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Issue 95 - Innovating the Americans Way

Whisky Magazine Issue 95
April 2011


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Innovating the Americans Way

Liza Weisstuch looks at the restriction and innovations from the US distillers

?Federally enforced laws define bourbon. Regulations maintain a standard for the industry. As more consumers get wind of this standard and the spirit's integrity, the more popular it becomes. In this day, when limitless options is the way of life, the more popular it becomes, the more people wonder what else they can try that's similar, different, more. Distillers step up to push the envelope. People try the new. There is nostalgia for
the original.
And there you have the mobius strip of the American whiskey industry. In the past few years, more and more whiskey products have appeared on shelves – both from craft distillers and the titans. Simultaneously, companies report increased sales of their flagship brands. Nevertheless, with the abundance of new products that stray from tradition, it's rational to suspect that companies need to be innovative just to stay in the game. But “innovation” means many things to many people.
“Bourbon has evolved since it was first distilled and barreled, and the Master's Collection is a natural part of the evolution of bourbon,” said Chris Morris, master distiller for Brown Forman, producer of Woodford Reserve. “Believe me you don't want to drink the bourbon that was made in Harrodsburg, the very first settlement in Kentucky. Now, of course, there are stipulations that make bourbon legally a bourbon, but creating a ‘newer version' is almost like going back to the olden days before there were rules. When you have a good product...

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