The Jim Beam Story and the Making of the World’s #1 Bourbon
By F. Paul Pacult
The following is an excerpt from American Still Life: The Jim Beam Story and the Making of the World’s #1 Bourbon by F. Paul Pacult (John Wiley & Sons, $24.95) available wherever books are sold.
I didn’t come to appreciate and know whiskey well until 1989. Up until that time I had prided myself on being a wine journalist and instructor, surviving, even thriving in New York City. New York in the 1980s was a remarkable melting pot for the world’s wines. As American consumer interest in fine wine exploded, wines poured in from everywhere: Australia, Chile, Hungary, Argentina, Greece, Washington State, Oregon, Israel. I wrote about wine for various publications, consulted to wine shops in the northeast about what they should buy and how they should sell it, and owned and operated a wine school, Wine Courses International, out of a loft in lower Manhattan. Life was good.
Whiskey, however, was foreign territory, a dark and, in my mind, inhospitable continent. Wine was white or red. Whiskey was, well, brown.
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