Thursday, September 15, 2011

National Bourbon Heritage Month!

When you're really into something and you have a blog, it's really your job to share it with others.  Well, I failed on that this month.  If you've read this blog or met me in person, you know that I am a proud bourbon drinker.  That's why it's disappointing that it's taken me 14 days to let you know that this is National Bourbon Heritage Month.

Well, I'll attempt to make up for it with some new knowledge for ya...

National Bourbon Heritage Month is a relatively new observance.  It started in 2007 as a way to celebrate bourbon as a distinct product of the United States of America.  Man, I feel proud just typing that.  The Kentucky Bourbon Festival is a week long celebration held in September in Bardstown, Kentucky.  I've yet to attend though plans have been drafted a few times.  It's on my bucket list right next to attending the Kentucky Derby.

Bourbon (and whiskey in general) holds a significant space in the history of the United States of America.  It survived discrimination, religious persecution, and Prohibiton.  One man, a judge, professor, and Mississippi state legislator named Noah S. "Soggy" Sweat Jr., was asked to take a side on whether or not the state should continue to prohibit or finally legalize the sale of alcoholic beverages.  His speech is a classic, one of epic grandeur and political doubletalk.  It is one of my favorite moments in whiskey history and one of my favorite speeches.  Happy National Bourbon Heritage Month.  Enjoy! 

"My friends,

I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time.

However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy.

On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be.

You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, here is how I feel about whiskey.

If when you say whiskey you mean

the devil's brew
the poison scourge
the bloody monster
that defiles innocence
dethrones reason
destroys the home
creates misery and poverty
yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children...

If you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman
from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living
into the bottomless pit of degradation
and despair
and shame
and helplessness
and hopelessness

then certainly I am against it.


If when you say whiskey you mean
the oil of conversation
the philosophic wine
the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together
that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips
and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes
if you mean Christmas cheer
if you mean the stimulating drink
that puts the spring in the old gentleman's step on a frosty, crispy morning
if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy
and his happiness
and to forget, if only for a little while, life's great tragedies,
and heartaches
and sorrows

if you mean that drink
the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars
which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children
our blind
our deaf
our dumb
our pitiful aged and infirm
to build highways
and hospitals
and schools

then certainly I am for it.

This is my stand.

I will not retreat from it.

I will not compromise."

1 comment:

Trina said...

Wow! That is a speech. I'm going to share this with my friend /Miami Drink writer Chuck Ferrin. He will love it. I'm really excited about Ken Burns's Prohibition series starting this weekend. I'm a total documentary nerd and this one will hopefully live up to my excitement.