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...

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...

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...

Jim Murray’s World Whisky of the Year for 2016 goes to…

Jim Murray’s World Whisky of the Year for 2016 goes to…

So the news is out that Crown Royal’s Northern Harvest Rye was named the 2016 World Whisky of the Year by renowned whiskey writer Jim Murray. This news will most definitely affect sales for Crown Royal, but it may affect a bit more. Rye whiskey is making a comeback all over North America! Let’s be clear that the term “rye” does not carry the same definition in Canada as it does in the U.S. We know rye whiskey, here in America, to mean that at least 51% of the mashbill is made of rye grains. Original styles of rye whiskey grew out of Pennsylvania and Maryland and were crafted based upon which surplus grains farmers from those regions accumulated after their harvests. In Canada, the original style of whiskey produced there was made of wheat. Early in Canada’s...

History of Rebel Yell in America

History of Rebel Yell in America

Rebel Yell is one of those old throwbacks. A wheated bourbon. And yes, it was made along side Pappy Van Winkle at Stitzel-Weller. The brand has changed hands and recipes, but it is a part of American bourbon history. The brand was established after Prohibition in the 1940’s. The bottle may claim 1849, but that is when W.L. Weller & Sons company was founded. Charles R. Farnsley (a former mayor of Louisville) created the brand for the Stitzel-Weller company, with the idea to distill it in limited batches for exclusive distribution in the south. Lucky for him, his uncle was co-owner of the company, Alex Farnsley. It seems he originally created the whiskey for himself and to give as gifts, but the label went public in the 60’s to commemorate the Civil War...