Bourbon: A History of the American Spirit

Bourbon: A History of the American Spirit

Dane Huckelbridge

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0062241397

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Bestseller


Few products are so completely or intimately steeped in the American story as bourbon whiskey. As Dane Huckelbridge's masterfully crafted history reveals, the iconic amber spirit is the American experience, distilled, aged, and sealed in a bottle.

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one of the most colorful and enigmatic people to ever straddle a hyphen, and they came to America searching for what they could not find in Europe: religious freedom, land to call their own, and a decent bar with some Hank in the jukebox. In the hills of Kentucky, they found all of the above (well, they’d have to wait a bit for the Hank tunes), not to mention a cheap new grain to run through their copper. Bourbon may have taken its first teetering steps during the early days of the colonial era,

English, with their typical colonial cunning, were happy to use the border folk to that very end. The story of the militant sect known as the Cameronians illustrates this practice perfectly. In the late 1600s, the disciples of the preacher Richard Cameron attacked state-sanctioned churches throughout the Scottish Lowlands, terrorizing clergymen who did not subscribe to their own fundamentalist brand of tent-show Calvinism. The British government initially sought to subdue the band of rebels, but

home to more than one hundred thousand inhabitants, making it significantly larger than the London or Madrid of that era. And the granddaddy of them all, the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán, had between two hundred thousand and three hundred thousand rabid Montezuma fans hanging their hats there at night, making it one of the largest cities in the world at that time, and roughly five times larger than London or Madrid. Tomahawks and teepees? Try public parks, sewage systems, sanitation

longing for some small succor during the misery of war, find his guilt-free whiskey? Several means of procurement were at his disposal, none ideal, but all better than nothing . . . in most cases. With the South’s alcohol supply running scarcer by the day, the demand for contraband whiskey soared. And high demand, as the eternal laws of economics dictate, is often accompanied by plummeting quality and soaring prices—both of which came to be the twin products of the North’s bourbon blockade. The

full potential, as all those thirsty G.I.s came home, got hitched, bought houses in the suburbs, and two or three highballs into it, started doing a whole lot of baby making. What age is this, so chock-full o’ automobiles, sitcoms, and the mass-marketed sheen of Madison Avenue? Sure, it is an atomic one, with a world ideologically cloven and antsy about the bomb, but also a golden one—a golden age for consumerism and bourbon both. When not keeping up with the Soviets, we were keeping up with the

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