Livin' The American Dram

Livin' The American Dram

American Whiskey Pack

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I have a Dram, the American Dram. 

America, land of the Free, home of the Brave. Here we come.

Now listen here, sonny boy, a little lesson for ya. American Whiskey is generally made from a mix of corn, rye, wheat, barley, and aged in charred-oak barrels. It is quite different than Scotch Whisky or Irish Whiskey.  

Historically, Whiskey played an important economic and cultural role in the early United States. When the British blockade prevented the importation of sugar and molasses, and thus disrupted the production of Rum, Whiskey quickly became a welcome substitute, especially by the European immigrants; namely the Scots and the Irish. Slowly it became the spirits of choice nationwide.

Whiskey’s foothold increased rapidly because of the abundance of corn, wheat, rye and greedy farmers wanting to make an easy buck—distilling their grain into Liquid Asset. By 1794 however, good old George Washington had seen a golden opportunity to make the Government some cash, so he increased taxes, which lead to the climax of the Whiskey Rebellion. Incidentally, George Washington himself was the biggest distiller in the US, right alongside Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Surprise, surprise. 

The botched-attempt Prohibition created some tough times for Whiskey Americano, and the American people, but they managed to survive. Thanks to George Remus, Al Capone and other bootleggers!

Now sonny boy, say hello to our little friends, White Whiskey, Tennessee Whisky, Rye Whisky, Double Rye Whiskey and Bourbon Whiskey. Livin’ the American Dram will take your taste buds on a wild ride across the States. Over the Rocky Mountains, down to Kentucky, across Tennessee and to Virginia, horse-back drunken-fist style. Only in America, right?


Trivia & SmartAss Corner:

1) Bourbon set of rules refer to manufacturing method rather than location. It must be matured in new and charred casks of American white oak. No colouring or flavouring of any type is allowed. It must be matured for at least 2 years, if a bottle does not bear an age it is at least 4 years old. The mash bill must contain at least 51% corn
2) Tennessee Whiskey closely parallels Bourbon, but a final filter through sugar-maple charcoal (called the Lincoln Country Process) is what some producers say differentiates Tennessee whiskey from its Kentucky cousin. The finish is sweeter and smoother than Bourbon.
3) Rye Whiskey is made from mash that is at least 51 per cent rye. The grain gives rye Whiskey its spicy, sometimes peppery, and bitter flavour. Rye was a big seller before Prohibition. After decades in obscurity, it’s fashionable again. George Washington distilled rye Whiskey at Mount Vernon. 

4) Corn Whiskey is a commercial product that must contain at least 80% corn, be distilled at less than 80% ABV (160 proof) and if wood-aged, may be aged in either used or new un-charred barrels.
5) Moonshine Whiskey is distilled from a varied mix of corn and sugar and is aged in Mason jars and jugs for the length of time that it takes the customers to get home.
6) The temperatures of the American warehouses are much higher, so the pace of maturation is much quicker for Bourbons than for Scotch Whiskies.
7) The Mash is the mix of crushed grain (including some malt that contains enzymes to break down grain starches into sugars) and hot water from which the distiller draws a liquid extract called wort. The wort is fermented into a simple beer called the wash, which is then distilled.
8) Sour Mash is the fermentation process by which a percentage of a previous fermentation is added to a new batch as a "starter" to get the fermentation going and maintain a level of consistency from batch to batch. A sweet mash means that only fresh yeast is added to a new batch to start fermentation.
9) The Whiskey Rebellion, or Whiskey Insurrection, was a tax protest in the United States beginning in 1791, during the presidency of George Washington. The resistance came to a climax in July 1794, when a U.S. marshal arrived in western Pennsylvania to serve writs to distillers who had not paid the excise.
10) Prohibition in the United States was a national ban on the sale, production, and transportation of alcohol, in place from 1920 to 1933.
11) “Greed is Good. Whiskey is Better” Some Wise Fella.

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