MGP Ingredients- The Distillery Prohibition Did Not Destroy

MGP Ingredients- The Distillery Prohibition Did Not Destroy

If you’re tasting a lot of whiskeys and considering where they come from, you’ll have already become familiar with MGP (Midwest Grain Products) Ingredients.  In most cases, you’ll have read an article about how hundreds of whiskeys on the market today are, in fact, distilled at MGP and that many of those companies are not honest about their whiskeys’ provenance.  In some cases, people cannot believe that a company that sells extracted starches, textured plant proteins and cleaning products could also make such great whiskey. I’m here to tell you, this is as American as apple pie. (Apple pie is originally European, too, by the way…We imported its recipe the same way we imported our distilling traditions.) To be clear, MGP Ingredients (also referred to by...

Texas and Its Whiskey

Texas and Its Whiskey

Yesterday, Dec 29th 1845, Texas became the 28th state in the union. Texan citizens have always been fiercely loyal to their state and to the products produced there. There are now about 25 different distilleries producing whiskey in Texas. Though Texans are promoting these products, their popularity throughout the country has put Texas distilleries at the forefront of the American whiskey industry. Here is a list of their distilleries to date (research by Sku’s Recent Eats blog) 1. Alamo Premium Distillery, San Antonio, TX. This distillery makes Texas Moonshine Corn Whiskey and is working on Texas Craft Whiskey.2. Balcones Distillery , Waco, TX. This distillery released the first run of their Baby Blue blue corn whiskey in September 2009. They also make Brimstone...

Why So Defensive About Sourced Whiskey?

Why So Defensive About Sourced Whiskey?

I was asked at the Dram Devotee’s Whistle Pig tasting on Thursday, “Why do you sound so defensive when you are speaking about sourced whiskey?” It must be true that I sound defensive or it wouldn’t have been noted by one of my guests.  I can tell you that a lot of my defensiveness stems from the commentary that I read on the internet.  I suppose I do feel the need to defend those companies that source their bourbons and ryes, but also manage to put out a consistently great product. I’ve seen all the lists of sourced whiskeys from LDI/MGP (Lawrenceburg Distillers Indiana/Midwest Grain Products).  (For those that have not seen the list, you can find information here- (http://recenteats.blogspot.com/p/the-complete-list-of-american-whiskey.html.) There is a lot...

Julian Van Winkle’s Legacy

Julian Van Winkle’s Legacy

Pappy Van Winkle has been on the brain this past week and I realized that it might be a good idea to be clear about what is actually in those very sought after bottles.   I’ve written about Julian Van Winkle Sr. in recent blog posts.  He was the man behind Stitzel-Weller and the establishment of that distillery.  He made Old Fitzgerald bourbon and his son maintained the Old Rip Van Winkle brand copyright after the distillery closed its doors in the 70’s.  United Distillers, which later became Diageo, became owners of Stitzel-Weller, but Julian Van Winkle Jr. maintained access to old stocks from the warehouses.  He (“Pappy’s” son) began bottling those products under the Old Rip Van Winkle label.  In 1981, Julian Van Winkle III became owner of the family...

Filibuster Whiskey from Washington D.C.

Filibuster Whiskey from Washington D.C.

Did you know that the citizens of Washington D.C. didn’t get to vote in an election until this month in 1964? (Don’t worry, I talk about whiskey in a bit..) Washington, D.C., is the only non-state to be enfranchised for presidential elections, gaining electoral votes through the ratification of the 23rd Amendment in 1961. That amendment gave the District of Columbia a share of electors proportional to its population (like the states), but limited it to no more electors than the least populous state (That’s right, D.C. and Wyoming are voting buddies!) This meant three electoral votes in 1964, and that number has not changed. Our capital is a strange place.  The U.S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress and...

Jefferson’s Whiskey?

Jefferson’s Whiskey?

Thomas Jefferson may have a whiskey named after him, but maybe not for the reasons you think… When the Jefferson’s brand of whiskey was launched in 1997, the brand said that Trey Zoeller chose the name Jefferson’s “because the bourbon was inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s curiosity, experimental spirit and good taste.” When Reid Mitenbuler (author of Bourbon Empire) asked Zoeller admitted, “I had no marketing budget. I simply wanted a recognizable face associated with history and tradition.” Even if the whiskey wasn’t thoughtfully named after Jefferson, the history of his association with and his connection to whiskey is interesting… After the Revolutionary War, the country (the government) needed revenue to pull itself out of...

Orphan Barrel Releases…Craft whiskeys?

Interesting read. Diageo’s “orphan barrel” releases can’t last forever even with the solera method of aging employed in making their Blade and Bow bourbon…wonder who they’ll buy next? The only working distillery they own now is George Dickel in Tennessee… ‘Craft’ Bourbon Is in the Eye of the Distiller “Craft” distilleries have mushroomed in the U.S. to 588 from 51 over the past decade. Feeling the heat from the new competition, global liquor conglomerates are getting in on the act, and not letting definitions get in the way. WWW.WSJ.COM|BY SAABIRA...