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Issue 121 - 50 Monumental Bourbon Moments

Whisky Magazine Issue 121
July 2014


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50 Monumental Bourbon Moments

To commemorate the 50 years since bourbon made history

In May, Bourbon celebrated 50 years of the Congressional Declaration that made bourbon “distinctive product to the US” This Congressional Resolution has given bourbon its modern identity, making the celebrated whiskey the de facto America's Spirit, as it's so widely acclaimed. Although the actual declaration never says ‘America's Spirit,' there's no denying Bourbon's heritage to the United States makes it so. To celebrate this momentous occasion, Fred Minnick offers 50 monumental moments in bourbon history.

1 1790 – 1794 War Debts and Whiskey Rebels. After winning its independence from the British, the Americans had some bills to pay. To do that, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton recommended taxing alcohol. Well, East Coast whiskey distillers didn't care much for this new taxation. They revolted. More than 400 so-called whiskey rebels attacked Pittsburgh's John Neville, a pesky tax collector, and Washington federalised 12,950 troops to thwart Western Pennsylvania distiller efforts. The matter was eventually resolved, but not before many distillers joined other whiskey makers in Kentucky.

2 1803 Louisiana Purchase. With the Louisiana Purchase, flatboats shipped whiskey downstream to New Orleans.

3 1803 Mint Julep.
In Travels of four years and a half in the United States of America, author John Davis defines a mint julep as “A dram of spirituous liquor that has mint in it, taken by Virginians of a morning.” By liquor, he was referring to whiskey. Today, ...

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