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Issue 125 - Bourbon Marches On

Whisky Magazine Issue 125
January 2015

 

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Bourbon Marches On

Liza gives us a roundup of the bourbon scene in USA today

Thus spoke Bob Newhart, the legendary comedian and Dean of the Deadpan. Sure enough, on 28 November, an article appeared on the front page of the paper of record with the headline: ‘Budget Problems? Kentucky and Elsewhere Find Answer in a Bottle.' It explained how the bourbon industry is pumping revenue into the state's economy and quoted Governor Steve Beshear as saying: “The bourbon industry is such a boon for us. The effect that it has on other sectors in creating jobs is very important to us.”

Those jobs are also very important to bourbon drinkers around the world, a contingent whose numbers – and dedication – are growing by the day. Things that would have been considered outlandish a decade ago are commonplace today. Consider, for instance, the abundance of limited edition bottlings that are released annually. The speed with which enthusiasts scoop them up is astonishing. In December 2013, Michter's released 273 bottles of Celebration Sour Mash Whiskey, made from 20 and 30 Years Old barrels. Each bottle fetched $4,000. They were all spoken for before they arrived in stores.
But perhaps what's most exciting, for better or for worse, is how American whiskey has become an egalitarian product. Brands have wiped their products clean of the ‘red neck' image. Today, bourbon is presented as a drink that's classy, yet hardly elite.

Numbers don't lie
According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, a trade organisation, 18 million 9 litre cases of...

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