Whiskey and Technology

Whiskey and Technology

Has technology in whiskey production taken anything away from American whiskey? So much of the growth of whiskey production in this country has been wrapped up in innovation and technology.  Whiskey production, early in our nation’s history, was limited by how much your local distiller could make in his/her still.  A distiller was limited by how far they could move product.  Roads weren’t great, and rivers only flowed one way.  Once steam boats were invented in the late 1700’s and started being commonly used to navigate rivers in the 1800’s, whiskey had a new way to get to customers.  River traffic created a need for canal systems.  The 1820’s brought the locomotive and the Industrial Revolution.  The 1830’s saw the invention of the Coffey still and now bulk...

What is a Sour Mash Whiskey?

What is a Sour Mash Whiskey?

So what is sour mash whiskey anyway? The term sour mash gets thrown around a lot, but it’s really just a technique used in making whiskey.  It is not particular to any one brand of whiskey.  In fact, most whiskeys are made using this technique. Before you can distill, you have to make the alcohol.  Distillation is just the process of removing and refining the alcohol that yeasts produce in the fermentation process beforehand.   The whole reason that distillers are so concerned with quality of grain is because they want their yeasts to have the best grains that can produce the best food for them to “eat”.  The distiller cooks those grains in a big pot called a mashtun to create a delicious, warm, sugary mash for their yeasts to feast upon.  Those yeasts, when not...

Poor Old Crow…When Will You Get Your Due?

Poor Old Crow…When Will You Get Your Due?

Poor Old Crow…when will you get your due? Old Crow bourbon long ago fell to the bottom shelf. It uses the same mash bill and yeast as Jim Beam, but is only aged for 3 years and not as much interest is put into its taste profile. Old Crow Reserve gets a bit more love by being aged for 4 years and is bottled at 86 proof instead of the industry standard 80 that Old Crow is brought down to. This historic American whiskey is named after James Crow, the Steve Jobs of bourbon! Dr. James C. Crow (chemist/physician- with a medical degree from Edinburgh University) was originally from Inverness, in Scotland. He first moved to Philadelphia and then down to Woodford County, Kentucky in the 1820’s. He began working on new methods for distillation while working for...