Opinion

Takeaways From The Balcones Controversy

Balcones line

By Richard Thomas When people refer to Chip Tate and Balcones Distillery as “trailblazers,” they aren’t exaggerating. After several years spent in the brewing industry and a Summer 2008 apprenticeship under Jim McEwan of Bruichladdich, Tate set about building a distillery with his compatriots from scratch. In a spirit reminiscent of the early days of the craft brewing boom, they ...

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The Future of Craft Whiskey

Ranger Creek's Still

By Richard Thomas Although whiskey’s big players are topping the sales charts and raking in the cash, the signature feature of the ongoing world whiskey boom is the rise of its international craft sector. Small and medium-sized companies have sprouted up all over the world, from Argentina to Israel to Taiwan. While the United States has the busiest craft whiskey ...

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What Scottish Independence Might Mean For Scotch Whisky

By Richard Thomas With the Scottish independence vote today and the polls showing the decision in a dead heat, many in the Scottish business community are jittery, foremost among them the Scotch whisky industry. Scotch-making is the region’s second-largest industry, earning £4.3 billion annually and directly employing over 35,000 people. Only the much-vaunted Scottish oil and gas industry exceeds it, ...

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Will The Whiskey Boom Turn To Whiskey Collapse?

Bourbon warehouse and barrels

By Richard Thomas The major story in the whiskey news last week was how bourbon production in Kentucky had passed its previous high water mark, set during the 1970s. Kentucky distillers filled more barrels in 2013 than they had since 1970, the previous record year, and inventory of warehoused barrels has just topped five million for the first time since ...

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Is Jim Beam Underrated?

Jim Beam Original Bourbon

By Richard Thomas An idea that has been picking up steam over the last few years is that classic standard of Kentucky bourbon, Jim Beam Original (sometimes referred to as “White Label”), is an under-appreciated gem. Some pundits have championed this line to the point of claiming that America’s booming micro-distillery scene has yet to produce a bourbon of any ...

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