The Whiskey Wars

Maybe you’ve heard about the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, but the Whiskey Wars? October, and conversations with people about pre-Prohibition whiskeys, got me thinking about the Whiskey Wars. They began in October of 1869 when army veterans found nine stills in an alley after a knife fight. There were many many illegal stills in NYC at the time and most of them were located in Vinegar Hill or “Irishtown.” Distilling was legal at the time, but the problem wasn’t with whiskey, it was with taxes. Distillers hadn’t seen their whiskey taxed from 1817 until 1862 and had become used to their profits. The Civil War created a desperate need for government revenue and taxes went from zero to 20 cents per 100-proof gallon. By 1868 it had gone up to $2.00 which is equal to $30...

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...