Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Can Pennsylvania Become the Kentucky of Rye Whiskey?

Whiskey rebels tar-and-feather a tax collector during the Whiskey Rebellion
What is creativity?

Some say it is the act of combining two or more things that haven’t been combined before, or combining them in a new way, thereby making something beneficial and new.

Somebody put peanut butter and jelly together for the first time.

Alcoholic beverages often are combined with other things, food obviously, but also history and culture.

That is the set-up for what the recently launched Whiskey Rebellion Trail is trying to accomplish. It is ambitious and risky, and a conceptual stretch, but they just might pull it off, as we consider in the new issue of The Bourbon Country Reader.

The Whiskey Rebellion Trail has three main parts: the Rebellion itself, the region’s rye whiskey heritage, and its booming craft distillery movement.

The Whiskey Rebellion (1791-1794) was, of course, a historic event of great importance to the early life of the American republic. Seemingly unrelated is the modern craft distillery movement. The thread that pulls all the pieces together is Pennsylvania’s historic importance as a producer of rye whiskey, produced there then and produced there now. As the popularity of rye whiskey has surged in the last few years, Pennsylvania distillers have tried to help Pennsylvania own rye whiskey the way Kentucky owns bourbon. That’s a high bar but worthy.

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Founded in 1994, The Bourbon Country Reader is the oldest publication devoted entirely to American whiskey. It is a charming mix of news, history, analysis, and product reviews. Do you worry that advertising spending influences coverage in other publications? No chance of that here since The Bourbon Country Reader is 100 percent reader-supported. It accepts no advertising.

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A subscription to The Bourbon Country Reader is still a mere $20 per year for addresses in the USA, $25 for everyone else. The Bourbon Country Reader is published six times a year, more-or-less, but your subscription always includes six issues no matter how long it takes. For those of you keeping track, this new one is Volume 19, Number 5.

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Anonymous said...

I love history in general and I love the history of PA's rye whiskey (and I love rye whiskey!). So I checked out that site... the most prominent feature of it... "Buy Your Pass Now". I think I'll observe from the sidelines. I would certainly love to see PA become the KY of Rye Whiskey - it's based in history. I guess Maryland can be the TN of rye? ;) But I don't think I'll be in the front of the queue to pay for that to happen :) I can barely afford the actual whisk(e)y purchases. I learn my history through the Glencairn and by reading stuff online.

Brian (AKA The Dean) said...

Interesting issue, Chuck. I will pass it on to friends from Pittsburgh who have recently caught the bourbon bug. Perhaps you'll get a new reader/subscriber

They actually gave me a bottle of Wigle whiskey that was "Aged One Day". Clearly it wasn't my cup of booze, but was interesting nonetheless. I found a use for it.

David J. Montgomery said...

When I taught American history, I always enjoyed teaching about the Whiskey Rebellion, in part because it’s a fascinating topic and in part because my students had usually never heard of it. It had so many aspects to make a great moment in history: George Washington, farmers, taxes, the power of the Executive, the military, and a rebellion without a shot fired. (Well, maybe one shot.) Plus it had booze! But my favorite part of the story was how President Washington got his old uniform out of mothballs and personally lead the U.S. Army against the “rebels.” Never think for a moment that the feds don’t take their power — or their taxes — seriously. Good stuff!

WhiskeyWolf said...

Wonderful . . . THIS SHOULD BE HOW HISTORY IS TAUGHT! Based on truth, personnel experiences and events. GREAT JOB.