Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    San Francisco, CA

    Whiskey in the Old West, Part Deux

    I'm reviving an old thread because after reading through the previous thread of the same title, I found it didn't answer my question. And my question is this: I'm currently reading a novel called "The German Bride" by Joanna Hershon. It's about settlers in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the 1860s/early 1870s. My question is this: the main character keeps drinking bourbon in the bars and brothels of Santa Fe. Was bourbon commonly drunk in the Old West at that time? Was there bourbon available? I thought rye the usual whiskey of that period. Is that correct? Was there still bourbon around?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Louisville, Ky.

    Re: Whiskey in the Old West, Part Deux

    E H Taylor Jr. was selling OFC in San Francisco in the 1870's. His main competition of the time were the Cutter brands and of course Old Crow. W L Weller and sons were selling in Reno in the 1890's. I am sure other bourbons were sellin in the west as well. Rye was very popular in the population centers of the Northeast, but bourbon has always been more popular in the south and west of the United States. More rye was sold than bourbon, but that does not mean bourbon was not in the markets. Even the northeasternstrongholds of rye whiskey had a fairly large market for bourbon.

    Mike Veach

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    North Carolina

    Re: Whiskey in the Old West, Part Deux

    Hi Guys, Bourbon was Very common in the west after the 1860's. Jesse Moore, J. H. Cutter,Davey Crockett, Pepper were bottled from Barrels in California in the 1870's and 1880's. Check out www.casperwhiskey.com and look at the http://www.geocities.com/casperwhisk...rnBottles.html
    Best regards,
    David Jackson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Northern Kentucky

    Re: Whiskey in the Old West, Part Deux

    The bourbon referenced was likely from Bourbon County Ky (or claimed to be). Other than being corn whiskey, it probably had little in common with what we consider bourbon today. It was likely unaged, diluted, and adulterated with who knows what by the time it got to the end consumer.
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999

    Re: Whiskey in the Old West, Part Deux

    The period usually considered the "Wild West" was very brief. It began a few years after the Civil War ended and was over well before the century turned. One of the forces that opened the West was the railroads. Cattle flowed east and whiskey flowed west, from Kentucky by way of Chicago. This was the period, and the West was the market, that established bourbon as a competitor to rye, which was still more popular in the East. First with cattle, then with gold, the West had money so it didn't make things, it bought them, and the whiskey it bought was bourbon from Kentucky and Illinois.



Similar Threads

  1. High West Whiskey
    By John_Regehr in forum American Rye Whiskey
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 01-26-2008, 14:32
  2. Whiskey in the Old West
    By Sweetmeats in forum History
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 01-14-2007, 11:38
  3. What bourbon are you drinking now? Part deux
    By jeff in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 173
    Last Post: 04-28-2005, 03:27

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Back to top