Kevin Kosar

Kevin R. Kosar is a senior fellow at the R Street Institute and the author of Whiskey: A Global History. He is the editor and founder of AlcoholReviews.com and a contributor to The American Spectator’s Great American Saloon Series.

American Whiskey Trail Tour, Day 5

 

Don’t get me wrong — Jack Daniel’s is a very impressive company. Its sales growth over the past 40 years is mind-boggling. During the 1970 and 1980s, most American whiskeys saw their sales drop. They laid off workers and cut back on capital upgrades. But not company the Jasper Newton Daniel started 150 years ago. […]

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American Whiskey Trail Tour, Day 4

 

Thirty years ago, most whiskey distilleries were lonely places — industrial factories in remote rural areas. For the most part, the proprietors of these places saw themselves as manufacturers, the first tier in the three-tier system. They made whiskey, which was then trucked away. Customers were far removed. Some, but not many, folks might drop […]

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American Whiskey Trail Tour, Day 3

 

It was difficult to feel anything but awe standing in front of the still at Jim Beam’s main distillery. It is six-stories tall, and 200 gallons of beer pour into the still each minute. The still pours forth 30 gallons a minute of 135 proof white dog — the water-clear liquid that gets watered down […]

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American Whiskey Trail Tour, Day 2

 

We all have heard the story: manufacturing is dying in America. All the good blue collar jobs are moving to Mexico and China. America’s middle-class employment has been hollowed out — the few get lucrative white collar jobs, and pretty much everyone else is stuck doing low-pay hourly work. There is some truth to this […]

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American Whiskey Trail Tour, Day 1

 

Where better to start a tour of the American Whiskey Trail than at Mount Vernon? George Washington often has been called the father of our grand nation — the prototype of this new man, the American. Appropriately, he owned a distillery that made whiskey. Washington got into the business at the end of his presidency. […]

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America’s Gonzo Drinks History

 

Steven Grasse’s Colonial Spirits (Abrams Image, 2016) is the wackiest drinks book I have ever read. (I state this with admiration, and a bit of jealousy.) And I’ve read more than my share, and written a couple. It starts with the 19th-century-like subtitle that is solong that it might need drop-quoted: “A toast to our drunken history […]

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Sardinian Wine? Who Knew!

 

What comes to mind when one reads the word “Sardinia”? Sardines? That island where Napoleon was exiled? (Actually, he cooled his heels in Elba.) Anything? The difficulty of mentally associating much of anything with Sardinia is understandable — it’s a distant and difficult to characterize place. Officially a province of Italy, Sardinia is the second […]

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Good Alco-News: America’s Spirits Business Is Booming

 

The U.S. drinks business is booming, despite the finger-wagging by neo-prohibitionists. Last year’s liquor volume sales climbed 2.4 percent to 220 million cases, and the revenues were up 4.5 percent to $25.2 billion according to data released by the Distilled Spirits Council. Does this means America is on a bender? No. In fact, Americans are […]

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American Craft Beer-Makers Set Up In Mexico

 

When you think of Mexican beer, light lagers like Corona, Pacifico, and Negro Modelo probably come to mind. But American-style craft beer also has been gaining market-share for years. With 60 million potential customers and $20 billion in annual revenue, the Mexican beer market is an appealing target. Some U.S.-made stouts, ales, and other hearty […]

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Warming Winter Whiskeys

 

I am a seasonal drinker. What tastes best to me in the summer swelter is not what I hoist in the chillier months. Since the cold began its bite some weeks back, for example, I have not had a single gin drink, despite it being a spirit I adore. Mostly, my glass of late has […]

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