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Dead Distillers: A History of Upstarts and Distillers Who Made American Spirits

In Book Reviews by Brett AtlasLeave a Comment

Dead Distillers, Colin Spoelman and David Haskell’s follow up to 2013’s The Guide to Urban Moonshining, is a truly unique walk through the history of whiskey- in many cases a walk through actual cemeteries! Spoelman, a Kentucky native, and hobby moonshiner founded New York’s King’s County Distillery. The first NYC distillery opened since Prohibition, King’s County produces all of its whiskey including its brand new Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon (distillery-only right now but will see wider distribution). Haskell, deputy editor at New York Magazine, just happens to be the great-grandson of a prohibition-era New York Bootlegger.

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Red, White and Gray: Realities of the Bourbon Market

In Banter by Brett AtlasLeave a Comment

Jim Beam recently released its 13-year Booker’s limited rye with a suggested retail price of $300. For many long-term whiskey enthusiasts, this flashpoint was tantamount to a declaration of war. Who do they think they are? How dare they?

Whiskey’s gray market (or secondary market or parallel market) has been attacked so viciously you would think we were talking about drug cartels. Buffalo Trace even recently put out a statement announcing they were actively attempting to shut down “the illegal secondary market” for their whiskeys. Citing the “well-developed system for the distribution of spirits which involves us, a distiller, selling to a distributor who in turn sells to a retailer” and all the protections and benefits that affords you, the consumer, Buffalo Trace urges you to buy your whiskey from a fully licensed retailer.”

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WhiskyFest Chicago 2016 Recap

In Events by Brett AtlasLeave a Comment

The 17th annual WhiskyFest made its second stop in Chicago on March 18th. WhiskyFest has exploded in popularity in recent years, and this event is no longer the laid-back casual affair that long-time attendees remember. Also, ticket prices have climbed dramatically, and time is limited, so you want to be sure you have a game plan going in. For B&B readers considering attending one of the two remaining events in the fall (San Francisco on September 23rd and New York on November 1st), allow me to pass along some knowledge gained from my first WhiskyFest that should keep you one step ahead of the throng and help maximize your experience. I recommend you check out the pictures first, and then read the rest of the recap.

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Thomas Handy Rye Review

In Rye Whiskey Reviews by Brett AtlasLeave a Comment

Every fall now, people who love whiskey and people who never drink whiskey trip over themselves to get their hands on anything Van Winkle. Around the same time, Buffalo Trace also releases their rare and limited 5-bottle Antique collection, including 3 barrel proof offerings: Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Straight Rye, George T. Stagg Straight Bourbon and William Larue Weller Bourbon. The Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye pays homage to the New Orleans man who, in the late 1800’s, changed the principle ingredient of the Sazerac cocktail from cognac to rye whiskey.