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cowdery

Who Knows Lawrenceburg's Story?

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cowdery

Does anyone know the history of the distillery at Lawrenceburg, Indiana, that is now owned by Angostura? I know they bought it from Pernod, which acquired it in the Seagrams break-up. I know it makes both GNS and whiskey, and has aging warehouses. I know its grain is supplied by a nearby silo which Angostura also owns and which has been co-owned with the distillery since at least the Seagrams days. This came up because of a thread in Collectibles about some Old Quaker bottles that say Lawrenceburg, IN on them. I think I've heard bits and pieces about it. What do you know?

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Gillman

This is not a direct answer but this 1941 early advertorial-style piece from Life Magazine gives some information, it states the distillery was founded by two men 100 years earlier, which would place the founding about 1840. There is a generalized but still interesting sketch of the production process.

http://books.google.ca/books?id=jUwEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA20&dq=Lawrenceburg+Indiana+distillery&hl=en&ei=5wgaTPT0NoO0lQeotJHPCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Lawrenceburg%20Indiana%20distille

Note the reference to the whiskey (straight, available "in bourbon or rye") having the quality a rich man seeks. The same idea was still being used 35 years later, as we saw from the labeling of the Quaker bottle being discussed in the other thread.

Gary

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Gillman

Further gleanings from Google Books: Seagram, run by the Bronfmans of Montreal, bought Rossville Union Distilleries in 1933 in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, as part of its strategy to supply whiskey domestically (not just as an export) to the U.S. in the post-Prohibition era. It bought Calvert some years later for the same reason, in Maryland.

There were originally three distilleries in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, one was established by the Walsh family in 1933, but I believe what became Quaker was the Rossville Distillery mentioned. Its roots were very old, at least back to 1840 judging by the Life article, and other sources suggest distilling started on the site as early as 1809.

Gary

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Josh

This history of Dearborn Co. is full of information, although it's kind of a mess: http://www.archive.org/stream/historyofdearbor02shaw/historyofdearbor02shaw_djvu.txt

Gary is right. The Rossville distilleries' pre-pro page is here: http://www.pre-pro.com/midacore/list_warehouses.php?state=IN&district=6&still=7

The other two distilleries were the Squibb distillery (the former Schenley plant) and the Greendale Distillery. Not sure what happened to the Greendale one.

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bourbonv

The Old Quaker brand, post prohibition, was a Schenley brand made at their distillery that was close to the Seagrm plant. The last I heard, John Allison the former Stitzel-Weller/Bernheim/Dickel Vice President on United distillers Production had bought the plant for the bottling operation and was doing independent bottling there.

Mike Veach

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CorvallisCracker

Don't know their history, but they have a web site:

http://www.lawrenceburgdistillersindiana.com/

Clicking on the "Customized Gin and Whiskey" link leads to a fascinating page. Apparently they are producing "2,100,000 pg" (proof gallons - I'm assuming this is annual output) of five different whiskies, a corn whiskey, three bourbons and a rye. My guess is that most of this is destined for blends, but I recollect reading about a Australia-only bourbon - Cougar - that is made here.

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bourbonv

"pg" is proof gallons - A gallon of 100 proof alcohol. They are making more than a few barrels of whiskey.

Mike Veach

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Josh
"pg" is proof gallons - A gallon of 100 proof alcohol. They are making more than a few barrels of whiskey.

Mike Veach

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Gillman

Here is a contemporary description of Lawrenceburg distilleries from the legendary Federal Writers Project.

http://books.google.com/books?id=8iFZ90Uw3jEC&pg=PA364&dq=lawrenceburg+indiana+distilleries&hl=en&ei=WnsaTNaHAYzrnQf0guSWCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false

It appears from this there were 4 distilleries:

- a plant in Greendale (adjoining L'burg) started in 1809, owned by Schenley (thus Old Quaker as the FWP states)

- the second Quaker distillery, bought by Schenley in 1933, set up by Squibbs in 1866

- The James Walsh Distillery, newly set up in 1933 by the O'Shaughnessy family

- The Seagram plant, bought in 1933 by Seagram, and clearly this was originally the Rossville Union Distillery plant.

Gary

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Josh
Here is a contemporary description of Lawrenceburg distilleries from the legendary Federal Writers Project.

http://books.google.com/books?id=8iFZ90Uw3jEC&pg=PA364&dq=lawrenceburg+indiana+distilleries&hl=en&ei=WnsaTNaHAYzrnQf0guSWCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false

It appears from this there were 4 distilleries:

- a plant in Greendale (adjoining L'burg) started in 1809, owned by Schenley (thus Old Quaker as the FWP states)

- the second Quaker distillery, bought by Schenley in 1933, set up by Squibbs in 1866

- The James Walsh Distillery, newly set up in 1933 by the O'Shaughnessy family

- The Seagram plant, bought in 1933 by Seagram, and clearly this was originally the Rossville Union Distillery plant.

Gary

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bourbonv

Greendale and Squibb were consolidated during prohibition as Schenley purchased their warehouse receipts.

Mike Veach

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Gillman

Interesting that web site, what does 1.25 %, 40% and 25% mean in the bourbon mash descriptions? It can't be the percentage of all their bourbon represented by each mash bill since it doesn't add to 100.

The use of the term "exotic mashes" is interesting, could that be directed to the non-distilling craft whiskey vendors? Their rye whiskey is almost all rye. And a bourbon is 99% corn but their corn whiskey seems much more like a high-corn bourbon mash. Most interesting, familiar and yet different at the same time.

Gary

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Gillman

On the about LDI page on the link Scott posted it states Rossville Distillery was established in 1847, so the information in the Life Magazine article on the 100 year antiquity was (approximately) correct.

Gary

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CorvallisCracker
Interesting that web site, what does 1.25 %, 40% and 25% mean in the bourbon mash descriptions?

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sku

High West uses a 95% rye in its Bourye and it's often thought to have come from LDI.

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cowdery

I don't think there is any question that the aged whiskeys bottled by High West, Templeton, and probably others were made at LDI.

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Rughi
I don't think there is any question that the aged whiskeys bottled by High West, Templeton, and probably others were made at LDI.

Some, yes.

All, no.

The Bourye on shelves now probably doesn't have any LDI whiskey in it.

Roger

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cowdery
Some, yes.

All, no.

The Bourye on shelves now probably doesn't have any LDI whiskey in it.

Roger

All of the Templeton, yes. Maybe not all of the High West, possibly.

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