Favorite Civil War whiskey?

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
That's interesting that Irish Whiskey was once made from the. Not to say that perhaps a small Irish distillery still uses the but I never found an Irish rye whiskey. As far as I know only American and Canadian whiskey distilleries produced the whiskey at least since the 19th Century
https://www.mountvernon.org/the-est...-mount-vernon/george-washingtons-rye-whiskey/
George Washington was not only the Father of His Country!

Nor is it surprising that, with a large number of Scots-Irish settlers going into Pennsylvania and the Appalachians, Monongahela Rye Whiskey figured in the Whiskey Rebellion. An article in Punch adds: rye whiskey became a thriving industry in this part of the Mid-Atlantic in the 18th century.
 

7thWisconsin

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Smirnoff was basically the only vodka in the West in the 1950s.
Another note about apples and cider: if you have cider, you can make applejack! Which was still very popular from the colonial period through the mid-19th century. Tecnically, nothing more than an apple brandy.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Originally vodka was made from rye as was whiskey in Ireland and Scotland and brannvin in Sweden... Grappa in Italy is made from the crushed portions of grapes used to make wine, lest anything "go to waste."

Vodka drinkers these days seem keen on potato derived vodka, but its origins predate the New World crop being grown and consumed in Central and Eastern Europe.
For some reason vodka wasn't all that popular in the US until relatively recently. The James Bond film franchise was sponsered in large part from Schmirnof (sp? ) Vodka..
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Originally vodka was made from rye as was whiskey in Ireland and Scotland and brannvin in Sweden... Grappa in Italy is made from the crushed portions of grapes used to make wine, lest anything "go to waste."

Vodka drinkers these days seem keen on potato derived vodka, but its origins predate the New World crop being grown and consumed in Central and Eastern Europe.
For some reason vodka wasn't all that popular in the US until relatively recently. The James Bond film franchise was sponsered in large part from Schmirnof (sp? ) Vodka..
For some reason vodka wasn't all that popular in the US until relatively recently. The James Bond film franchise was sponsered in large part from Schmirnof (sp? ) Vodka..
Leftyhunter
https://vinepair.com/articles/vodka-became-americas-spirit/
So Americans were first introduced to vodka as early as a 1859 article in the New York Herald but it didn't really reach American shores until mass immigration from Russia and Poland in the late 1800s. Still vodka didn't go mainstream until well after WWII and yes James Bond was certainly a big part of that. Rye whiskey has made a big comeback in the last ten or so years and Old Crow has comeback from the near dead. Burbon is still popular to this day but yes vodka out sells all other types of liquor in the US.
If you guys are in LA I have some 10 year old Whistle Pig Rye. I am more of a Scotch and Irish Whiskey kind of guy but Taiwan and Japanese Whiskey is also very good or can be since there lots of different price points on Japanese whiskey. India now supposedly makes good quality whiskey so whiskey will be around for quite a while. As far as Canadian whiskey yeah no for me but I am sure a fair amount was exported to the US during the ACW. Plenty of Canadian whiskey was smuggled into the US during Prohipition via speed boats on the Great Lakes.
Leftyhunter
 

KianGaf

First Sergeant
Joined
May 29, 2019
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Originally vodka was made from rye as was whiskey in Ireland and Scotland and brannvin in Sweden... Grappa in Italy is made from the crushed portions of grapes used to make wine, lest anything "go to waste."

Vodka drinkers these days seem keen on potato derived vodka, but its origins predate the New World crop being grown and consumed in Central and Eastern Europe.

I tried Potato Vodka in Poland a few years ago and wasn’t a fan. It reminded me of our poitin (moonshine) it’s a un aged clear spirt and it can be really rough stuff. I think the wheat vodka is far superior.
 
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leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
I tried Potato Vodka in Poland a few years ago and wasn’t a fan. It reminded me of our poitin (moonshine) it’s a un aged clear spirt and it can really rough stuff. I think the wheat vodka is far superior.
Of course patato vodka doesn't have gluten although in the ACW gluten wasn't a thing back then.
Leftyhunter
 

KianGaf

First Sergeant
Joined
May 29, 2019
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Of course patato vodka doesn't have gluten although in the ACW gluten wasn't a thing back then.
Leftyhunter

I wouldn't have thought so .I reckon they were more ill eat it if its put in front of me type of folk in them days. Id say some people genuinely have food intolerances these days but when said intolerances become fashionable to joe public its annoying. I remember hearing of serval people I know that went gluten free for a period that haven't mentioned it since.
 

FedericoFCavada

First Sergeant
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Location
San Antonio, Texas
Small beer. Info on brewing in the United States, including the Civil War era:

https://eh.net/encyclopedia/a-concise-history-of-americas-brewing-industry/

From the article:
Table 1: Industry Production and per Capita Consumption, 1865-1915

YearNational Production (millions of barrels)Per Capita Consumption (gallons)
18653.73.4
18706.65.3
18759.56.6
188013.38.2
188519.210.5
189027.613.6
189533.615.0
190039.516.0
190549.518.3
191059.620.0
191559.818.7
Source: United States Brewers Association, 1979 Brewers Almanac, Washington, DC: 12-13.

Between the Civil War and national prohibition, the production and consumption of beer greatly outpaced spirits. Though consumption levels of absolute alcohol had peaked in the early 1800s, temperance and prohibition forces grew increasingly vocal and active as the century wore on, and by the late 1800s, they constituted one of the best-organized political pressure groups of the day (Kerr, Chapter 5, 1985). Their efforts culminated in the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment on January 29, 1919 that, along with the Volstead Act, made the production and distribution of any beverages with more than one-half of one percent alcohol illegal. While estimates of alcohol activity during Prohibition’s thirteen year reign — from 1920 to 1933 — are imprecise, beer consumption almost certainly fell, though spirit consumption may have remained constant or actually even increased slightly (Rorbaugh, Appendices).

Rorabaugh, 106-110: "Beer, like wine, was advocated as a substitute for distilled spirts. As early as 1788 Benjamin Rush had calculated that the best hope for his antispirits crusade was to persuade Americans who found wine too costly to drink beer, a beverage that could be brewed in America and that the masses could afford... Neither the manuals to instruct Americans in the art of brewing nor the encouragement of presidents Jefferson and Madison furthered the cause. In 1810, annual per capita consumption of beer was less than 1 gallon; today, it is more than 18 gallons. ... In Philadelphia, the nation's premier brewing center, beer was 'the common table drink of every family in easy circumstances.' It was also popular in New York, Albany, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati; indeed, the states of New York and Pennsylvania produced three-fourths of the nation's beer. ... In Cincinnati 18 cents would buy either a bottle of beer or more than a half gallon of whiskey. ... One reason that Milwaukee emerged as a brewing center was that it had relatively short summers. The, too, beer was so bulky, expensive to transport, and difficult to store that it needed a concentrated market [i.e. cities], and at the time most Americans lived on farms dispersed across the countryside. Finally, beer spoiled easily. ... Before 1840 [American brewers] employed an English method of brewing in which fermentation was produced by a yeast that floated on the top of a vat of barley malt. To the brewers' exasperation, this process did not work well in America. The yeast interacted with the air and produced a bitter brew that was ill-tasting, cloudy, and without sparkle. ... the difficulty was not solved until the 1840s, when German immigrants introduced a new kind of yeast that sank to the bottom of the vat and, hence, was not exposed to the air. This beer did not turn bitter. The Germans called their beer lager, because it was aged in a cool store room for several weeks. ... Its popularity continued to rise, especially after the Civil War, when the high taxes on spirits and nostalgic memories of wartime Union Army lager beer rations stimulated its sales."

Rorabaugh, 176 argued: "It might also be noted that in the United States after 1840, as factory workers whose dead-end jobs discouraged both motivation and aspirations became more numerous, the consumption of beer increased."

As for modern-day beer consumption, we find the world trailing the Czech Republic:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_beer_consumption_per_capita

Supposedly the United States is 20th, followed by Finland at 21. This surprised me, since at other times I think Finns were something like the 9th... But it may have been something like "9th... in Europe" since they trail sixteen European nations, some of them post-1990s independent state? *shrugs*

Interesting to note that coffee and beer consumption increased during the Civil War, and then moved into society and public consumption more broadly, no?
 

FedericoFCavada

First Sergeant
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Location
San Antonio, Texas
The US had commercial beer breweries even before the American Revolution. Beer may of been more popular in Western Europe but the US always had a beer drinking tradition.
Leftyhunter

That's interesting that Irish Whiskey was once made from the. Not to say that perhaps a small Irish distillery still uses the but I never found an Irish rye whiskey. As far as I know only American and Canadian whiskey distilleries produced the whiskey at least since the 19th Century but I might be wrong.
Leftyhunter
I stand corrected: Mostly barley and malt--along with other additons-- for Irish and Scotch uisce beatha. In the modern U.S. Bourbon has to be 51% or more corn/ Indian corn/ Zea mays.
 

John Winn

Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
State of Jefferson
It should be noted that one thing that made distilled spirits popular was that distilling turned a grain crop into a product that could be stored and transported more easily with a value added profit to boot. Aging spirits wasn't popular because, mostly, it delayed profit and required storage; most people just wanted (and needed) as quick a buck as possible.
 

Cavalier

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jul 20, 2019
As coincidence would have it I just received for a birthday gift a beautiful bottle of Irish Whiskey, labeled appropriately, The Fighting Sixty Ninth.

Going to have to find a special occasion to open it, but I don't think I will be able to wait all the way to St. Patrick's Day.

John
 

KianGaf

First Sergeant
Joined
May 29, 2019
Location
Dublin, Ireland
As coincidence would have it I just received for a birthday gift a beautiful bottle of Irish Whiskey, labeled appropriately, The Fighting Sixty Ninth.

Going to have to find a special occasion to open it, but I don't think I will be able to wait all the way to St. Patrick's Day.

John

Haven’t seen that one. I’ll have a look at what distillery produced it.
 

KianGaf

First Sergeant
Joined
May 29, 2019
Location
Dublin, Ireland
https://www.westcorkdistillers.com/

The Fighting Sixty Ninth brand website didn’t give definitive location but it looks like this distillery from what I’ve read on other sites. It’s a big part of their business producing Whiskeys on contract for supermarkets or other businesses etc under various titles. They also produce whiskey labeled for their own self titled product line.
 

Sbc

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Location
Easley, South Carolina
Crop yields were often enormous in America in comparison with the often exhausted farmland in Europe... "Indian corn" or maize (Zea mays) is something of a botanical wonder crop, and yields in much of the United States were considerable... With poor infrastructure, and a surplus of corn anyway... It could be freely distributed to hogs and livestock, turned into various foods--although a poor diet of just maize/corn alone resulted in the dietary disease of pellagra caused by a deficiency of niacin. Transport by river on flat boats or other watercraft resulted in a product that was everywhere in abundance, cheap, and simply not worth the cost to ship to market... The result? Distill the stuff into whiskey. The "water o' life" simply gets better with age, and lasts a very long time in casks... Although there is always the loss incurred by the "angel's share." So whiskey became something of a non-monetary currency in much of frontier America. It could be swapped, traded, bartered, etc. There was often a ready market for it among Native Americans, and of course, it was "safe to drink" and could really help smooth out the very many very rough edges of life in the 19th century... Rorabaugh argued that drinking whiskey often promoted masculine aggression, which in turn was valued by rough-hewn Jacksonian common men interested in things like fighting duels, brawling, and even knife fighting with Bowie knives and so on... So since so much was available, it was therefore commonly consumed. Resistance to whiskey taxes suggests how wedded to it people were... They didn't start growing barley and brewing beer, for instance, like, say, "across the pond" in much of the UK south of Scotland...

Also, while it strikes us as odd, in Civil War times and certainly well before, it was made from grain, so it just had to be good for ya... Right? :smoke: :coffee::rolleyes:
Washington had to contend with the Whiskey Rebellion early in the nation’s infancy
 
Joined
May 30, 2021
I think my favorite is "James E. Pepper" rye whiskey, recently resurrected in the past few years with the original well, and the original distillery made the "Old Crow" brand that Grant supposedly favored, as well as President Harrison so it must have been popular to some kind of degree.

But I am extremely biased as I am a Pepper, and the original founder in the 1790's was my 5th-Great Grandfather's brother.

As for what was the favorite, its kind of hard to track down as they didn't have bottled whiskey, but it was barreled and sold that way to people to fill they're jugs or drink while out and about. Brand names weren't really a thing, or even known by buyers I expect.
Wow, very cool Mr Pepper!
 

Patrick H

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Two quick comments, offered for amusement.

The most popular whiskey would be "Jes Right. If it was any better, you wouldn't have offered it to me. If it was any worse, I couldn't have drunk it. It was jes right!"

I have read (but can't verify) that settlers and farmers planted apple tree wherever they went--not for apple pie, but for hard apple cider.
 

FedericoFCavada

First Sergeant
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Location
San Antonio, Texas
Cider
Rorabaugh, 110-113:

"During the early nineteenth century whiskey's only rival as the national beverage came from apple orchards. Trees planted on farms in Virginia, Pennsylvania, parts of Ohio and New York, and throughout New England produced a glut of apples... Erie Canal this fruit was 'floating away on the Water;' in eastern Ohio apples lay 'so thick that at every step you must tread upon them.' ... apples had such little value that they were usually free for the picking... farmers pressed their fruit on wooden frames that stood in nearly every orchard. In contrast with brewing, which required substantial capital, skilled labor, and a local, densely populated market, cider making was so easy, cheap, and low skilled that a farmer could afford to press apples strictly for family use. ... little was drunk in the South or in the cities. ... [half the price of beer in Pittsburgh, where cider was considered expensive...] ... to avoid spoilage it was fortified with distilled spirits until it contained at least 10 percent alcohol, twice as much as beer. ... The rural North loved cider. The beverage was 'omnipresent,' with a pitcher on every table and a jug in every field. During the winter, a typical New England family could be expected to consume a barrel a week. So prevalent was cider that it became a symbol of egalitarianism as the 'common drink of ... rich and poor alike.' ... As we have seen [in the early 19th century Republic, e.g 1830s] water was usually of poor quality, milk often scarce or unsafe, and coffee, tea, and wine imported and expensive. ... But why, when they had the choice, did Americans drink cider or whiskey rather than beer, which was also a domestic product and comparatively cheap? ... Americans preferred cider and whiskey because those drinks contained more alcohol than beer, which was too weak for American taste. ... The taste for strong drink was no doubt enhanced by the monotony of the American diet, which was dominated by corn. ... It appeared on the table three times a day as fried johnny cakes or corn bread, Indian pudding with milk and sugar, or the ubiquitous corn mush. ... Corn was also fed to the hogs, and the hog meat was eaten in the form of salt pork, smoked ham, and lard. Each day, it was calculated, the typical adult American ate a pound of bread, most often made with corn meal, and a pound of meat, usually salt pork."
 
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