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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

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American Whiskey Reborn: Bourbon and Rye, Kentucky Style

Evening Program with Book Signing and Tasting

Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.
Code: 1J0009

Columnn still (Michter’s Distillery)

Whiskey came to America before the Revolution. European farmer-distillers made whiskey from rye, a familiar grain. Not much later, they discovered that the grain of the new land, corn, also made very good whiskey, which came to be known as bourbon.

These two whiskeys became full-blown industries, only to be laid low by Prohibition. They recovered, then were knocked out again, this time by vodka. But fine American whiskeys, particularly those produced in Kentucky, have made a comeback in recent years.

Learn how—and about the traditions and tastes behind them—from two experts: Andrea Wilson, who oversees the maturation process at Michter's Distillery in Louisville, where she is executive vice president and general manager, and Lew Bryson, author of Tasting Whiskey: An Insider's Guide to the Unique Pleasures of the World's Finest Spirits.

Get an authentic taste of Kentucky’s best as you sample a specialty cocktail and several bourbons and ryes throughout the evening, courtesy of Michter’s.

Tasting Whiskey (Storey Publishing, LLC) is available for sale and signing.

Smithsonian Connections

What makes bourbon uniquely American? A interview with the author of the book Bourbon Empire finds the contradictions in bourbon’s story—both agrarian and industrial, craft and commodity, new and old—create that distinction.

S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)