From pure pot still, to Kentucky’s finest, the spirit is having a comeback. We’ll ask what and why.
“Whiskey is all right in its place,” said the famous evangelist Billy Sunday, “but its place is hell.” Well, a lot of people might disagree lately.
For a long time, whiskey seemed to have gone out with the Rat Pack. The Mad Men era. That’s over. Whiskey’s back. With more range of flavors and connoisseurs than ever. Sippers talking about it like wine. “Drizzled with honey and almonds…custard cream, toasted barley… banana bread and vanilla fudge.” Wow.
This hour, On Point: the history and return of whiskey.
Michael Veach, associate curator of special collections at Kentucky's Filson Historical Center. Bourbon historian and a member of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame. Author of "Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage."
Joy Richard, bar and beverage manager at the Franklin Restaurant Group. Her newest restaurant, Boston's Citizen Public House boasts a list of over 150 whiskeys from around the globe, with 5 hand selected single barrel whiskies. (@joyrichard)
From Tom's Reading List
Time Magazine "Fans of Maker’s Mark whiskey have a message for the company that has brought them their favorite bourbon in trademark red-wax-sealed bottles for nearly 60 years. They’d like it neat, please. Maker’s Mark, based in Loretto, Ky., announced over the weekend that the company would begin watering down its iconic whiskey in order to boost supply. The response was lightning fast and deeply felt."
Star-Tribune "Shots of courage. Lightning in a bottle. Bottoms up. Whiskey has its own liquid poetry. Sip it and you talk, or sing. My Scottish cousins can be almost eloquent about the drink itself. It is, they say, an education. As richly cultural as wine."
Reuters "Spirits companies sold 3 percent more liquor in 2012 in the United States than in 2011, fueled by flavored drinks and a big thirst for Irish whiskey and single malt Scotch, an industry trade group said on Wednesday."
Excerpt: Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage
Tom's Whiskey Adventure
Tom's Whiskey List
On air, Tom sampled:
Willett Pot Still Bourbon — Bardstown, Kentucky
Rittenhouse Rye — Bardstown, Kentucky
Red Breast Pot Still Whiskey — Ireland
Caol Ila Scotch — Islay, Scotland
This program aired on December 27, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.