New York Whiskey History

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New York Whiskey History

Unread postby delaware_phoenix » Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:27 pm

As I mentioned in my little intro, I'm interested in hte history of whiskey distilling in New York. I didn't want to put this in the "Bourbon Lore" category since historically rye was the common whiskey (perhaps a presumption on my part!).

I'm thinking that this can be the thread where people can post information they find about New York whiskey distilling (the history).

To begin, I found a site on the History of Buffalo, NY. And some pages maintained by Peter Jablonski on the history of NY whiskey distilling and especially in Buffalo. Apparently by 1887 there were only 3 distilleries operating in NY; government taxation had forced many others to close. One way they did that was the distillery had to operate at least 80% of capacity, regardless of profit or not. Much of the info comes from an 1887 book History of Buffalo.

http://www.buffaloah.com/h/whiskey/index.html

E.N. Cook & Co was making Frontier Rye Whiskey, Rye Malt Gin and Pure Molasses Rum.
Charles Person's Sons (wholesalers) had a number of brands including Buffalo Club Rye Whiskey.
John F. Malone was one of the largest wholesalers, advertising Malone's XXXX Whiskey.
The plate showing the building of James F. Merritt, Wholesaler, clearly indicates Bourbon and Wheat whiskies, and what appears to be Monongahela Rye on their building advertising!

So pretty interesting to me at least. I'll post more as I find good info. Hopefully this won't trouble too many folks.
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Re: New York Whiskey History

Unread postby cowdery » Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:31 pm

I love this stuff. Keep it coming.
- Chuck Cowdery

Author of Bourbon, Straight
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Re: New York Whiskey History

Unread postby delaware_phoenix » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:09 pm

The Coopers International Union published the Coopers International Journal which listed companies that carried the union label on their barrels, whether those barrels held grain, soap, whiskey or rum. So from one of the Journals, about 1918 Volume 27, #5, (it's on Goggle books http://books.google.com/books?id=UdV8AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA555&lpg=PA555&dq=buffalo+distilling&source=bl&ots=FnRTlg59BH&sig=KUl1-OUosf_haLswJy00A6JJFbs&hl=en&ei=BDp7S-CpBcLflAeDz4iiDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAYQ6AEwADgK#v=onepage&q=buffalo%20distilling&f=false

In this list we can see two distilling companies in NY, a quite a few in PA, MD, and KY. Perhaps all these companies are well known to the historians here.

Freeport, PA — A. Guckenheiner & Bros "Guckenheimer Rye"
Butler County, PA — Pensylvania Distilling Co., "Montrose" and "Pennbrook"
Brownsville, Pa — Phillip Hamberger Co., "Bridgeport Pure Rye," "G. W. Jones Monongahela Rye," "Bridgeport Pure Malt."
New Albany, Ind. — I. Hoffer & Co. "Old Joel Jones".
Buffalo, NY — Erie Distilling Co. "Lafayette Special," "Private Stock," "Erie Club," "Harmarket Rye."
Buffalo, NY — Buffalo Distilling Co. "Golden Grain," "Silver Medal," "Polo Club," "Old Monongahela," "Old Night Cap" gin, "Old Colonial Rye Malt" gin, "Diamond" gin, "Old Tom" gin, "White Rose" gin, "Maple" gin.
Owensboro, Ky — Eagle Distilling Co., "Eagle Whiskey," "T. J. Monarch," "Old Joe Daviess," "Imperial," "Hazelwood," "Monteagle," "Woodcock," "Beaver Run," "Rose Wood."
Owensboro, Ky — Green River Distilling Co., "Green River Whiskey."
Highlandtown, Md. — Cecil Distilling Co.
Highlandtown, Md. — Maryland Distilling Co.
Pikesville, Md. — Pikesville Distilling Co.
Carroll County, Md. — A. McGinnis & Co.
Baltimore, Md. — Calvert Distilling Co.
Harrisburg, Pa. — Highspire Distilling Co.
Lexington, Ky. — James Pepper Distilling Co.
Agnews, Cal. — The Western Distilling Co. "Purity."
Gibsonton, Pa. — Estate of Joseph P. Sinnott, all whiskies branded "Gibson's."
Louisville, Ky. — Jesse Moore Hunt Co. "Jesse Moore," "AA," "West Point," "Bedford."
Louisville, Ky. — Phil Hollenback & Co. "Fortuna."
Louisville, Ky. — Glencoe Distilling Co. "Glencoe."
Louisville, Ky. — R. E. Wathen Distilling Co. "R. E. Wathern."

There's a section on rectifiers of whiskey and wholesalers using union barrels as well.

The two NY distilleries, Erie Distilling Co and Buffalo Distilling Co, there's a little bit of info at this site (sorry for their ads) Seems to be a collectors site, but does list street addresses of the businesses and years of operation. Nice photos of old jugs, promotional shot glasses and the like.

These businesses operated about 1893 until Prohibition (or just before).

Erie Distilling Co (1897-1918)
http://www.pre-pro.com/midacore/view_glass.php?sid=RRP1494

Buffalo Distilling (1895-1918)
http://www.pre-pro.com/midacore/view_vendor.php?vid=BUF10988

EN Cook (1879-1893)
http://www.pre-pro.com/midacore/view_vendor.php?vid=BUF11009

E.N. Cook was co-owned with a Mr. Gustav Fleischmann. A biography can be found of him in the "Men of New York" 1898, which I'll link below. But the key points of interest are:

• came to America from Vienna Austria at age 16 (1866)
• at 19, in 1869 he went to Cincinnati to work with his brothers Maximilan and Charles where he learned the skills of distilling and yeast manufacture
• in 1877 he moved to Buffalo to set up distilling on his own, where he worked with E. N. Cook
• in 1893 he bought out Mr. Cook, and the business became Buffalo Distilling Co.
• he was also president of Meadville (PA) Distilling Co, and Frontier Elevating Co. of Buffalo.

And yes, Maximilian and Charles founded Flieschmann's Yeast.

http://www.archive.org/stream/menofnewyorkcoll03matt/menofnewyorkcoll03matt_djvu.txt

Hopefully some of this is new info. Sorry for any duplication.
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Re: New York Whiskey History

Unread postby delaware_phoenix » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:55 pm

The Publications of the Buffalo Historical Society, Volume 5 By Buffalo Historical Society (Buffalo, N.Y.), available on G**gle) at http://books.google.com/books?id=pBs8AAAAIAAJ has a couple references to Monongahela whiskey.

There's also a good section on the Whiskey rebellion. And a discussion of common hospitalities:

* women would serve their guests whiskey made palatable with sugar, milk and spices;
* among laborers the bottle was passed around;
* there was always a kind-hearted man that ensured the little boys weren't forgotten. :lol:

A good amount about the hard and difficult life in these areas in the late 1790's and early 1800's.
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Re: New York Whiskey History

Unread postby delaware_phoenix » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:21 pm

Here's a link to the Rochester Directory Volume 35 (1884) listing P.F. Rauber & Bro. as Distillers, Rectifiers, and Importers, including Old Bourbon and Monongahela whiskey, Brunswick Rye (a specialty). A couple other wholesalers are listed as well: Fee Bros. which sold Pennsylvania whiskey and Kentucky Bourbon.

http://books.google.com/books?id=QWEDAA ... ey&f=false
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Re: New York Whiskey History

Unread postby delaware_phoenix » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:54 pm

A friend mentioned that he'd found a little pamphlet on the history of Walton, and that it mentioned three distilleries. A little bit of searching and I found "The Centennial History of Delaware County, New York 1797-1897".

http://www.dcnyhistory.org/books/murray ... tml#walton

The three distilleries here were all gone by 1830. And interestingly it mentions the product of rye and wheat (not together but I think referring to rye whiskey and wheat whiskey). The three distilleries mentioned and their owners were:

1795 John Eells
1796-1797 Fletcher Gardiner (on East Brook)
1798 Selick St. John (further up on East Brook)

There's another book that describes the locations of these distilleries based on the current (1897) property owners. This might be useful info for historical research.

The town of Meredith, NY also had three distilleries and a brewery.

The town of Sidney had a whiskey distillery operated by a name named Stevens (who also had a gristmill on the Ouleout). This must have been quite early.

The other book is "The History of Delaware County 1797-1880" by W.W. Munsell. Andes had a distillery about 1823. There's quite a description of the distilleries in the town of Franklin. The first was in 1810, and later by 1820's much whiskey was being sent my raft to Philadelphia. In the village of Croton (now called Treadwell, after the early innkeeper) there was a distillery nearby (but this isn't described).

Munsell says of the Walton distilleries


If distilleries can properly be called "industries" they need to be mentioned here. Indeed, they resulted in great industry, for Delaware county produced nineteen thousand gallons of whiskey in the year 1810, and none of it went out of the county. As early as 1795 John Eells established a distillery on the hill where John Smith resides; later, Fletcher Gardner erected one further up, on East brook; and about 1819 Sellick St. John instituted the third and last on East brook, where John H. Nichols resides; all these were discontinued before 1830.
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Re: New York Whiskey History

Unread postby SheepishLion » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:38 pm

As a craft distiller in Western New York and as a fan of Rye whiskey in general I don't know how it took me so long to find this site and this thread. Super excited to see other enthusiasts out there!

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Re: New York Whiskey History

Unread postby Vital » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:55 pm

If you are local I highly recomend visiting Tuthilltown's distillery for some modern ny whiskey history. Thats the company that makes Hudson Bourbon Whiskey.
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