October 10th, 2013
I’ve heard a rumor that in other parts of the country, the weather is turning colder, leaves are starting to drop from the trees, mountain men and other rustic types are gathering wood for their fireplaces, and drinkers are turning their bloodshot eyes toward the brown spirits.
Me? I have the air conditioning on as I type this. It’s about 80°F out there. Then again, my bloodshot eyes never turn away from brown spirits even when the temperatures crack the triple digits, but I’m unusual that way.
A few months ago, I provided a primer on Scotch terms. Today, I thought I’d turn my gaze inward and explain a few things about good old bourbon whiskey.
[Fill 'er up!]
August 9th, 2013
From the August 8, 1938, issue of LIFE magazine, this ode to the mint julep:
LICKETY SPLICKETY ZOOMBAH
[Still not large enough for you? Click!!]
April 12th, 2013
In modern times, Four Roses does indeed make a helluva great old-fashioned. Too bad the blasphemy pictured here isn’t an old-fashioned.
[LIFE, of course; April 11, 1938]
March 15th, 2013
The secret to good bourbon? Breeding and artificial selection. [From LIFE; March 14, 1938]
February 8th, 2013
The whiskey that made Kentucky whiskies famous. Wait, that sounds familiar.
Life; February 7, 1938.
Early Times has a history dating back to 1860, when the first whiskey under this name was produced. Brown-Forman acquired it in 1923 and still owns the today. During Prohibition, BF marketed Early Times as a medicinal whiskey.
Today, the product is known as a “Kentucky whisky” (why they drop the e that’s traditional when describing American whiskeys is a question I can’t answer). It’s made the way bourbon is made, except that Early Times, today, is aged in used oak barrels. Straight bourbon, by law, must be aged in new oak barrels. New barrels impart more woody flavors into a distillate than do used barrels, and thus Early Times doesn’t taste as bourbony as bourbon should.
Early Times continued as a straight bourbon until the 1980s, and as of two years ago, a bourbon version is again marketed by Brown-Forman. The two products are now sold side-by-side; the bourbon is called Early Times 354.
September 28th, 2012
125 years ago today:
[Life: September 27, 1937]
August 31st, 2012
A hodgepodge, from Life‘s issue of August 30, 1937:
(Another Norman Rockwell ad. I keep meaning to do a specific post on Schenley’s history. Another time.)
(Burnett’s is still around; the brand, today, is owned by Heaven Hill.)
(If you need me to tell you that Myers is still around, you don’t drink enough.)