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U.S. whiskey distillers are fretting over the steep new tariffs they're facing around the world. They're being punished as U.S. trading partners retaliate against the Trump administration's tariffs on steel and aluminum. Now, the distillers fear that a long boom in U.S. whiskey exports could be coming to an end.

Kentucky bourbon has experienced a huge revival over the past decade — thanks in large part to U.S. trade initiatives that have opened up global markets, says Eric Gregory of the Kentucky Distillers' Association.

Will Tariffs Hurt the Bourbon Boom?

Jun 13, 2018

Today is “National Bourbon Day.” While fans of this uniquely American whiskey are sure to celebrate with a glass of their favorite brand, a dark cloud is gathering over the industry.

Bourbon, which can only be made in the United States under very specific rules, has skyrocketed in popularity in particular abroad. However, bourbon now finds itself entangled with politics surrounding international trade.

Don't Like Mint Juleps? This May Be Why

May 4, 2018

Editor's note: This story first appeared in May 2018. We're republishing it here with updates for the 2019 Derby on Saturday, May 4. 

If you're not a fan of the mint julep—an icy-minty-bourbon concoction popular around the Kentucky Derby—it's likely for good reason: you just haven't had a good one. 

Craft bourbon distillers have been growing for the past several years as drinkers rediscover heritage and new styles of brown liquor drinks. Some might call it a boom. But many distillers have seen the boom-and-bust cycle of liquor popularity before and are exploring ways to hedge their bets against another bust.

Andrew Buchanan walks through Hartfield & Co. Distillery, a small, relatively new operation located in a former seed storage warehouse in Paris, Ky.

Johnnie, meet Jane. In a play on signature top-hatted man on Johnnie Walker scotch whisky bottles, the company has introduced Jane, a "symbol to represent the fearless women taking steps on behalf of all."

Priced around $34, the special edition bottles will go on sale in March — just in time to for Women's History Month.

It's unclear whether or not Johnnie Walker executives believed women wouldn't buy their product unless they were represented on its packaging. In any event, Jane Walker isn't the first attempt to market seemingly gender-neutral products to women.

liquor store
Decatur Wine & Spirits / Wikimedia Commons

Rising sales of booze in the Buckeye State are leaving the state agency that oversees liquor thirsting for more operators.

A traditional drink is giving a boost to the economy of one of the poorest states in Mexico. It's called mezcal, a pungent booze made from the agave plant — the same plant used to make Mexico's biggest spirit export, tequila. Investors north of the border are taking notice of Mezcal's newfound popularity and are flocking to the southern state of Oaxaca, its main production hub.

Ernest Hemingway liked to get up early.

He did his best writing in the morning, standing in front of his typewriter, plucking the keys as fast as the words might come to him. This was fortunate, because by 11 a.m., the Havana heat began to creep into his rented room at the Hotel Ambos Mundos. He couldn't think in the swelter, much less write.