Pre-prohibition Whiskey

Golden Wedding – Barreled in 1898

A fellow whiskey enthusiast and a reader of this blog (aka a “WhiskeyBender”) sent the following amazing specimen of a pre-prohibition bottle of Golden Wedding Whiskey. For those of you who remember my Dad’s Golden Wedding post, this is quite the polar opposite of those examples. Distilled by Jos. S. Finch & Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, this beauty has held up well over the years and looks like it would be Mmmm mmm good. You don’t see old stuff out of Pennsylvania that isn’t Rye very often. This bottle comes to us from Slovenia. How it got there, I have no idea. The owner plans to open it upon the receipt of “first great news.” I would say getting up in the morning would work for me! Send samples, please.


Here is the reverse. Cheers!


Prohibition Era Medicinal Whiskey Whiskey History

Old Rip Van Winkle – Pappy would be proud…

Old Rip Van Winkle Whiskey

Here is one of my favorite bottles in my collection. I’ve seen two others out there that are sealed and unopened and one is a permanent guest at the Getz Whiskey Museum in Bardstown, Kentucky. Scroll to the bottom of this blog post from the Alcohol Professor to see one of them (among some other great bottles).

Obviously, the Old Rip Van Winkle brand has been around a long time. In fact, according to the ORVW website:

The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery has a four generation history. The Van Winkle family’s involvement in the bourbon industry began in the late 1800s with Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle, Sr. He was a traveling salesman for the W.L. Weller and Sons wholesale house in Louisville, traveling around the state by horse and buggy. Pappy and a friend, Alex Farnsley, eventually bought the wholesale house and also purchased the A. Ph. Stitzel Distillery, which made bourbon for Weller. They merged the two companies and became the Stitzel-Weller Distillery. Their prominent brands were W.L. Weller, Old Fitzgerald, Rebel Yell, and Cabin Still.

Now, with this setup, where does this bottle come into play? Did Pappy make the whiskey inside? Upon closer inspection, the answer is an interesting “no”. More on that in a minute. You see, back in the days of prohibition, whiskey was consolidated into government warehouses around the country by the millions of barrels. What actual whiskey went into a particular bottling wasn’t very important. Slap a brand name label on there and you’re good-to-go as evidenced by my Black Gold collection. Most of the prohibition hooch sat way beyond the number of years it was supposed to. That is why you see a lot of 16, 17, and 18 year old prohibition era medicinal whiskies. This was not necessarily a good thing as over aging can make whiskey taste like licking a barrel stave, as I’ve heard Chuck Cowdry put it. Let’s take a closer look.

First, the label and bottle are perhaps the most beautiful you will ever see on a prohibition pint. Great art, great color, and great embossing. The embossing starts with Old Rip Van Winkle’s hat adorned head on the back while his long whiskers flow from his face all the way across the front of the bottle. I’ve tried to get a good photo of it but it didn’t come out as good as it looks in person.

Pappy Van Winkle

Unfortunately, with this bottle, the tax stamp has faded to the point where the barreling and bottling dates are illegible. Based on other bottles I have from the same era, this whiskey was most likely barreled in 1916 (see Getz example at link above) and bottled somewhere between 1931 and 1933. I’m afraid we’ll never know how long this particular bottle of whiskey was “asleep” in the wood.

Now, let’s take a look at where this whiskey was distilled and bottled…

Old Rip Van Winkle detail

As you can see, there is no mention of Pappy Van Winkle, W.L. Weller, or Stitzel-Weller anywhere on this label. The liquid wood in this ornate piece was distilled by H. S. Barton of Kentucky. If you’ve ever been to a liquor store, you’ve heard of Barton. Today, Barton Brands distills a whole lot of spirits and, in the whiskey world, is known for its 1792 Ridgemont Reserve, which is quite good. An interesting note is this whiskey made the journey from its birthplace of Kentucky to its resting place of U. S. General Bonded Warehouse No. 3 somewhere in Missouri. Talk about government regulation! One question I have is who actually owned the whiskey in this warehouse? If you know, please comment below.

While researching for this post, I found a fascinating legal document circa 1921 against several “revenuers” who, much like the legend of Old Fitzgerald, got a little greedy for which they were, eh hem, “desirous of removing to his dwelling for use and disposition of the spirits.” Maybe one of these knuckleheads worked at U. S. General Bonded Warehouse No. 3.

Time to watch the season premiere of Boardwalk Empire! Cheers.

Miniature Whiskey Bottles Repeal Era Whiskey Whiskey History

101 Rare Whiskey Flasks

101-rare-whiskey-flasksIt has been too long since my last post, what with life and all. I have so many delicious whiskey posts planned but with so few Spock mind-meld techniques at my disposal, I must submit to the available hours and the speed of my fingers.

I’ve been blessed to have been born into whiskey royalty. My father, David M. Spaid, and his (and my) very good friend Harry A. Ford, Jr. put together a not-so-small effort to share some of the rarest miniature whiskey bottles known. Not content to make it 99 bottles, as the song goes, they made it 101. 101 Rare Whiskey Flasks. So rare, I don’t own any of them.

Believe it or not, there are a few copies of these 48 page booklets hanging out in the bowels of my father’s garage. You can still buy one for $10 including shipping if you want one. Printed in 1989 in black and white (color was crazy expensive back then for the short run they did) 101 Rare Whiskey Flasks will curl your toes and grow hair on your chest when you see the various rare brands and their designs.

With permission from the authors, I present to you the Introduction from 101 Rare Whiskey Flasks.

Scott Spaid

101 Rare Whiskey Flasks – $10 US including shipping (US only). Note: this booklet is in black and white.


Welcome to the world of miniature whiskeys. That’s whiskey with an “e”. The majority of people who have this book will use it as a guide and are already converted to the bottle collecting “faith”. For those of you whom this is your first look at miniature whiskeys, you’ll see many which would be considered the “best of show”.

There are a good many questions which collectors might have about this book. Some of these will deal with pricing, some with why certain bottles were chosen and others were not, and finally, why the era of the 1930’s and flasks or flats instead of just any style bottle.

To begin, let’s look at the title of the book, 101 Rare Whiskey Flasks. Not exactly snappy, but it does get the point across. There are 101 bottles here because it seemed to be a nice number, not overwhelming but more than a small sample. 101 also seemed to be important because the two of us could each show 50 of our favorite bottles and naturally one which both of us have in our collections.

The idea of flasks and the 1930’s sort of go together. Probably most collectors would easily agree that the 1930’s were the golden age for miniature liquor bottles and miniature whiskeys in particular. And, the best of these bottles were the flasks. Flats or flasks are very seldom seen today and that makes the older ones more interesting. After the ’30’s, we had the 1950’s and these were the war years… thus a great many brands went to the wayside. The 1950’s saw the beginning of the taste changes in the American public which has resulted in the “white goods” epidemic. (White goods are clear spirits such as vodka, rum, and gin.) The 1960’s saw economics take over so that fewer and fewer brand names were produced. After all why should a company distribute 20 brands and take the time and expense to make up new labels when all the same liquor could easily be sold under just one brand name.

The thirties were something special though. With the end of prohibition in December of 1933, everyone who could begin producing whiskey. After all, the nation had seen well over a decade of bathtub gin, Canadian whiskey, and the best (or worst) Scotland had to offer. It was time to get down to old bourbon and rye…American drinks! No one knew what would really catch on. It might be the taste or maybe it would be the name of the whiskey or even the label design. Demographics weren’t a big thing in the mid-1930’s. So if you could produce bourbon or even buy it from someone who did produce it and had the necessary licenses, you could begin issuing any whiskey you wanted to. If your Aunt Fanny had a taste for the strong stuff, why not take that one-month-old “stuff” and call it Aunt Fanny’s blend!

Liquor stores got in the act too. You’ll notice several bottles in this book, which were made for specific stores or a chain of stores. Most whiskey was produced in Kentucky, Indiana, Maryland, and Pennsylvania but it could easily be trucked anywhere and bottled there. California was a prime example. Take a gander at the bottoms of those labels and you’ll note that a good number of them were produced here in the Golden State.

Most collectors realize that the same exact whiskey goes into a number of different bottles and many companies filled for a variety of other companies. Few people though realize how prevalent this still is. Ever notice that Jim Beam has bottles which state they are bottles by James B. Beam? Ever wondered if there is a Wild Turkey distillery? (There isn’t.) So, it was in the 1930’s that the same liquor might have gone into a score or more of different brand names. Thus the Hinze people in Kentucky could produce both War Admiral and Frederick. Are we really to think these were two different whiskeys? It’s possible but highly improbable. Consequently, the 1930’s had literally hundreds of different brand name whiskeys.

This leads us to the point that if there were hundreds of miniature brand names produced, why did we pick these particular ones. The answer to this question has several parts.

Rarity is one of the reasons. Availability is another. These sound almost alike, but they really aren’t. It is always wonderful to see rare bottles you’ve never seen before; however, it is extremely frustrating to be unable to ever add them to your collection.

A good many California bottles were picked because of their rarity. Quickee’s Fernwood (a name we feel which definitely deserves notation) along with the Wilshire Midget and the others are in the “knock your socks off” category. We did not include such bottles as Green Mill and Old Cask because they have previously been shown in other books. We carefully gleaned the contents of the six books (Snyder, Triffon, Spaid) done in the last two decades so that nothing shown in those pages would have been seen in another book. A few of the bottles here have presented in a club newsletter or two; however, for the most part, everything in these pages is pictured here for the first time!!

Now we come to what may be the most controversial aspect of the book, the pricing. Pricing a bottle is a no-win situation. As soon as the price appears, the value either goes up or down. The swap meet sellers and antique dealers who really care nothing about the bottles per se will begin smacking their lips because now they can point to a book a say, “See, there’s the value, right there!” The collector moans and groans because he or she wants more bottles but doesn’t want to pay the price. No one ever remembers that the value of his own collection has just gone up if he owns any of the pictured bottles.

If you’re wondering how we came up with these prices, that answer is simple. The old law of supply and demand is the answer. Look to the bottles which are sold either at the shows or directly from collections. Read every copy of each and every auction magazine which has ever been published. Last year (editors note: this would have been 1987 or 1988) when Old Camel (Triffon, Volume 1) went for $500 in the Mini Bottle International auction everyone was amazed. But where can you get an Old Camel bottle?

Now here’s a WARNING. Don’t start thinking that every whiskey miniature from the 1930’s is worth a humungous price. It isn’t. There just might be one hundred thousand Mill Farm bottles floating around. Great looking label in perfect condition … maybe it will bring $10, possibly $12. Now Four Bits, that’s a different matter. We know of exactly four of them. So, it’s supply and demand. In fact, the majority of whiskey bottles from the ’30’s would sell for $20 or less. Gins, rums, and cognacs would generally fetch even less. And liqueurs, brandies, and wines will usually be under $5.

So, if you like the prices great. If you don’t like the prices, then buy, sell and swap the bottles for what you think they are worth. We happen to think the bottles in this book are worth a great deal. And, incidentally, just in case you’re considering asking us … we’re not selling … and we’re not trading.

Let us know what you think of this book, and whether you’d like to see more in the future. Finally, good bottle hunting!

David M. Spaid & Harry A Ford, Jr.

Prohibition Era Medicinal Whiskey Whiskey History

Up through the ground came a bubblin crude (whiskey, that is, Black Gold)

Black Gold Whiskey
The Black Gold Perp Line-up

Imagine a world where Coca-Cola is bottled in Pepsi containers. Imagine a world where Pepsi is put inside RC Cola cans. Imagine a world where the new Brand Promise is no promise at all. Welcome to Soda Prohibition.

While there was no such thing as Soda Prohibition, unless you consider Mayor Bloomberg’s attempt to super down-size sugary drinks a qualifier, there was a prohibition on alcohol. Not some encouragement by the First Lady to plant flowers or get in shape (admirable, nonetheless) but an amendment to our Constitution. That’s some serious Messin’ with Sasquatch right there.

Black Gold Match Book
Black Gold Match Book Cover

So, what exactly is a Brand Promise? A Brand Promise is the assurance that Toyota means reliable (not so much lately). A Brand Promise is the notion that your McDonald’s Quarter Pounder will taste exactly the same every time everywhere. A Brand Promise is the guarantee that the Coke in your cola is “The Real Thing”. During prohibition, this sort of promise was such an after thought that you you might  say some of the whiskey brands were, well, kinda slutty.

So, what’s in a name? Enter Black Gold Whiskey. Put yourself squarely in the middle of the Great Depression. Times where tough, to put it mildly. If you were lucky enough (or smart sick enough) to get your hands on some Black Gold, would you care where it came from, who distilled it, who bottled it, or who distributed it? Me thinks not. When I put myself in those worn out shoes I have to admit that I would be silly happy to get my grubby mitts on a pint of “Aged in the Wood” juicy juice no  matter where it came from or how over aged and “oaky” it might be. With that said, let’s take a look at a broken Brand Promise: Black Gold.

Black Gold
Black Gold Whiskey – Made 1915 – Bottled 1933

Our first example, and the oldest as far as the distillation date goes, is this straight forward Black Gold. 18 Summers Old (sexier than 17 years) this bottle is beautifully embossed both front and back. The provenance of the liquid, according to the back label and tax stamp, is as follows:

Bottled for: The American Medicinal Spirits Company
Distillery bonded warehouse No. 19, 5th District of KY

Produced for: G. G. White Co., Distillery  No. 9 6th Dist. of KY

Black Gold
Black Gold Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – Made 1917 – Bottled 1933

Our next contestant features a more traditional label and relatively boring straight glass container. Where our 18 summer old variation is labeled as whiskey on the back label, here we have a bona fide Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Sounds promising. 16 years old, a common age for the era, this Black Gold has the following heritage:

Distilled by The Nelson Distillery Company, Louisville, Kentucky

Bottled by The American Medicinal Spirits Company – Baltimore, Maryland

Distributed in the State of New York by the National Straight Whiskey Distributing Company Incorporated (somehow this pint made it to California judging by the tax stamp).

Made in Kentucky, bottled in Maryland, distributed out of New York, sold in California. Whew!

Our next two bottles are interesting for a couple of reasons. At first glance, they look identical as long as you overlook that one is contaminated. Anyway, both are in exactly the same embossed glass bottles that prominently feature the Black Gold and National Distillers logos on the reverse. By the time these pints came out National Distillers had purchased AMS and bottled under that name for several years after Repeal. The other interesting thing is both of these bottles feature the “Federal Law Forbids Sale or Reuse of this Bottle“, which is a dead giveaway these bottles are post-prohibition.

Black Gold
Black Gold Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – Made 1916 – Bottled 1934

Here’s the stats for this Black Gold. Unfortunately, the tax stamp is illegible except for the dates.

Distilled by T. B. Ripy, Louisville, Kentucky

Bottled by The American Medicinal Sprits Company, Baltimore, Maryland

This bottle of liquored wood is another example of something special that was made before The Great Fail and bottled a year after Repeal. Somehow this whiskey straddled the entire mess of Prohibition. It went to sleep and woke up 18 years later much like the ill-fated crew of the Nostromo from the movie Alien.

Black Gold
Black Gold Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – Made 1917 – Bottled 1932

Finally, we have a 15 year old Black Gold per the extra label plastered above the main.  A virtual duplicate to the prior bottle — but not so fast. Here are the facts:

Distilled by Harry E. Wilken, Louisville, Kentucky

Bottled by The American Medicinal Spirits Company, Louisville, Kentucky

The mystery with this bottle, unlike its sleepy predecessor, is what’s left of the booze was made in 1917, bottled in 1932 and has the post-prohibiton “Federal Law Forbids” embossing on the glass. Based on my research this bottle could very well be a solid example of a re-bottling so this leftover whiskey could be sold legally after Repeal.

Now that I have presented the facts, you are probably just as confused as I am as to what the Brand Promise of Black Gold is. The common threads are the brand name and the bottler, although hailing from two different cities: Baltimore and Louisville. However, not one of these bottles of Black Gold were distilled by the same distiller. Which distillery has the pedigree to stand behind the brand? White? Nelson? Ripy? Wilken? Could we trust any of them to give us The Real Thing, whatever that is? I’m sure they would have all said yes.

Prohibition Era Medicinal Whiskey Whiskey History

Four Roses Straight Whiskey Mystery

1914 Cracker Jack "Shoeless" Joe Jackson
“Shoeless” Joe Jackson

As a relative newbie to the American whiskey scene, I am truly fascinated by the heritage of the brands, distilleries and those old pre-prohibition whiskey men (and women). I have a penchant for all things Americana and I love collecting artifacts that shaped who we are now as a nation. My original collecting sin was (and still is to a degree) vintage baseball cards for which I have deep admiration. My affection is not just for the cards but also for the game and its history. My favorite cardboard edition is the 1914 Cracker Jack set. The only way to get one of these cards was to purchase a box of the famous confectionery delight, fish around for the prize, and keep it for 100 years. And I don’t care if I never get back.

Four Roses Straight Whiskey
Same brand – different juice.

So, how do 1914 Cracker Jack baseball cards and Four Roses whiskey intersect? Your first thought might be Babe Ruth, but he isn’t the crux of this biscuit. It is a romantic connection I make on my own, which I hope you enjoy. You see, there is something about pre-prohibiton, pre-depression America that holds an innocent allure I find captivating. When I hold a 1914 Cracker Jack card that survived the grimy mitts of a crazed tween looking for their next sugar fix in one hand and an unopened pint of Four Roses Straight Whiskey that survived the crusty knuckles of a bulbous nosed tippler in the other, the g-spot in my mind gets suitably tickled. For those items to survive 100 years and be in my possession is like owning pieces of history. Now, on to the Whiskey Mystery.

Disclaimer: This post was written while snorkeling Four Roses Single Barrel hand picked by my local liquor store.  Four Roses Warehouse GW, Barrel No. 37-2B, to be exact.

One oddity of Prohibition was the fact that tens of thousands of barrels of pre-pro hooch was still around from various distillers, both operating and defunct. Those barrels made their way to what were known as consolidation warehouses. The bloodlines of whiskey royalty were thrown into the equivalent of the Great American Melting Pot. Back then, whiskey was like a box of chocolates — you never knew what your were going to get. I’m sure not many people cared and were just happy to get some “Alcoholic Stimulant” that was aged in wood. A prime example of this is my pair of Four Roses Straight Whiskey pints.

Four Roses Straight Whiskey
Ex. A – Pre-pro juice – Repeal bottling.

Exhibit A: Four Roses Straight Whiskey. One Pint. Distilled by United American Co. Made Spring 1917 Bottled Fall 1934. As lore goes, we started running out of pre-pro whiskey and the government allowed distilling of new stuff for medicinal purposes around 1928. If that is the case, and I’m sure it is based on my research, this bottle is an anomaly. This whiskey sat around in a barrel from 1917 and didn’t get bottled until 1934, which is after Repeal. Yet another contradictory piece of evidence that makes me scratch my noggin. Nothing on this bottle says a thing about it being medicinal and the paper California tax stamp dated July 1, 1935 on the back is a dead giveaway this is a post-pro nugget. See the gallery below for close-ups.

Four Roses 100 Proof
Ex. B – An Alcoholic Stimulant made from the Fermented Mash of Grain

Exhibit B: Four Roses Straight Whiskey. One Pint. Patented by The Frankfort Distillery. Produced by Col. Albert B. Blanton (yes, that Blanton) prior to Sept. 22, 1917, distillery No. 2, 7th district of Kentucky. Bottling date unknown unless I destroy the box and look at the tax stamp. Not. Gonna. Happen. If this were a box of unopened 1914 Cracker Jack with the potential of a Christy Mathewson in it would I open the cardboard coffer? Probably not. I’m weird like that. Anyway, this is medicinal whiskey and the box literally has it written all over it. This bottle seems to have the correct lineage in that The Frankfort Distillery, which was purchased by Paul Jones, produced Four Roses from the end of Prohibition until Seagram’s bought the distillery in 1941.

These bottles raise more questions than my research answers. First, if the Ex. B is the correct lineage but bottled during Prohibition, what is the Four Roses brand on Ex. A doing on a post-pro United American Co. Distillery bottle? If this were the opposite, I would understand, but its not. Secondly, if we were running out of whiskey in the late twenties, where did the Ex. A whiskey come from? Some hidden batch forgotten by time? Lastly, what does Albert Blanton have to do with Four Roses?

Please post your thoughts and help solve this Whiskey Mystery with me. For more information on the history of Four Roses, visit

Four Roses Straight Whiskey

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Made Fall 1917 - Bottled Fall 1934. United American Co. Louisville KY


Prohibition Era Medicinal Whiskey Whiskey History

You can thank Prohibition for this Marvelous Whiskey

You can thank Prohibition for this Marvelous Whiskey

Being a marketing guy by trade, I really admire these old advertisements from National Distillers (circa July 1934). Create sense of urgency. Check. Weave a tale of romantic scarcity. Check. Create F.U.D. (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt). Check. The only gaff by today’s standards is the typical wail of the modern ad agency client: “There’s way too much text. Nobody’s ever going to read all that.” Thanks, Internet.

Personally, I read every word of these ads with the same savory satisfaction I get from slow sipping my new found friend: Evan Williams Single Barrel. Please forgive the alliteration indulgence. Anyway, this ad predates my first post of this ad campaign by about 3 months. I think this is the first one in the series as I’ve found a couple more that were published at later dates.  They just get better over time like whiskey in the wood. Get yours while it lasts!

Miniature Whiskey Bottles Prohibition Era Medicinal Whiskey

Old Fitzgerald Strikes Back

This week, as I devoured the blog posts of my fellow whiskey bloggers, I realized I’m more of a museum curator rather than a historian. That’s ok because now I know my place in the WWW (Wonderful World of Whiskey). Don’t get me wrong, I love the history. As your curator, today I’m taking you down the hall to the Old Fitzgerald exhibit. Old Fitzgerald is to RC Cola as Jack Daniels is to Coke. Both have been around for ages while those in the know quietly enjoy their RC Cola as the majority of the world say, “Coca-Cola rules!” To each his own.

You may ask yourself why I titled this post “Old Fitzgerald Strikes Back.” Well, its not my fault because The Coopered Tot started it with his Old Fitzgerald post, which I highly recommend if you enjoy deep dive whiskey research like I do. All geeky Star Wars references aside, I was inspired by his post to the point where I felt I just had to answer back. So, Mr. Tot, if you’re reading this (and I’m sure you are) you’ll have to post another article in the future called “Return of the Fitz.”

Old Fitzgerald Whiskey 1/2 Pint

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Made 1917 Bottled 1932. W.L. Weller & Sons on front label. Mary M. Dowling on tax strip. A. Ph. Stitzel, Inc. on back label.


Miniature Whiskey Bottles Repeal Era Whiskey Whiskey History

Old Fiddle Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Old Fiddle Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Old Fiddle Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Circa 1950, these Old Fiddles have been in the family for a while and I’m the current caretaker. Known for their “fiddle” shape, they were inspired by the song “My Old Kentucky Home” written by Stephen Foster. Bourbon doesn’t get any more Kentucky than this.

Old Fiddle was a product of Bardstown Distillery out of, you guessed it, Bardstown, Kentucky. I don’t know much about this brand but I look forward to finding out more as I post photos of my other fiddle bottles in the future (Old Anthem, Bourbon Springs, Bard’s Town, and Bard’s Town Bond). With that said, here is the text from the back label, which has an ariel view of Bardstown Distillery. Enjoy!

“The Fiddle Bottle (design patent 107353) has been designed in honor of the immortal bard, Stephen Foster, who composed “My Old Kentucky Home” at Bardstown 1852.

For 129 years the limestone waters that bubble from Bourbon Springs have been used to make bourbon whiskey famous for richness, mellowness, and bouquet. With these seemingly magical waters, and fine grains, our distillers make our whiskey by the same, slow method their fathers used. You will find this a fine drinking and mixing whiskey, rich in body, exquisite in flavor and bouquet, mild and mellow.”


Prohibition Era Medicinal Whiskey Tastings Tales Whiskey History

Old Barbee Whiskey Tasting

After doing some of my typical Internet hunting I bring back to my whiskey tribe a beast of an article. Tom Eblen, from the Lexington Herald-Ledger, writes about cracking open his Old Barbee Whiskey and sharing it with longtime Wild Turkey master distiller Jimmy Russell. As it turns out, the bourbon came from the author, whose wife’s great-grandfather Herman Volkerding was president of the now long-gone Kentucky distillery that made it.

If you find Mr. Eblen’s article a great read then you will enjoy viewing my unopened Old Barbee Whiskey with the original box in the slideshow below. Notice the differences in the label when compared to the bottle pictured from the original article. Will I be opening mine and tasting it? Only if I find another one.

Read more here: Tom Eblen: Distilled in 1901, Old Barbee bourbon still smooth

Old Barbee Whiskey

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Distilled 1917 - Bottled 1930

Miniature Whiskey Bottles Prohibition Era Medicinal Whiskey Whiskey History

Lincoln Inn Old Rye Whiskey

Lincoln Inn Old Rye Whiskey
Lincoln Inn Old Rye Whiskey

I thought I would go north of the border with this post and share my Lincoln Inn Old Rye Whiskey bottles. One is a full pint and the other is a 1/10th pint. The pint bottle has never been opened while the mini was consumed years ago. Either way, these are very neat bottles that came from the Distillers Corporation Limited, Montreal, Canada. The pint bottle shows up a lot on ebay because of the incredible embossing on the front and back. People saved them because of this and rarely does it show up with such a nice label and I’ve never seen another one sealed and full.

It is thought that Lincoln Inn was one of the brands from Canada that Al Capone would smuggle in for his speak easies. Seems plausible. I don’t know much about this brand except from what I learned at, which is interesting. As it turns out, Distillers Corporation LTD eventually turned into Seagrams.

For the analytical people out there, here is exactly what the pint label reads:


Bottled in Bond under Government Supervision


Carefully Double-Distilled and Matured in Charred Oak Barrels. Bottled straight from the wood by