Wednesday, April 10, 2013
The McCormick Distillery in Better Days
Then -- as now -- pure natural limestone springwater was used exclusively in production of McCORMICK BOURBON and PLATTE VALLEY CORN WHISKEY. The Ancient Cave -- build in 1839 -- was used for ageing barrelled whiskey."
They lost their 'oldest operating' title when they stopped operating decades ago, but it was dubious to begin with. The company still exists, though, as a small, regional bottler and rectifier. Today their most popular product is Tequila Rose, a combination of strawberry-flavored cream liqueur and tequila.
McCormick does have a rich history. During Prohibition, it was controlled by Tom Pendergast, the legendary political boss of Kansas City and most of western Missouri. It never stopped making and selling whiskey. Pendergast also had interests in some Kentucky distilleries during and after the drought.
One of McCormick's claims to fame is as creator of the Elvis Presley ceramic decanters, which contained McCormick bourbon of course. Many of the decanters included a music box that played a Presley hit.
Whiskey distilleries never went much further west than Weston because the railroads did and because there is no point building a bourbon distillery unless there's corn and water around. The railroads sent whiskey west and brought beef cattle east.