show episodes
 
Join Drew Hannush as he explores the rich history, stories, myths, and legends that surround our favorite spirit. From the ghosts of the Scottish Highlands, to bourbon legends like Colonel E.H. Taylor, to popular myths around how we taste and experience whisk(e)y - Drew is on a mission to help enrich your whiskey experience by finding the stories that hide behind the labels.
 
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show series
 
Join me as I chat with Kings County Distillery co-founder Colin Spoelman, the author of a curious and entertaining whiskey history book called Dead Distillers. Here is your chance to enjoy a chat between two big whiskey history fans - one an author and the other a podcaster. We'll talk about the origins of New York distilling, how Colin started his…
 
The South Carolina State House Grounds is a landscape of monuments and memory. Since the capital moved from Charleston to Columbia in the 1780s, South Carolinians have been erecting, moving, and contesting monuments on the capitol’s grounds, using them to debate the past as they really argue about their present.Monuments and statues are the subject…
 
When you start planning your trip to bourbon country, you will have a lot of unique choices of distillery experiences. One of the most unique is Neeley Family Distillery. Listen as I chat with an 11th generation distiller with roots back to Ireland and through Pennsylvania. Distillery Royce Neeley will tell us his family's journey to the new world,…
 
Two weeks ago, we brought you the story of Johann Peter Oettinger, a seventeenth-century German-speaking barber-surgeon who in 1693 journeyed to Africa and the West Indies on behalf of the Brandenburg African Company. His journal from that period captures the height of German participation in the transatlantic slave trade.Today, we bring you the st…
 
Continuing my journey through the Mississippi Delta, I made a couple of stops including Rosedale, mentioned in Robert Johnson's Traveling Riverside Blues, and Dockery's Plantation. My final stop was to be the final resting spot of Robert Johnson, but a surprise awaited me - and it would lead to a voice with first hand experience at partying at the …
 
Join me as I go on a hunt for juke joints in the Mississippi Delta. Along the way I'll taste a hamburger fried in 100 year old grease. I'll talk about the Father of the Blues and the Home of the Blues. I'll search for Robert Johnson's home in the Delta. I'll spend some time relating some of the great information I learned from Roger Stolle and his …
 
In 1693, the young German barber-surgeon Johann Peter Oettinger joined a slave trading venture for the second time. In the employ of the Brandenburg African Company, Oettinger sailed with his shipmates from Europe to the African coast where they procured their captive human cargo, took the middle passage to the West Indies, and exchanged their ensl…
 
What a fascinating human being. Robert Johnson didn't live a long life, but he lived a full one for his years. Amazingly, researchers have retraced a large portion of his life and books released in the last 2 years have shown a bright light on who Robert the man was, rather than the legend. In this episode, I will tell the story of that man. From t…
 
A lot has been written about Robert Johnson, the legendary blues guitarist of the 1920's and 30's - much of it is based on half truths and legends. One of his most known legends is based in the story of the crossroads when he was said to have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his guitar genius. But Robert faced more than one crossroad in h…
 
It's always great to chat with someone who love to share information about their town. Jimmy Rout (Shelby County Historian) had a chance to see the rebirth of Beale Street in Memphis and he is going to take us around the town that was and the town that now is. We'll hear about W.C. Handy, Boss Crump, and even Old Hickory makes an appearance in a ta…
 
Bienvenido a Conversaciones en la Biblioteca de Washington. Hoy, Jim Ambuske habla con el profesor José Emilio Yanes de la Universidad de Salamanca en España. Yanes es el autor del libro El Regalo de Carlos III A George Washington: El periplo de Royal Gift. El libro cuenta la historia de cómo un burro jugó un papel importante en la relación diplomá…
 
In 1784, King Charles III of Spain sent George Washington a token of his esteem. Knowing that Washington had long sought a Spanish donkey for his Mount Vernon estate, the king permitted a jack to be exported to the new United States. Washington named the donkey Royal Gift in recognition of its royal origin, and the donkey became somewhat of a minor…
 
Back in October, Lindsay reached out to me on behalf of B.R. Distilling Company. She mentioned that they had just won 5 gold medals at the 2020 MicroLiquor Spirit Awards and wondered if I wanted to chat with their CEO McCauley Williams about their Blue Note Juke Joint Bourbon and Riverset Rye. Always looking for a tie into history and being a music…
 
Steve and I continue our discussion of George Washington's distiller James Anderson and I get a chance to taste two of the rye whiskies made on-site using 18th century methods. We also talk about researching whiskey history and whether it is better to stick to traditions or evolve. And I'll also tell you how, as a Whiskey Lore Society member, you c…
 
Enjoy my conversation with Steve Bashore, Director of Historic Trades at George Washington's Mount Vernon, Distillery and Gristmill. In this interview, we walk around the distillery and Steve talks about recreating an 18th century distillery, George Washington and James Anderson, and the use of Mount Vernon's crops. He also walks me through the pro…
 
The story of James Anderson and his journey to becoming George Washington's distiller is a fascinating one. It starts simply enough on a farm in Inverkeithing, Scotland. But circumstances around him dictate his future and he suddenly finds himself bringing his wife and seven children to a new world. Listen to the story of a Scottish farmers journey…
 
One of the most important things we’re able to do at the Center for Digital History is offer internships to college students. Working with students allows us to move our projects forward while giving them real world opportunities to do the kind of work that historians do, and development skills that will hopefully serve them well later in life. Now…
 
How did George Washington go from dealing with the whiskey rebellion to opening his own distillery? Well, I went to Mount Vernon to find out the answer to that question and ended up learning so much more. Join me as I talk with Jim and Jeanette about Washington's management style, his distiller and distillery, and some of the myths that surround hi…
 
The Battle of Bower Hill woke up Philadelphia and created quite a stir in President Washington's cabinet. It would result in George Washington and Alexander Hamilton taking a trip towards Western Pennsylvania and militia men being summons across four states. So what happened to David Bradford and the rebels? And what happened with the dreaded whisk…
 
Join me as I chat with Will about this historic Lowland Scotch Whisky that has seen mothballing several times in its history. Recently it was purchased by Australian David Prior and Dr. Nick Savage has joined as master distiller (after his time at Macallan). We'll talk about that transition and I'll get to taste a couple of their expressions - Blad…
 
A surprise Burns Night interview here on Whiskey Lore. I had hoped to do an episode around the Scottish Bard, Robert Burns, but the Whiskey Rebellion kinda took over (as rebellions will). But in honor of a poet with a passion for all things Scottish, I was approached by a whiskey distiller whose namesake's were poets with a passion for the land. Li…
 
If you thought it was odd for Robert Wilson to go through torture to live out life as a spy, wait until you hear the comedy of errors that is George Clymer. If Hamilton wanted a war, he was making a pretty good show of it. And the episode ends with an epic battle that would forever be a symbol for the violence that took place in Western Pennsylvani…
 
Take a receipt out of your pocket. What does it say about you? Receipts can tell us a lot about people and the world in which they lived. And George Washington kept receipts. On today’s show, Dr. Julie Miller joins Jim Ambuske to discuss the hidden lives we can find in Washington’s receipts and similar documents. Dr. Miller is a historian and the C…
 
So what had the farmers of Western Pennsylvania all up in arms? In this episode, I'll take a look at the law that fired up the insurrectionists and I'll give you a view of what 1791 Pittsburgh looked like and talk about one of it's most respected citizens - General John Neville. It wouldn't take long from Neville to go from hero to the object of sc…
 
We wanted to let you know of some exciting changes we’ll be making to the podcast that will allow you to hear more from groundbreaking historians and scholars in new ways. Beginning today, Conversations at the Washington Library is moving to an every other week schedule. That means no new episode this week, but we’ll be back on January 21, 2021 wit…
 
When you think of the Whiskey Rebellion, what comes to mind? Farmers not wanting to pay taxes? Alexander Hamilton goading President Washington into putting down an insurrection? Washington on horseback leading an army into Western Pennsylvania. What if I told you that most of these assumptions are wrong? In part one of a series on the Whiskey Rebel…
 
For many people, one of life’s great joys is a lovely dram of whiskey. Whether you’re a fan of Kentucky Bourbon, Single-malt Scotches, Japanese or Tennessee whiskey, every glass tells a story or contains memories that connect drinkers to different places, and different times. For Jim Ambuske, a dram of Cragganmore 12 instantly takes him back to Edi…
 
This is Part Two of Jim Ambuske's July 2019 chat with Washington Library Research Historian Mary V. Thompson. We’re recasting it in celebration of her 40th anniversary at Mount Vernon. If you missed Part One, please do give it a listen. Happy New Year to you all. About Our Guest: Mary V. Thompson is a long-time (38 year) member of the staff at Moun…
 
Forty years ago, Mary V. Thompson began her career at Mount Vernon as a museum attendant and history interpreter. She was quickly promoted to Curatorial Assistant, and within a few short years was named Curatorial Registrar, where she began researching numerous Washington and Mount Vernon related topics such as 18th-century foodways, animals, relig…
 
In this season of religious renewal, we bring you a story of religious dissent. In 1638, many of King Charles I’s Presbyterian subjects gathered at Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh to sign the National Covenant. By renewing their own covenant with the Almighty, they also pledged to resist encroachments on church government by the king, and the inno…
 
I mean it when I say, I think she should be up for Time's "Person of the Year." Fawn Weaver has done more than just build a whiskey brand - she is going beyond talking about finding solutions and is actually doing something to make the world a better place. And it isn't about putting a whiskey in your hand. Although that has its place. She found he…
 
Having not traveled to Virginia City before (I got close, as you will hear), I needed a local to give me the history and the feel of the place. After reaching out to the city, I was put in touch with Ron Gallagher, whose grandfather worked as a janitor at the Fourth Ward School back in the 1860s during the boom. Ron saw Virginia City turn from a gh…
 
Originally known as Frey Ranch Estate Distillery, this is one of a few distilleries in the world that source all of their grains from their own land. Think Kilchoman in Scotland or Waterford in Ireland. Now, to a new distiller with a new farm, that might not be such an advantage, but imagine having a 160+ year history of farm/ranch ownership. Colby…
 
In 1757, Benjamin Franklin returned to London after an over thirty-year absence. He first ventured to the imperial capital in 1724 to continue his education as a printer; he went back in the late 1750s as a politician, after being named the London agent for the Pennsylvania Assembly. Franklin took up residence at 36 Craven Street in London, today j…
 
Mark Twain moves on and an initial silver rush in Virginia City fades. Frustrated financiers look for a way to off-load their investments just before the Comstock yield's its greatest bounty. Meanwhile, two men - John Piper and William Brown find their own fortunes by serving up drinks, food, and entertainment to miners and money men alike. Join Dr…
 
Join me as I talk with one half of the brother team that returned their great, great, great grandfather's distillery to prominence. Andy Nelson is the Head Distiller at Nelson's Green Brier Distillery and this is the story of how they overcame money issues, youth, inexperience, a recession, and an old Tennessee Prohibition on distilling to get thei…
 
From New York fashion photographer to starting a whiskey distillery in Colorado - quite the road for Michael Myers of Colorado Springs based 291 Distillery. We'll hear how he started as a one-man show, learned his craft, and as a tie into our Virginia City "Old West" episodes, we'll talk about his love for western movies. And we'll find out how a W…
 
The Al Young interview is likely my most treasured interview. It spoke to the very reason I started Whiskey Lore, to capture stories while the storytellers were still here to tell them. Little did I know that one month after our interview, Al Young would pass away at Christmas 2019. It's been just about a year since his passing and one thing I have…
 
It was interesting listening back to this interview. It happened just over a year ago. How the world has changed. But Wally Dant and his family are still moving forward with Log Still Distillery and making great progress. In fact, they've released the name of their new gin and bourbon which I will mention in the episode. While there are moments of …
 
Steve Beam is the President and distiller at Limestone Branch and loves history. In this episode, he helps us understand the family tree of Dants and Beams as well as telling us about his journey into distilling. The Charles Townsend Yellowstone story T.J. Pottinger, Captain Sam, and Walnut Hill Lost history and hauntings The Dants, the Burch, and …
 
Consuls are essential to American foreign relations. Although they may not be as flashy or as powerful as an Ambassador like Thomas Jefferson or John Quincy Adams, they’re often the goto people when an American gets in trouble abroad or when a trade deal needs to get done. Consuls operate in cities and towns throughout the world, helping to advance…
 
This bonus episode is the first of a series of podcasts hosted by Drew Hannush of Whiskey Lore and Chris Wimmer of Black Barrel Media and the Legends of the Old West podcast. In part one, we look at the history of Virginia City and the Comstock Lode, including the namesakes for both. Chris also tells the story of a young writer named Samuel Clemens…
 
Drew sits down with Jim Shannon and Mike "Big Chief" Hiatt at Mike's home in Kentucky and discusses how the Whiskey Lore podcast came to be and we also find out Drew's top 3 recommended distillery tours in Kentucky (hint, one is not on the official Kentucky Bourbon Trail). We also taste Shackleton Blended Malt Scotch and Angel's Envy Cask Strength …
 
In the eighteenth century, Benjamin Franklin and other early Americans likened themselves to a rising people who were creating something new under the sun. It’s fair to say that historians have a similar mindset: we’re constantly striving to uncover new evidence, make new arguments, and offer new interpretations that help us better explain the past…
 
The Great Dismal Swamp is a remarkable feature of the southern coastal plain. Spanning from Norfolk, Virginia to Elizabeth City, North Carolina, the Swamp is now a National Wildlife Refuge home to Bald cypress, black bears, otters, and over 200 species of birds, among many other critters. But in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it was the h…
 
In 1783, the United States and Great Britain signed the Treaty of Paris, which confirmed American independence. As part of the treaty negotiations, American and British diplomats had to determine the new nation’s borders. They used maps like John Mitchell’s 1755 work A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America to figure out what sepa…
 
With another American presidential election behind us, talk will inevitably turn to the economy and how the president will handle it. That begs a series of questions as we turn our thoughts back to the eighteenth century: How did early Americans think about the marketplace and the economy? How did they believe that were supposed to function? How we…
 
What is a legacy? As the artist Lin-Manual Miranda tells us, it’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see. American presidents, regardless of party, spend a great deal of time during their presidencies and after they leave office thinking about their own legacies, and how people will study and remember their administrations. Whether the 202…
 
The story of Jack Daniel and Nathan "Uncle Nearest" Green could have been something much different - but in the hands of Fawn Weaver, she looked past headlines and social media to find the story behind the story. And her findings have led her to build a foundation in Nearest's name, a distillery in his honor, and it also brought her and the Jack Da…
 
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