Bourbon sheds its cowboy chaps & dons a tux

on 16/02/11 at 5:24 pm


Of all the Pygmalion makeovers going on in spirits – think of once-lowly vodka, rum and tequila – none is more surprising than that of bourbon.

Perhaps you first heard about the American whiskey as I did, watching TV Westerns like Gunsmoke and Bonanza. Usually, the stuff was served in shot glasses by gruff saloon men, sometimes administered as a stiff bracer – or topical disinfectant – to wounded cowboys. Scotch was something you sipped by the “dram” or mixed with club soda; bourbon was something you “belted.”

A glance at the liquor-store shelves today tells a different tale. Bourbon has shed its chaps in favour of a tux. That’s the implication in some of the prices, at least. New brands costing $30 to $50 have joined the under-$30 crowd that includes classics Jim Beam and Wild Turkey. While the phenomenon started roughly two decades ago down south, with brands such as Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek, the bourbon bonanza began in earnest in Canada only recently.

{Full story via The Globe and Mail}

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