Kentucky’s signature Bourbon industry last night marked the 100th anniversary of a landmark decision by President William Howard Taft at a ceremony to induct the former leader into the prestigious Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame.
In December 1909, President Taft released an official decision that defined whiskey standards in the United States. Before that time, imitators trying to capitalize on the growing success of Kentucky Bourbon often made counterfeit whiskey using artificial colors and flavors.
But Taft’s decision set the standard for how whiskey is labeled – straight, blended or imitation – and protected the time-honored process of Kentucky Bourbon. “By such an order as this decision indicates,” Taft wrote, “the public will be made to know exactly the kind of whisky they buy and drink…
“It injures no man’s lawful business, because it only insists upon the statement of the truth in the label.”
In recognition of the anniversary of his historic act, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association Board of Directors unanimously voted to induct Taft into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame. The ceremony took place last night at the Governor’s Mansion in Frankfort, hosted by Gov. and Mrs. Steven L. Beshear.
Taft, born in 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio, was President from 1909-1913 and later the 10th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He died in 1930.