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A History of Rye in the US: Part I

Virginia lays claim to the birthplace of American distilled spirits as the first batch of whiskey, albeit from corn, was documented to have been produced as early as 1620 by English settler George Thorpe near Jamestown. Rye’s presence and...

Whiskey Taxes
& Liberty Poles

For those who live in western Pennsylvania and love whiskey, it is impossible to escape the history of the rebellion against an excise tax that happened here. Pieces of the story are scattered in museums, cemeteries and reenactments. Anyone...

Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup from Bissell Maple Farm

Former chemist Nate Bissell has yet to think of an experiment with maple syrup he won’t try. Concoctions from Bissell — the sixth-generation owner of Bissell Maple Farm in Jefferson, OH — include traditional maple syrup, maple candy and...

A History of Rye in the US: Part 2

Between 1810 and 1840 it’s estimated 14,000 to 20,000 distilleries, licensed and otherwise, operated in the young United States. Most of its population was northerly with rail transport yet to be developed. But once railroads were built, it was...

The History of 125

How does the proof that whiskey is entered into a barrel affect the final outcome of its character and flavor? Is there an ideal proof for whiskey? These are questions frequently asked by clients or students who take my...

Canadian Whisky in Three Periods

Canadian whisky is one of four recognizable global whisky styles. In all, more than 17.5 million 9-litre cases are sold annually in 160-plus countries, and it is the second best-selling whisky in America. One brand alone — Crown Royal...