History of Bourbon I: Origins through the Third Dark Age (1780s to 1980s)
Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 6:00 pm and Sunday, Feb. 24 at 3:00 pm
The boom-and-bust cycle of America’s history is reflected in our relationship with our Native Spirit, Bourbon.
What started as a sharp, clear, rye grain-based liquor sold in jugs right off the still gradually transformed into a corn-based, richly flavorful, intentionally barrel-aged amber whiskey. Along the way, the Bourbon industry influenced trademark law, inspired food safety regulations, caused an international kerfuffle, fought Prohibition, got co-opted by the war effort, formed a monopoly and nearly disappeared from America no less than three times.
In this class, we’ll trace the evolution of American whiskey from the early days in colonial New England through the “extra-aged” bourbons of the 1960s to 1980s. We’ll sample 5 bourbons (plus 1 near-bourbon) to trace the flavor evolution of bourbon along that timeline, and we’ll discuss how important Bourbon was (and still is) to shaping both the culture and the government of the United States.
Bourbon pours will include representations of:
- Corn whiskey
- Very young whiskey/Early intentional aging
- 1950s Divergent
- “Over-Aged” Bourbon
This class is part of our year-long “Kentucky Bourbon School” (previously Bourbon University) led by Bourbon-Steward in Residence Tim Knittel of Distilled Living with a new theme offered each month. No need to attend them all – mix and match as you like!
We also have a special Valentine’s bourbon dinner that evening starting at 7:30pm