Whiskey is now, of course, once again very popular but along with the adoration, the proliferation of bourbon bars and the ubiquity of the Old-Fashioned, comes an unintended side effect: nostalgia for a time that never existed.
There is now a tendency among drinkers, bartenders, brands, writers and historians to glamorize the 19th century roots of American whiskey. Even worse there’s a popular idea that the way whiskey was made in the 1800s was pure and should be the model for today’s distillers. While there was certainly quality whiskey being sold at the time there was also a huge amount of “whiskey,” which was actually neutral grain spirit that was flavored and colored with a whole bunch of additives—everything from creosote to nut oil extracts. Stuff, suffice it to say, you really shouldn’t be drinking.
On this episode of the award-winning podcast Life Behind Bars, co-hosts David Wondrich and Noah Rothbaum, talk about this unappetizing side of American whiskey’s roots and how the industry cleaned up its act.
If you’re a whiskey drinker, you need to listen to this episode of Life Behind Bars. Cheers!
Life Behind Bars features Half Full’s editor Noah Rothbaum and its Senior Drinks Columnist David Wondrich as they discuss the greatest bartenders and greatest cocktails of all time. It won the 2018 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for the world’s best drinks podcast.
Edited by Alex Skjong