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Issue 145 - Bourbon goes mainstream

Whisky Magazine Issue 145
July 2017


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Bourbon goes mainstream

The quest for more knowledge is on the rise as Bourbon soars

As an author, I receive a lot of mainstream media calls. People want to know how I became a whiskey writer, what's my favourite, who's suing who, and really, I get asked anything there is to know about whiskey. NPR, BBC, CBS This Morning, Fox News and many others have brought me on their airwaves just to talk whiskey. Every time, it's an honour and privilege and leads to me continuously pinching myself to make sure my life is but a dream.

I also use these interviews as a barometer for mainstream whiskey understanding. Five years ago, reporters wanted to know the five biggest myths in Bourbon. No 1, of course, being that Bourbon had to be made in Kentucky; Bourbon can be made anywhere in the United States. So, the media was in its elementary phase of learning.

Three years ago, they were interested non-distiller producers acquiring sourced whiskey and deceiving consumers with phony backstories, which led to lawsuits and industry drama. They were also digging for dirt in general and looking to tell the story of women in whiskey. This gave me the distinct impression the media loved the whiskey drama and looked to promote women.

Now, most reporters know Bourbon can be made anywhere, that most legends are useful but not true; that sourced whiskey is not a dirty word as long as the bottler isn't deceiving folks; Bourbon must be aged in new charred oak barrels; and oh, by the way, women have always been a part of the whiskey world. Whiskey's dipped so far into the mainstream consc...

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