewers seem to know just two settings, zero and extreme. Continue reading “Just Sampled … Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Oatmeal Stout” »
Oh yes, there’s a whiskey calendar. Assuming you’ve already bought your “Firemen of Armenia” and “Geriatric Nurses 2014″ wall calendars, consider purchasing this handsome guy. Each month features a different collection of whiskey bottles – rye, craft, Texas, rare – as well as whiskey trivia you can use to stump your friends (or whatever else you do with trivia).
It’s only $13.99 at Amazon, so why not buy two? Here are the links: