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Issue 77 - Future proof?

Whisky Magazine Issue 77
January 2009


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Future proof?

The world may be going somewhere in a handbag,but the bourbon industry seems to be pretty buoyant at the moment.

All the signs in Kentucky are pointing to the ripe moment for a bourbon boom across the USA and with any luck across the globe.

When you look close enough, as with Scotch, there are some definite trends that are leading this welcome resurgence of America's spirit.

Recently Whisky Magazine sat down with some of the key figures in the bourbon industry, including producers, visitor centre managers, marketing and ambassadors, to discuss how they see things going.

One major trend is how bartenders are treating bourbon.

Preston Van Winkle picks up the thread: “Most people start with a bourbon and coke, mainly because when you are young that's what you drink and don't know any better.

It's different in London where you have style bars that are using fresh fruit and herbs to complement the bourbon.” David Mays, one of Beam Global's Whiskey Professors (a trio of ambassadors) adds: “In the US we are seeing this London trend reflected in bars on the coasts with the high style cocktails. Also they are coming back to the traditional cocktails, stripping down the drinks.” In terms of the threat from vodka the answer from the group was an emphatic “yes” that bourbon had the kudos and credentials to hold up against the clear contender.

Preston again: “I have talked to some bartenders and any of them that are worth their salt are bored with vodka. Bourbon gives very pronounced flavours presenting a challenge to them as they have to build on the flavours.” Whiskey Profess...

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