There is no doubt that Kentucky takes the cake when it comes to American whiskey heritage. Moderate weather along with the abundance of grain and limestone filtered water make Kentucky the perfect place to distill and age whiskey. Fortunately for us, the traditions surrounding the production and enjoyment of whiskey in America have been preserved throughout the trials and tribulations of time.
One of the most recognizable brands within the mix of American whiskeys is undoubtedly Early Times. Since 1860, Early Times Kentucky Whiskey has been carefully distilled, aged and enjoyed by generations of great men and women. Despite civil war, modern industrialization, and even prohibition, the makers of Early Times Kentucky Whiskey have maintained continuous production for 150 years! It hardly seems possible, but sure enough, the Brown-Forman distilling company found a loophole during prohibition that allowed them to continue producing Early Times under a “medicinal license”. This has set the brand apart from others as it has helped to preserve the heritage, tradition, and history that goes into making every bottle.
To commemorate Early Times’ uninterrupted time-line, the Brown-Forman Distilling Company decided to release a special 150th anniversary bottling of the whiskey to the public. More than just a classic label and some antique style packaging, this commemorative bottling was produced and aged just as it was as a prohibition era medicinal product. Aged a few years longer and Bottled at 100 proof (as opposed to the standard 80 proof that Early Times is bottled at today) this whiskey has taken on its true and original form, just like it was back in the good old days.
We got our hands on a bottle to taste, partly for the purpose of writing this article and partly for the shear experience of tasting real history! I will go ahead and tell you, this whiskey is not like your typical sipping bourbon, based on today’s standards. No sir, this stuff is hard brown liquor that had one purpose: to get a man drunk as hell before the doctor started operating on him! As you can guess, it goes down pretty smooth but it lets you know what it is on the way! This whiskey reminds you of what real whiskey was like in the good old days, and also helps you to appreciate the great strides that whiskey making has made over the last 150 years. I highly recommend grabbing a bottle if you can find it in the package store, if for nothing more than just experiencing what real whiskey is supposed to taste like. After you have a sip or two of this classic whiskey, then you can graduate to your more refined sipping bourbon to polish off the sitting.