WHISKEY WEARS WELL IN UTAH’S WILD WEST HISTORY

WHISKEY WEARS WELL IN UTAH’S WILD WEST HISTORY

Well this is where I will probably get in trouble but bourbon blends well with a bit of trouble.
Chapter two of the old west and whiskey report will focus on Mormons settlement included
the nourishment of bourbon. (By the way, we now refer to Latter Day Saints rather than Mormon)
And since I am a Latter Day Saint and enjoy bourbon that makes me an authority. I mean an authority on wild west bourbon.  Remember LDS faithful always preach everything in moderation as do we at BBBB.
The information below comes from a very reliable source:
Written by Sherry Monahan and Jane Perkins.   They conducted exhaustive research the value of whiskey in settling the West so pick up the book and update your knowledge.
AND Jane and David Perkins founded High West Distillery, a wonderful delightful couple distilling wonderful whiskey in vintage styled bottles.  I am honored to be invited in their home, and this doesn’t happen often, I was invited to come back. So this writing is accompanied with High West Yippee Ky-Aye which puts Pappy in third place just behind Eddie Russells Private Reserve.   Get the book so you can be really knowledgeable.
(For the Kentucky enthusiasts I am also enjoying a taste of Willet Bourbon from Bards-town.. it will make you smart.
Now Sherry and Jane inform us:  In the case of the Latter Day Saints’ settlement in the Salt Lake Valley of Utah, Brigham Young who had taken on the leadership after the murder of founder Joseph Smith, was not only a religious leader but also a shrewd businessman. In addition to many other businesses that he and other settlers started, Young began distilling his own whiskey from wheat grown in in the area around the Great Salt Lake.
While corn and rye were the typical ingredients used distilling whiskey, the availability of wheat made it a common choice in the West.  Under the guidance of their compassionate and brilliant leader, the faithful started manufacturing many goods including wool blankets, pottery and a tannery. The finely crafted products were given the nickname “Valley Tan”.
Historians Sherry and Jane’s publication also provides:   “ In 1853 the Mormons were well on their way to establishing a solid community when a new business opportunity presented itself. It started with the purchase of a machine that would convert beet roots into sugar, but what they produced was gallons of useless syrup. The frugal Mormons did not want to waste the syrup, so Brigham Young found a new use for the syrup- they distilled it!”
Several distilleries popped up around the Valley and in neighboring towns such as Brigham City, Ogden and Park City. Since the wheat whiskey was distilled for medicinal and religious purposes President Young eliminated the competition. Porter Rockwell, a follower of Brigham Young, was allowed to open a bar in Ogden, to assist the travelers and settlers in staying healthy and jovial. Matter of fact it is revealed: “Whiskey was a trade and a social lubricator, it was liberally used for its supposed medicinal purpose.  When Chasten Bowker Allen traveled  to Kansas Territory from Massachusetts with her husband and children in 1854-1855, she witnessed the effects that whiskey had on snakebite victims.”
And Mark Twain observed the Utah Whiskey in the Salt Lake Valley was tightly regulated. Twain wrote: “The exclusive Mormon refresher, valley tan is a kind of whiskey, or first cousin to it; is of Mormon invention and manufactured only in Utah. Tradition says it is made of imported fire and brimstone. If I remember rightly, no public drinking permitted among the faithful, except they confined themselves to Valley Tan.” And Mark Twain knew his bourbon/whiskey.
Again, a toast and cheers to Sherry Monahan and Jane Perkins, authors of “The Golden Elixir of the West.”
My compliments to President and Territorial Governor Young. Truth to be told, I challenge any man, regardless of faith, to maintain marriage to twenty-seven wives and refrain from a nightly taste of Valley Tan or similar golden Elixir.
What is the meaning of all the bottle jargon?

What is the meaning of all the bottle jargon?

As clarified in a previous post, we are readily aware of the difference between Bourbon and Whiskey. But what does all this jargon on the bottle? (Even Consultant Joe asked about different terms and I responded “ I don’t know”. Then I received my Father’s Day  T-shirt from my daughter proudly stating “I DRINK BOURBON AND I KNOW THINGS” so I did some research,,photo of t-shirt to follow) The issue of Whiskey Advocate provides a Bourbon decoding. By the way I can recommend a couple of distillery women if they include a whisky centerfold. (Yes, properly dressed) “As true advocates of whiskey we are aware that bourbon must be produces in the U.S. (well, until trump figures out a way to ruin that too) And made primarily of corn and aged a new charcoal oak barrel.  With homage to Kentucky, the general rule true bourbon is distilled in Kentucky but we are passionate about Bourbon/Whiskey from throughout the country. Straight Bourbon is aged a least two years in new charcoal oak, while Bottled in Bond bourbon comes from one distillery, was made in one distilling season, is 100 proof , and was aged at least four years. Since we are purists beware of words like “flavored with” “with natural flavors” and “blended” The declaration of Age represents the youngest whiskey in the bottle . Bourbon under four years old must list it’s age. Look closely, years, months, and even hours are acceptable measures of age. The State of Distillation must be listed if it differs from the producer’s state.  This can reveal if a bourbon was sourced (not distilled) by the producer. Usually at the bottom a Batch Number suggests that the flavor varies across batches. Likewise Single Barrel bourbon comes from one barrel, offering a unique flavor and a limited number of bottles. Unique bottle numbers do not describe the contents , but can help thwart counterfeits. These terms are not regulated but can provide useful clues about your whiskey Sour Mash  is a fermentation technique used by most bourbon distillers in which leftover material from a previous distillation benefits the fermentation of the next batch. Finished  bourbon enters a secondary barrel following it’s initial maturation to add flavors. Non-Chill Filtered bourbon means more flavor and this is a good thing. Pot Distilled indicates bourbon made using a batch process. Pot stills tend to produce a more robust flavor.” Small Batch and Hand Crafted are a bit ambiguous but they sound cool. Not held to a particular meaning. A distiller is welcomed to correct me on this well or on anything. Thank you again for the information Whiskey Advocate Summer 2018

More fun and accurate Whiskey History (No fake news )

The Mississippi Whiskey Toast and yes his name was “Soggy” Sweat and yes prohibition was alive and well in Mississippi in 1952 and yes the toast became famous when you want to look at both sides.  To accompany the  toast, I  recommend John Emerald Alabama Whiskey or Clyde May Alabama Prohibition Recipe  (Clyde May review coming soon) or in the West how about Wyoming Whiskey. By the way Jim Lewis, Attorney and Bourbon Consultant will provide a review on Wyoming Whiskey    Now -Who was Judge Sweat:

Sweat was elected to the House in 1947, at the age of 24. He served only one term, at the end of which he delivered his speech.

He subsequently pursued his career in law. Judge Sweat was the founder of the Mississippi Judicial College of the University of Mississippi Law Center.[3] The writer John Grisham worked as his assistant as a law student in 1980.

According to William Safire, Sweat’s nickname was derived from the phrase “sorghum top”, a reference to the way in which his hair resembled a sugar cane tassel.[4]

He died in 1996 in Alcorn County, Mississippi after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.[2]

The “whiskey speech” concerned the question of the prohibition of alcoholic liquor, a law that was still in force in Mississippi at the time the speech was delivered.

My Thanks to Wikipedia for footnotes

My friends, I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, this is how I feel about whiskey:

If when you say whiskey you mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.

But, if when you say whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman’s step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life’s great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.

This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.

Sweat later recalled, “When I finished the first half of the speech, there was a tremendous burst of applause. The second half of the speech, after the close of which, the wets all applauded. The drys were as unhappy with the second part of the speech as the wets were with the first half”.[2]

A bit more “fun” whiskey history

Bourbon tasting is much more than merely grabbing a drink to get through the day. Those “settle for  anything” souls will grab a whiskey and coke and complain about their. day. True whiskey worshippers find pleasure in the setting as well as the  adventure with a new single barrel jewel or a friendly “old friend” . Here are a couple of conversations gems to spark the bourbon conversation.

THE TAFT DECISION:  President Teddy Roosevelt’s many accomplishments included the establishment of the Food and Drug Act effective June 30, 1906.  One of the first tasks under this Act was to answer the question “What is Whiskey” . Vice President Taft was assigned to draft a memo answering this highly  important question. Taft recognized the important question was – what is “pure” whiskey when determining what is whiskey. What about distilling process, grains, flavoring and coloring.  The Chief Chemist for the department of Agriculture determined pure whiskey was a distilled spirit from grain that was aged in oak barrels with only pure water used to adjust the proof. Flavoring and coloring agents was not allowed. The whiskey was rampant with “rectifiers” trying to buy bulk whiskey and stretching it out for the unashamed. Straight whiskey distillers started labeling their bottles with “Pure Food” Whiskey meaning they met the standards of the Food and Drug Examiners.  Obviously, legal battles in court and lobbyists in the halls of the legislature carried the matter out for three years which provoked more reasons to have a drink or twelve.  The foreign whiskey importers were also involved in the fight holding tight to the serious ingredients for Scotch, Irish Whiskey and Rum.   The issue carried on until Taft replaced President Roosevelt as President in 1909. Taft an accomplished lawyer form a heritage of lawyers did take this task lightly. He patiently listened to arguments form all  sides of the issue. Six month of testimony and drafting Taft submitted a decision on December 27, 1909 which none of groups particularly liked so it must be good. The basis for the decision was focused on what is blended whiskey and what is straight whiskey  and, yuck, what is imitation whiskey.   When Chief Justice Taft realized his lifelong dream sitting on the Supreme Court (1920) he directed all issues related to whiskey from the Food and Drug Act come directly to him.  As the author Mike Veach proclaims “When a person reads the regulations for a straight bourbon or rye they are reading the Taft Decision.  Bourbon has to be aged in new barrels (1938) and is a product of the United States”.   Through the years of dreams, drafts and decisions lawyers have proudly found a business reason to enjoy a quality glass of straight bourbon even if it answering “heh. what is whisky”