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    Whiskey History,

    Folklore, & Foolery


    The Basics, Musings, and Libations. A Minute shot of whiskey knowledge!

    There are two ways to spell whiskey: ending with a “y” or an “ey.” Knowing what spelling to use is primarily dependent upon the country where the spirit is produced. The Scottish, Japanese, and Canadians spell it whisky (no e). The Irish and the Americans spell it whiskey.   A simple trick to...
    Augusta, GA is a mecca for golf in the United States. While visiting recently, I unfortunately had no time to play with the world’s club-swinging elite. Our schedules just didn’t match up I guess. However, I did venture into a sweet whiskey watering hole that’s worth a visit if ever in town… ...
    How was the West won? Whiskey. Tons of whiskey. Well, there were a few other minor variables involved but only one sweet, succulent source of amber nectar that kept cowboys fueled for onward expansion! Whiskey! After the Civil war, there was an influx expansion westward of Confederate...
    Sifting through the vast selection of bourbons at a liquor store one should easily find several bottles of Old Crow Bourbon. It’s typically located at ankle level amongst the castaways of plastic bottles consumed by young twenty-somethings on a Friday night. The Old Crow Bourbon is sad story....
    What a week! Barely any Shots! What gives?! Raw has been on a hiatus in Texas at the Whiskey Marketing School for Whisk(e)y Sommelier Level 3 course. Great news is I passed the exam and the giant Mr. T medallion some flare! Unfortunately, I also severely underestimated one’s ability to write...
    The 1920’s were a tough decade in the United States. An entire decade of no whiskey would keep even the best man or woman down. No whiskey at bars, restaurants, or homes...well legally...unless of course you were sick. At the time, Whiskey was legally only available for medicinal purposes....
    Shots! Washington Apples. Perverted Irishmen. 3 Wise Men. Cement Mixers. On and on…. A handful of Saturday night bad decisions and regrets awaits! I've observed many walks of shame in my day. These quick-fix alcohol bombs are adored by chaos reckoned college-age kids around the country....
    Whiskey Cocktail Basics: the Old-Fashioned. History class… The Old-Fashioned claims roots dating back to the 1880’s in Louisville, Kentucky. The Pendennis Club, a new formed (and prestigious) gentleman’s club of the time, was a hangout for men to escape their wives and enjoy a few cold ones....
    The market for small batch bourbon is skyrocketing across the globe. As the craft market expands, this whiskey niche is adding new varieties at an accelerated rate. Lucky for us, it also signifies an opportunity to experience new distiller expressions. Challenge accepted! Before embarkment this...
    The 1970’s and 80’s were a tough dog fight for whiskey against vodka. Clear spirit popularity had risen and Team whiskey was spanked...bad! In these trying times, Distillers desperately sought creative angles to attract new business and return to glory. The Scots were the first to make headway....
    Russell’s Reserve 10 Year, Weller 12 Year, Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year. Just a small sample of well-aged bourbon that is sought (and enjoyed!) by many enthusiasts. Aging bourbon into double digit years was not always a common practice. Like any other commodity, production is a function of supply...
    America’s first bottled bourbon was Old Forester. The date? 1870. The main reason for bottling? Quality control. Although bottling certainly made the whiskey easier to transport (a 53-gallon barrel weighs over 500 pounds!). Back in the 1800’s, obtaining a good, quality bourbon was a crap...
    George Washington had a soft spot for whiskey. Aside from squashing the Whiskey Rebellion (and in doing so, became the only acting Presidential badass to lead a militia in field), he understood the Spirits’ kindred role in the community. It’s also noteworthy, all guilty parties involved in the...
    1920 was a difficult year for whiskey drinkers. This marked the beginning of 13 years of Prohibition in the U.S. During this period, the manufacturing, storage, transportation, sale, possession, and consumption of whiskey was deemed illegal. So, what do you when your favorite spirit is taken...
    Labor Day Weekend. One last bitter-sweet celebration to draw summer to close. In the spirit of the occasion, how about a simple whiskey concoction to accompany the extra day of leisure? The Highball. Recipe: A shot of whiskey. Sparkling water. Ice. That’s it! This is literally the world’s...
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    Brandon McCraney is a Whiskey Sommelier & Executive Bourbon Steward who's passion to dissect all things whiskey has lead to adventures throughout the country. His shenanigans and expertise includes tastings, food pairings, distillation, and bringing joy to the world one dram at a time. In 2019, Brandon will assume a role as Head Distiller at McCraney Distilling Co., a premium maker of hand-crafted artisan spirits sourced from local North Carolina grains.


    Brandon is a third generation military veteran and proud purveyor of outdated text books accumulated in the pursuit of degrees earned at North Carolina State University (Bachelor's), the University of Cincinnati (Master's) & Harvard University (Master's). In addition to exploring the world of whiskey, his time is spent enjoying life in Raleigh, NC with his wife, Nicole, their 3 kids, Sloane, Reese, and Jake, and english bulldog, Bruno Dunglebrush.


    Let's connect! Instagram & Facebook: @whiskeyraw

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