Saturday, December 30, 2023

My Bourbon Writing Will Not be Rationed


An anti-hoarding, pro-rationing poster for the United States during World War II.

The rationing poster above refers to an article in the new issue of The Bourbon Country Reader, which subscribers will receive shortly, but I wanted to start with a thank you.

The response to my December 13 post was more than I could have asked for, and very much appreciated. Thank you to everyone who commented. As I wrote after the first dozen or so comments came in, my short post happened because lately I feel I am shouting into the void. As a speech major in college, I was taught basic communication theory. The parts of communication are sender, message, receiver, and feedback. The feedback informs the sender as to how the message was received, so it can be modified or built upon. It's pretty basic stuff but the key insight is that communication is a loop, a cycle. One may send messages to some expected receiver, but without feedback there is no communication. 

Some of you are subscribers to my old school, paper-in-the-mail newsletter. I wrapped volume 21 back in August and have been dragging my feet on starting volume 22. I have considered discontinuing the newsletter altogether. Thanks to all of you and your encouragement, volume 22, number 1 is at the printer now and will be in the mail in a few days.

You can subscribe here.

What is in the new issue? Exactly 80 years ago, in December 1943, two years after the attack on Pearl Harbor dragged the United States into World War II, a fullpage advertisement appeared in newspapers across the country. The ad’s headline got right to the point: “The TRUTH about the Whiskey Shortage” (emphasis in the original).

Modern "whiskey shortage" concerns are laughable compared to this.

The ad set out to answer three questions: “Is there really a shortage?,” “How much whiskey is available?,” and “How long will the present supply last?”

You will find the whole story in the new Reader.

What else? About a decade ago, I began to keep track of all the column stills making whiskey in the United States. Why? Because the size (i.e., diameter) of a column still tells you that distillery's production capacity, not how much it will produce, or does produce, but how much it can produce. In the story "Size Matters," I go into some of what I've learned from that project. 

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

To experience The Bourbon Country Reader for yourself, you need to subscribe. Honoring history, The Bourbon Country Reader is still exclusively on paper, sent in an envelope via the USPS. 

Despite rampant inflation, a subscription to The Bourbon Country Reader is a mere $25 per year for addresses in the USA, $32 USD 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 22, Number 1. 

If you prefer to pay by check, make it payable to Made and Bottled in Kentucky, and mail it to Made and Bottled in Kentucky, 3712 N. Broadway, PMB 298, Chicago, IL 60613-4198. Checks drawn on U.S. banks only, please.


Richard Turner said...

YAY! Glad to hear it, Sir!
C'nardly wait!

Patrick Skvoretz said...

Chuck, looking forward to the upcoming newsletter and future ones as well. A long time ago, I asked a former boss for feedback about my performance as I never really interacted with them. They told me, "no news is good news", if there was a problem they would say something. I have a large whiskey book collection and in that bookshelf is a binder full of your past newsletters. In my case, the "no news is good news" is my renewal every year. In contrast, I no longer read a popular whiskey magazine because it morphed into 100 pages of cigar ads, top 10 lists, best whiskey bars in XXX city and light lifestyle pieces. I prefer the serious content you create.

Brian (AKA The Dean) said...

Very happy to have you back, Chuch. And excited for the new BC Reader. Also looking forward to more blog posts, this year.

Anonymous said...

Love you Chuck! Keep it up.

I would pay a pretty penny for an e-book of the whole archive of the Reader ... just FYI. I hope all that text is saved so it isn't lost to history when you leave us. You''re a national treasure, Chuck.

Anonymous said...


Like others, I look forward to your next Bourbon Country Reader volume! I learned about you some years ago when my wife gave me a copy of Bourbon Straight. I was impressed by your clear, no nonsense writing style and interesting perspectives. So I subscribed to the Reader, acquired your other books as they came out, and I have always enjoyed your blog posts. And, not to worry, Chuck! Readers don’t fear your content is influenced by advertising. Unless we should see cigar ads in the Reader. Or, perhaps, ads for Jeppson’s Malort. (If the Reader ever advises, “Only a Horse’s Tail Would Switch From Jeppson”, then we’ll know you’ve been bought!)

Tom Troland

L said...

Loving the work on capacity analysis, glad I'm not the only geek out there who lives diving into this stuff!