Bourbon's all American spirit

Hmmm, it is after 1:00 A..M. Why am I still up and awake?

Damn it to heck, it is too much stress and worry. One would think after a few shots of 12 year old Ezra Brooks I would feel better, a lot better and I do but not good enough. No, I do not sit around all day and booze it up. Fact is I do not drink a lot anymore. I limit it to the good stuff and always, always with a really good cigar. This morning it is a Pardon 1964 series.

I was perusing our local fish wrapper when much to my surprise I stumbled upon this very nice article about one of my favorite beverages, American Bourbon Whiskey.

This is one place and spirit where the USA still is the top dog and probably always will be. I have yet to drink anything better than American Bourbon.

It has to be damn good bourbon because yes, I will freely admit I am a snob when it comes to bourbon, beer, guns, coffee and cigars. I am not going to get into my favorites here but just so you Canadians do not get all butt hurt, I do enjoy a good Canadian whiskey like Tangle Ridge.

The article is long so I have posted just a portion of it and there is a link to the entire article if you wish to read it. 

Read up, drinks are on the house!


Bourbon's all American spirit 
By Mickey Meece / New York Times News Service
Bourbon is one product America still makes better than anyone else — and, in at least one way, it always will be.

That is because Congress decreed in 1964 that “bourbon whiskey is a distinctive product of the United States.” Three elements make bourbon unique: American corn, pure limestone water and new, charred oak barrels.

Regardless, people here and abroad are drinking more of it these days. Global supplier sales of bourbon and Tennessee whiskey are expected to reach $3.8 billion this year, versus $3.7 billion in 2010, according to a forecast from Euromonitor International. (Bourbon is a type of whiskey, so researchers group them together.)

Distillers are expanding their market with premium small-batch and single-barrel products, along with flavor infusions like honey, cherry and spice. Among the top five whiskey brands: Jack Daniel's, from Brown-Forman; Jim Beam, from Beam Inc.; Evan Williams, from Heaven Hill Distilleries; Maker's Mark, also from Beam; and Early Times, also from Brown-Forman, according to the 2011 Liquor Handbook.

“Bourbon is growing at a faster rate than the total spirits category and outperforming most of the other spirit segments,” declared Danny Brager, vice president of the beverage alcohol team for Nielsen. Still, in total dollar sales, bourbon ranks fourth behind vodka, rum and cordials.

Smaller producers must be nimble to stand out in a crowded and well-financed field. Consider Angel's Envy, a new entrant from the Louisville Distilling Co. With only $1 million to spend on marketing this year, the company had to be very selective in showcasing its product.

The big whiskey houses use their marketing might to make sure that their brands are in front of retailers and top of mind among consumers who visit bars and liquor stores.

Which brings us back to that shake-off: Ramsey, 28, is a bartender at Baxter's 942 Bar and Grill here. She will now compete in a national Manhattan-making competition in New York, sponsored by Esquire magazine and by Woodford Reserve, which is also among the brands owned by Brown-Forman, the hometown liquor giant here. And according to data released in the 2011 Liquor Handbook, its flagship brand, Jack Daniel's, spent nearly $15 million on advertising in 2009-10, double that spent by Jim Beam and Evan Williams.

Jack Daniel's, produced in Lynchburg, Tenn., takes pride in calling itself Tennessee whiskey. But, just like bourbon, it is made mostly from corn and aged in new charred-oak barrels. The distinctive flavor comes from the “charcoal mellow” process, which involves dropping the whiskey through 10 feet of sugar maple charcoal. “It imparts a distinctive smoothness,” Jack Daniel's says. “Charcoal mellowing makes Jack Daniel's what it is — a Tennessee whiskey, not a bourbon.”

‘The people's drink'

Interest in American whiskey has pervaded popular culture in books like “Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition,” by Daniel Okrent, as well as in the documentary film “Prohibition,” by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, and the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire.”

“It is the people's drink,” said Fred Sarkis, a bartender at the Sable Kitchen and Bar in Chicago. “It doesn't get more American than whiskey.” Insiders are excited about the new customers they are attracting beyond older white males. Many consumers are relishing the fruit of industry innovation — infused flavors like cherry and honey, and new finishes and charring techniques for the new oak barrels.

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1 Comments - Share Yours!:

Nick said...

I once got so drunk I woke up in a different country. In a phone box. Wearing a pair of shorts.

Ah, the good old days ...