Whisky has had many uses over the years, from currency to medicine. What wasn’t so great, however, was the lack of rules and consistency. Sometimes you could find iodine, tobacco spit, and even rattlesnake heads in your whisky because there were no rules against it!
Thankfully there were enough complaints that pioneers in the bourbon industry started to do something about it. Some went after the legal aspects of making whisky safer for consumers, but George Garvin Brown decided to go another direction. Brown was a pharmaceutical salesman who constantly heard complaints about quality from doctors. He started a company with his half brother and began bottling Old Forester in sealed bottles with his signature on them.
Nearly 30 years later the Bottled in Bond Act passed, and it was followed by even more legal rulings and legislation aimed at making whisky safer for consumers. But George Garvin Brown was one of the trailblazers bringing bourbon into the modern era. Learn more about bourbon without rules from this infographic!