90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Whiskey: The History And Today's Industry

This Program Is Rebroadcast From February 15, 2013

From pure pot still, to Kentucky’s finest, the spirit is having a comeback. We’ll ask what and why.

Barrels at the Woodford Reserve Distillery in Kentucky. (Flickr/Adam Sonnett)

Barrels at the Woodford Reserve Distillery in Kentucky. (Flickr/Adam Sonnett)

“Whiskey is all right in its place,” said the famous evangelist Billy Sunday, “but its place is hell.” Well, a lot of people might disagree lately.

For a long time, whiskey seemed to have gone out with the Rat Pack. The Mad Men era. That’s over. Whiskey’s back. With more range of flavors and connoisseurs than ever. Sippers talking about it like wine. “Drizzled with honey and almonds…custard cream, toasted barley… banana bread and vanilla fudge.” Wow.

This hour, On Point: the history and return of whiskey.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Michael Veach, associate curator of special collections at Kentucky’s Filson Historical Center. Bourbon historian and a member of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame. Author of “Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage.”

Joy Richard, bar and beverage manager at the Franklin Restaurant Group. Her newest restaurant, Boston’s Citizen Public House boasts a list of over 150 whiskeys from around the globe, with 5 hand selected single barrel whiskies. (@joyrichard)

From Tom’s Reading List

Time Magazine “Fans of Maker’s Mark whiskey have a message for the company that has brought them their favorite bourbon in trademark red-wax-sealed bottles for nearly 60 years. They’d like it neat, please. Maker’s Mark, based in Loretto, Ky., announced over the weekend that the company would begin watering down its iconic whiskey in order to boost supply. The response was lightning fast and deeply felt.”

Star-Tribune “Shots of courage. Lightning in a bottle. Bottoms up. Whiskey has its own liquid poetry. Sip it and you talk, or sing. My Scottish cousins can be almost eloquent about the drink itself. It is, they say, an education. As richly cultural as wine.”

Reuters “Spirits companies sold 3 percent more liquor in 2012 in the United States than in 2011, fueled by flavored drinks and a big thirst for Irish whiskey and single malt Scotch, an industry trade group said on Wednesday.”

Excerpt: Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage

Whiskey Playlist

Tom’s Whiskey Adventure

 

Tom’s Whiskey List

On air, Tom sampled:

Willett Pot Still Bourbon — Bardstown, Kentucky

Rittenhouse Rye — Bardstown, Kentucky

Red Breast Pot Still Whiskey — Ireland

Caol Ila Scotch — Islay, Scotland

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 31, 2014
Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  (AP)

Quarantines and Ebola. An exploding rocket. Apple’s CEO comes out. Hawaiian lava flows. Midterms in the home stretch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 31, 2014
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sauncho Smilax (Beninico del Toro) share a drink in a scene from the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

From “Interstellar” to “Into the Woods.” The biggest and best movies of the fall and holiday seasons. What to see, what to skip.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 30, 2014
Soylent is a new meal-replacement substance meant to offer a complete nutritional alternative to traditional food. (Courtesy Soylent)

Soylent is a grey smoothie the consistency of pancake batter that claims it can replace all your food. On a crowded planet, is this the future of food? Plus: what does the Antares rocket crash mean for private space travel?

 
Oct 30, 2014
Realtor Helen Hertz stands in front of one of her listings in Cleveland Heights, Ohio Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Hertz, a real estate agent for more than three decades, has seen firsthand what has happened to the market in the wake of the recession and foreclosure crisis. (AP)

Home ownership rates are at a 20-year low. Millennials and more aren’t buying. We’ll look at what American’s think now about owning a home.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: October 31, 2014
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We tumble for ya, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Tuco the Massachusetts K-9 Unit puppy in training.

More »
Comment
 
Awards Season 2014: The Movies Worth Your Time
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

What movies should you watch before 2014 comes to a close? Our critics offer their picks for the movies of the season right here.

More »
Comment
 
A Bit More On The History Of Quarantine
Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

So this whole quarantine thing — why to do it, when to do it, and when to just say no.

More »
Comment