Friday, February 15, 2013

Fluvial Geography of Whiskey


In the second hour (wisely chosen) of today's program, Tom Ashbrook and his guests explored the many tributaries that comprise the great river of whiskey so celebrated by Professor Willie Nelson. Although the word "history" was used several times during the discussion, this was a great example of the importance of geography behind history of all kinds.

Michael Veach, Joy Richard, and a slew of interesting callers discuss the revival of interest in fine whiskeys as well as the geographic differences in such things as the use of barrels. Trade along a literal river -- the Mississippi -- helps to explain the distinctive use of charred barrels in Kentucky. Some mention was made, of course, of Scotch, the history and geography of which I discussed in some detail on this blog last year.

I highly recommend the On Point discussion in its entirety, as well as the many interesting comments posted by users. Among them is a hint that my ambitions of distilling my own whiskey (or whisky) might be harder to attain than I had imagined.

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