Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Amber Lights: Whisky on the rise again in USA

Post Thumbnail

Brian Townsend takes a look at a whisky rennaisance taking place on the other side of the Atlantic.

America is in the midst of a great whisky renaissance with countless small, artisan distilleries opening everywhere from New York city to rural locations scattered across
the country.

However, it is not the USA’s first distilling boom. As the great beacon from its early days for European migrants, they arrived with their drink-making skills. The French and Italians took wine-making, the Germans and Scandinavians beer-brewing and the Scots and Irish whisky distilling.

Indeed, the “founding fathers” enjoyed the cratur. George Washington had a distillery at his Mount Vernon home, installed and run by a Fife distiller. It has been recreated as a tourist attraction, complete with replica original equipment – and it actually makes whisky.

As starch-rich maize (corn on the cob or corn) was a dominant crop, most US whiskies were, and largely are, made from a maize mash, with high-diastase barley added to speed the starch-to-sugar conversion.

Kentucky gradually became the dominant centre of distilling and, strictly speaking, Bourbon whiskies come from Kentucky. However, the very successful Jack Daniels hails from next-door Tennessee.

It is remarkable just what a contribution whisky has made to the American way of life. Watch any Western on TV and there’s almost as much whisky drinking (the saloon barmen flicking full glasses along the bar like oiled curling stones) as there is shooting and horse-riding.

Older tough-guy movies always saw the heroes (and villains) swilling Scotch or Bourbon and TV series such as Mad Men also showcase whiskies, albeit in a more urbane setting.

Indeed, it was whisky’s too-powerful hold on US life that spurred the Prohibition movement which eventually made the US go “dry” – at least in theory – from 1920 to 1933.

Historically, the US has seen decades of conflict between legal and illegal distillers, mirroring the similar conflict in Scotland and Ireland. It saw its whisky war in the early 1800s and the battle against the Prohibition-era bootleggers.

It even coined the most romantic name for illicit whisky – moonshine – inspiring the delightful Moonshine Lullaby in the 1940s musical Annie Get Your Gun.

Today the Scotch industry depends heavily on America, not just for exports, but to supply the lion’s share of casks slumbering in our distillery warehouses.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from The Courier Food & Drink team

More from The Courier