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.