Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
robbyvirus

Whiskey in the Old West, Part Deux

This topic has been inactive for at least 365 days, and is now closed. Please feel free to start a new thread on the subject! 

Recommended Posts

robbyvirus

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bourbonv

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jburlowski

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cowdery

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.