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Chart: A "Family Tree" Of American Whiskeys and Bourbons

Illustration for article titled Chart: A "Family Tree" Of American Whiskeys and Bourbons

You're probably aware that most popular beers come from just a few massive parent companies, but do you know who's making that delicious bourbon you're into? The chart above—an excerpt from Colin Spoelman and David Haskell's new book The Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining that they posted on GQ—breaks down the parent corporation, distillery, style/process, and aging of over 80 popular brands in one beautiful graphic.


As you can see, there are some weird bedfellows in the relatively small distilling community. Most depressingly, Bulleit Rye, Redemption Rye, Templeton Rye, and a variety of other rye whiskeys turn out to come from a single product, "LDI Whiskey," originally developed by Midwest Grain Products for Seagrams as a flavoring agent. When Seagrams went out of business in the '90s, the still-aging, rye-heavy product was sold off to several distilleries, where it has been bottled under a variety of different labels. As the authors put it: "If it is surprising that about half of the rye brands on liquor shelves today are made in a single, industrial facility, it is even more startling that many of these brands are so-called craft distilleries."

These guys know their shit; if you want to learn more you should go give the GQ post a read, and maybe buy their book.