Herman Melville’s Rye Whiskey Reference

Herman Melville’s Rye Whiskey Reference

Today is the day that Herman Melville’s Moby Dick was published by New York’s Harper and Brothers in 1851. There is a reference in the book that connects whiskey to the color red, which indicates that aged whiskey was the norm in the mid 1850’s and that readers would make the obvious connection. “That drove the spigot out of him!” cried Stubb. “‘Tis July’s immortal Fourth; all fountains must run wine today! Would now, it were old Orleans whiskey, or old Ohio, or unspeakable old Monongahela! Then, Tashtego, lad, I’d have ye hold a canakin to the jet, and we’d drink round it! Yea, verily, hearts alive, we’d brew choice punch in the spread of his spout-hole there, and from that live punch-bowl quaff the living...