The Daily Parker

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Good ol' Indiana spirit

Chances are, that bourbon you're drinking came from an industrial distillery in southern Indiana:

In just the last 10 years, the number of craft distilleries in this country has ballooned from around 100 to more than 1,400. That growth is a product of consumer demand, but it’s also due to the easing of state distillation laws and the availability of sourced whiskey from suppliers like MGP in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

Templeton Rye — marketed as Al Capone’s favorite whiskey and proud product of Templeton, Iowa — is also distilled by MGP. Tincup Whiskey, a self-described “mountain whiskey” replete with commercials conjuring a frontiersman image and Rocky Mountain ethos, is mostly MGP, too.

Those brands aren’t alone in their Indiana provenance. Even super-premium brands like High West and Whistle Pig have sourced from MGP at some point in their respective histories. And the list goes on.

MGP isn’t a household name in bourbon, but it’s well known among industry insiders and connoisseurs. With distilling operations headquartered in the old Seagram’s Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, MGP is one of the largest whiskey sourcers in the industry.

So why do so few people know MGP’s name?

For one, it maintains strict confidentiality agreements with all of its customers; the purchasing brand only has to reveal MGP as its source if it wants to — an option many decline.

In addition, labeling regulations only require that the bottler list in which state the liquid was distilled — easily done in tiny print on the back of the bottle.

This is why I've got Trader Joe's $15 "Kentucky Bourbon" at home instead of $60 Whistle Pig. It's the same whiskey.

Single-malt Scotch, on the other hand, is by UK law exactly what it says on the bottle.

Comments (2) -

  • David Harper

    6/12/2018 6:58:38 PM +00:00 |

    The one bottle of bourbon in my cupboard is Woodford Reserve, from the distillery of that name in Versailles, Kentucky.  And it's a very smooth bourbon, too.  I recommend it if you haven't tried it.  The other bottles are all Islay single malts.  We'll see whether "Scotch whisky" retains its status as a protected designation if post-Brexit Britain caves in to pressure from American lobbyists.

  • The Daily Parker

    6/12/2018 7:59:15 PM +00:00 |

    Woodford distills their own whiskey these days, but that wasn't always the case. And that is a stellar bourbon. I don't have any of that right now, but I *do* have a Lagavulin 16 and Distiller's Edition 2001, the Ardbeg An Oa, and (though not Islay, but from the island of my ancestors) a Talisker 10.

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