1536 – 1541 – Whisky production moved to the general public in an effort by King Henry VIII to dissolve monasteries. With this, many monks began to look for new ways to make their living in distillation.
1600 – The practice of making whisky was brought to America by European colonists. Immigrants from both Scotland and Ireland that settled in the new territories began distilling different types of grains and mash.
1608 – In Northern Ireland, The Old Bushmills Distillery became licensed and is the oldest licensed distillery of whiskey distillery in the world.
1725 – The English Malt Tax of 1725 threatened production of whisky and forced many Scottish distilleries to go underground with producing whisky at night. This underground movement sparked a new nickname for whisky “moonshine.”
1783 – Evan Williams of Louisville Kentucky founded the first commercial distillery on the banks of the Ohio River.
1820 – John Walker, at the time a Scottish grocer, created his own brand of whisky. Johnnie Walker is one of the most distributed brands of Scotch whisky in the world.
1823 – Dr. James C Crow developed the sour mash process, at what is known as the Woodford Reserve Distillery, in Kentucky. The process helped to create batch consistency which has helped to revolutionize how bourbon is made. Not to mention that this process is a requirement for anyone producing Tennessee Whiskey.
1840 – In 1840 Jacob Spears was the first maker to label his product as “Bourbon whiskey”
1850 – Blended whiskey was produced by Andrew Usher. Usher mixed pot still whiskey with a batch of whiskey made in a Coffey still. He was the first person to produce and market blended scotch.
1920 – 1933 – All alcohol was banned during the era of American Prohibition. The only exception was that a doctor could prescribe whiskey for medical purposes which had to be sold by a licensed pharmacy. Walgreens grew from 20 stores to almost 400 stores over the span of 13 years of the prohibition.
1964 – Congress declared that bourbon whiskey was the official distilled spirit of the country. Regulations were set that defined when whiskey could be labeled as bourbon.
Today – There are so many options to choose from today when it comes to whiskey. Whether you have a taste for the smooth and mellow, sweet or even spicy! We suggest that you expand your palate and try different expressions from your favorite brand as well as new brands that you have never tried. You never know when you will find your new favorite. Enjoy!