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Enoch
01-08-2012, 05:09
I love the new AMC show "Hell on Wheels". My only problem is that they drink lots of whiskey (not a problem) and it is always shipped, sold, and served from bottles with nice paper labels attached, taken from wooden cases of a dozen bottles. Since the Golden Spike was driven in 1869, this show has to be taking place before that. Old Forester claims to be the first bottled bourbon in 1870. So... is this a historical error or was whiskey shipped/sold in bottles from cases prior to 1870. You can never see what the label says (always turned away) and they always just call it whiskey.

Flyfish
01-08-2012, 06:49
This is a good question for Col. Cowdery to handle in greater detail if required. He points out that before the invention of the glass bottle-making machine, bourbon was not bottled because the hand-blown container would cost more than the contents. Whiskey was shipped in barrels from which it might be decanted into other containers.

ILLfarmboy
01-08-2012, 09:47
You will find this thread interesting:

----Whiskey in the Old West----

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6507&highlight=Deadwood

jdodso3
01-08-2012, 10:02
I caught one name a few episodes ago....Flint Lock Whiskey.

I love the show. Not quite as good as Deadwood though.

Ejmharris
01-08-2012, 10:20
I have to agree about the show. I actually started a thread a couple of weeks back that never seemed to gain any traction. I am glad it didn't give up on it after the first episode which I found to be boring and slow. I was however multi-tasking through the show and also searching SB threads. Sometimes the acting is in question but the overall plot is very good and keeps me coming back. It is one of the shows I first watch on the DVR durin the week. Justified probably has it beat by just a small margin as I what I consider the best show on tv.

I have seen a couple different whiskeys on the show. Flint lock was the first and a cour others since. They all seem to be made up brands as I searched them afterwards.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Enoch
01-08-2012, 11:41
I caught one name a few episodes ago....Flint Lock Whiskey.

I love the show. Not quite as good as Deadwood though.

I just noticed that on the last episode and it also says pure Tennessee Whiskey with an "e"

MrsBoisblanc
02-16-2012, 08:17
I found this thread as I was curious as to information on the Whiskey being used. I found this to be interesting; If you look at the date on the bottle, it indicates "Hand Made Since 1881". The show starts out indicating that the events are in 1865. They probably had no idea that people would take their whiskey so seriously!

If they were smart, they should have signed on "Wild Turkey" as an advertiser as they have on "Justified". I am one who was moved to try Wild Turkey after seeing it portrayed on about every episode. I have six bottles in the cupboard now in fact!

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii179/mr_pit_bull/Incidentals%20II/2-16-201211-07-37AM.jpg

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii179/mr_pit_bull/Incidentals%20II/2-15-201210-22-42PM.jpg

scratchline
02-16-2012, 09:00
What self-respecting frontiersman would drink an 80 proof whiskey? I'll probably never watch the show now. Glad to hear that Elmore Leonard went with Wild Turkey.

-Mike

cowdery
02-16-2012, 11:00
It's all fiction. Deadwood did the same thing, dropping in mention of Basil Hayden, a bourbon created in 1989.

Either they (the producers) don't know or they just figure they should give people what they expect to see. The truth would require an explanation that probably wouldn't fit with the story line.

As for Forester, it was the first whiskey sold exclusively in bottles, meaning that was the only way you could buy it. You could not buy it by the barrel. Other brands had been bottled before 1870, but they were brands also available in barrels.

So, in the 1860s, for example, bottled bourbon would have been very expensive but there certainly were people able and willing to spend the extra money, especially in boom towns like Deadwood where there were people with more money than sense.

Another reality is that in the better saloons, whiskey was served from bottles, often very nice, hand-blown bottles with the whiskey brand name embossed into the glass. The Getz Museum in Bardstown has a very nice collection of these. When a bar bought a barrel, they would receive a couple of these serving bottles, which were of course refilled and used over and over, much like you might use a crystal decanter in your home.

A lower scale bar would have done the same thing but using earthenware jugs rather than glass bottles. Consumers buying for home consumption would similarly take a jug and fill it up at a bar or general store. Bottles started to come down in price toward the end of the century when the first bottle-molding technologies were introduced. Finally, in 1905, technology was introduced for the mass production of inexpensive bottles and bottling soon became routine. After Prohibition, it became illegal to sell whiskey in barrels. The government specified what sizes the bottles should be.

And the standard alcohol content in those days would have been 50% ABV. Lower-proof whiskeys didn't come into being until after Prohibition.

MrsBoisblanc
02-16-2012, 12:34
Very interesting Cowdery.

You would at least think that if you are having labels made for your fictitious spirits (that is in about half of the scenes), that you would at least make sure the date on the bottle would match the time period. Like I said, if they just would have used Wild Turkey, they would have been all set.

cowdery
02-16-2012, 13:11
Very interesting Cowdery.

You would at least think that if you are having labels made for your fictitious spirits (that is in about half of the scenes), that you would at least make sure the date on the bottle would match the time period. Like I said, if they just would have used Wild Turkey, they would have been all set.

Wild Turkey was created in the 1940s.

Kalessin
02-16-2012, 20:05
Very interesting Cowdery.

You would at least think that if you are having labels made for your fictitious spirits (that is in about half of the scenes), that you would at least make sure the date on the bottle would match the time period. Like I said, if they just would have used Wild Turkey, they would have been all set.

For TV or film production, they may have just gone to a prop rental and picked things that "looked right", instead of having them custom made for the show. If they were rushed, then you'll find all kinds of things that are "in the wrong time".

One infamous example is the pinball machine in Arnold's restaurant in the "Happy Days" TV series. The show is set in the 1950's, but Bally didn't make "Nip It" until 1972!

MrsBoisblanc
02-16-2012, 21:29
Wild Turkey was created in the 1940s.

True enough. Well at least the bottle says 1855. Might not exactly fool an historian however.

cowdery
02-17-2012, 08:16
1855 is probably a reference to the Ripy family distillery where Wild Turkey has been made since 1972, or thereabouts. It's an unwritten rule of historical claims. Buy a company with an early founding date, and claim it as your own.

I hear "Walking Dead" isn't historically accurate either.

Neat
02-17-2012, 08:24
I hear "Walking Dead" isn't historically accurate either.

WHAT?!:shocked: OMG! OMG! OMG! there go my hopes and dreams of being walker killer supreme and hooking up with a desperate hot chick after the zombie apocalypse.:smiley_acbt: