Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage

Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage

Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage

Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage

Excerpt

This book has been twenty years in the making. In the summer of 1991 I was a graduate student at the University of Louisville studying medieval history with a secondary field of public history. I had done an internship at the Filson Historical Society and was due to do another one in the 1991–1992 academic year. That is when Dr. Nicholas Morgan from United Distillers (UD) called the History Department looking for a graduate student to create an archive from some papers and artifacts at the Stitzel-Weller Distillery. The job was to last six thirty-fivehour weeks and pay $9.00 an hour. Needless to say, the offer was attractive, and I accepted. The job eventually turned into a full-time position that lasted until the end of 1996, when UD sold its bourbon brands and closed the archive.

As a native Kentuckian, I thought I knew a lot about bourbon whiskey, but soon after taking the UD archive job I realized how wrong I was. From my work with the archive I learned the basics of the history of bourbon. I also had excellent teachers in my Stitzel-Weller colleagues Ed Foote, Mike Wright, and Chris Morris. Ed taught me how bourbon was fermented, distilled, and aged; Mike what makes a good bourbon good and a bad bourbon bad; and Chris how to market bourbon and create new brands.

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