Jim Beam and the Myth of Bourbon

Ian Crouch, writing for The New Yorker:

Bourbon seems like a sturdy marker of a freedom-loving American identity, but that narrative is mostly a pleasant fiction. The truth of the tale lies in mergers and holding companies and transnational distribution rights. George Jones never sang about any of that. The real story of the modern whiskey industry is less romantic but no less American. The country’s “native spirit,” as bourbon is often called, is one of capitalization and consolidation.

I somehow missed the news that Japanese whiskey-maker and beverage conglomerate Suntory is going to buy Jim Beam — for $16 billion.

Thursday, 16 January 2014