View Full Version : Whiskey and history

05-04-2009, 12:28
Years ago I saw a half pint of Old Crow that bore a distictive label, saying it was legally bottled during the prohibition era, strictly for medicinal purposes. I asked my now late father about it at the time and he confirmed, with a doctor's prescription, you could buy Crow and maybe a couple other brands at pharmacies during the great social experiment. Anybody know what distillers the feds let operate between 1919 and 1933? Can you name he distillers that were shut down during prohibition and then reopened? Another thing, what did the distillers that were forced to close do with their whiskey that was barrelled and being aged? Please don't tell me thousands of gallons of bourbon and whiskey were purposefully destroyed!

05-04-2009, 13:11
Using the search function may answer many of your questions. See this link


05-04-2009, 13:51
Thank You! That link answers a lot of my questions.

05-04-2009, 14:21
Great link and history lesson. tim

Bourbon Geek
05-04-2009, 22:01
Great comments all ... Interestingly, there were periods during prohibition when a handful of distilleries were permitted to fire up and replenish the dwindling stock of medicinal whiskey. These periods were referred to as "distillation holidays" to the best of my recollection.

Interesting also ... the Volsted Act didn't completely prohibit whiskey consumption ... in fact, it guaranteed us the right to consume ... all-be-it with a prescription. So when Americans got so incredibly sick during the "Great Experiment" years ... the whiskey stocks were depleted at a faster than expected rate ... and since it's consumption (with provisions) was guaranteed by the "Act", the government had no choice but to let some distilleries fire up to top off the stocks.

05-05-2009, 07:02
Here's a video of a talk Mike Veach gave at Filson's on the subject:


05-05-2009, 07:38
A good book to read is "The long thirst" 1920-1933 by Thomas M Coffey. The politics involved, President Harding, Thomas Remus, Larry Fay, Captain McCoy, Al Capone and the Anti Saloon League are just a few character's that made Prohibition what it became.

Calling a bluff on a President---The "Real McCoy" ---A taxi driver---Two 'master of disguise" government men...

It's hard to believe that it really happened in our country---but it did :(