The Historic Roots Of American Whiskey


When you think of Palmetto Distillery, your mouth likely starts watering. The distinctive aroma and flavor of our amber-gold elixir conjure up images of good times with family and friends in celebration. As you pour your next glass of our delicious, one-of-a-kind whiskey experience, do you wonder how whiskey came to be, and what role our pioneering ancestors played in the development of the beverage that we know and love today?

Read on to explore the historic roots of American whiskey, and what we can look forward to as distillation methods and practices continue to improve and evolve:

Chapter One: Origins Of Whiskey

As much as we'd like to take credit for its inception, whiskey production actually has its roots in Medieval monasteries in Ireland and Scotland--who knew that those monks could drink?

The original prototype developed in this part of the world is dramatically different than what we know to be whiskey today, and we like to think that we have put our own unique twist and trademark on American whiskey.

As this beginning form of whiskey made it from Europe to the American colonies, it was a raw, unaged kick in the pants that spurred many early pioneers on to discovery and overcoming difficult obstacles to survive in a foreign land. Over its 300-year adolescent period, it evolved much as our country did. Whiskey was present during the first rally of federal troops by General George Washington, it traveled in mason jars with the early pioneers who moved westward and carved out new civilizations, and it was a significant character in the drama that was Prohibition. Whiskey has been an integral part of every historical event that this nation has seen since its inception, and its presence in our evolution has significantly impacted us. Those early innovators of “spiritual” development were an integral part of creating spirits when their own reserves ran dry, and we are eternally grateful for their process of experimentation and discovery that led to America’s signature beverage.

Chapter Two: Citizen Innovation

Spirits and other favored beverages did come over from the motherland but reserves quickly ran dry with the pressures of colonizing and creating our future America. Parched settlers searched for plants, grains, and other materials that could work in fermenting other beverages; although beer and wine were also flowing in abundance, grains native to the land were gathered and mashed, fermented and distilled with the first crude distillation methods to produce what would eventually be whiskey.

In these formative times, necessity really was the mother of invention. As the production and consumption of alcohol increased, a small but powerful portion of the New World population attempted to crack down on its abuse in the country. With the era of Prohibition driving both production and consumption underground, many grain farmers built crude distillers and kept them on their own property. Somehow this turned into a competition among distillers to create and run the best bootleg across the country.

Several prominent names rose to the top of the barrel at this time, making a name for themselves in the distilling industry and continuing to shape and craft whiskey into its recognizable form that we have today. Some of these notable characters include:

Abraham Overholt--(The Old Overhold Distillery, Pennsylvania)

J.W. Dant--(Yellowstone and Dant Distillery, Kentucky)

David Beam--(Predecessor to Jim Beam at the Old Tub Distillery, Kentucky)

Doc Boggs--(Predecessor to Trey and Bryan Boggs, Palmetto Distillery)

These brave pioneers, along with many others, help to craft and shape whiskey production in this country and bring unique flavors and distillation methods to the peak of perfection, allowing us to embrace and consume the best that American whiskey history has to offer.

Palmetto: Proud To Be A Part Of It All!

Since its inception in 2014, Palmetto pioneers Trey and Bryan Boggs have integrated their historic connections to whiskey and a driving passion that fuels their commitment to taste and excellence like no other distillery. The result? Award-winning whiskey and flavors of moonshine that are lip-smackin’ good! Celebrate the unique history of whiskey, moonshine, and all things distilled by ordering up some truly unique beverages that will liven up any occasion. Place your order today; visit www.palmettodistillery.com for more information.