NYWC: Whiskey Wise / by VOCAL

Whiskey Wise

Like taking candy from a baby, Prohibition in the US caused a popular tantrum that resulted in an era of decadence and disregard that still captures the public imagination. The New York Whiskey Club presents Cutty Sark “Prohibition Edition”.


The excise tax on alcohol was such a significant contributor to the US economy that it seemed the pietistic efforts of the teetotaling Anti-Saloon League would remain in vain. However, the introduction of a nationwide income tax dissolved this dependence and paved the way for over a decade of merriment and mayhem.

The National Prohibition Act, also known as the Volstead Act, was passed into law in 1920 outlawing the manufacture, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages. As actual consumption was never illegal, the subsequent untaxed and inflated alcohol prices motivated immense investment in the party scene, giving rise to an era of celebration that appears in hindsight as a decadent public bender.

Indulging their love booze with such unanimous disregard for the law, the people reinforced the inevitable failure of Prohibition. Reinstated with their right to intoxicate, Prohibition ended in 1933, remaining to this day the only Amendment to the United States Constitution to have ever been repealed.

Cutty Sark celebrates this public victory by honoring one of Prohibition’s most notorious smugglers, Captain William S. McCoy. Cutty Sark “Prohibition Edition” is a handcrafted, small batch Scotch blended from top quality grain and single malt whiskies. Matured in American oak casks and non‐chill filtered, this 100 proof whiskey gives a super smooth finish with lingering warmth and subtle hints of spice.

The next New York Whiskey Club event is to be held at the MAN show during Men's Market Week NYC from January 21-23, 2014, spotlighting this rare and refined Cutty Sark “Prohibition Edition” whiskey.


Product Fact:

When most Prohibition alcohols were diluted to maximize profit, Captain William S. McCoy earned his honorable reputation as a rumrunner through consistently selling his merchandise unadulterated. This gave popular contemporary reference to the historical idiom “The real McCoy”, signifying something as being the genuine article.


Whiskey Tip:

Given the limited availability of ice during Prohibition years, whiskey was often drunk neat (without ice). Neat whiskey is best appreciated from a tulip-shaped glass, allowing the spirit to be appropriately agitated and capturing the aromas for nosing.


Drop Prohibition knowledge instead of ice into your Cutty Sark “Prohibition Edition”:

The earliest records of prohibition of alcohol date back to the Xia Dynasty (ca. 2070 BC–ca. 1600 BC) in China.

To conserve grains for the war effort, the Wartime Prohibition Act was introduced as a precursor to the Volstead Act on June 30, 1919, with July 1, 1919, becoming known as the "Thirsty-First".

A “speakeasy” is an establishment that illegally sells alcoholic beverages, originating from the need to speak of them quietly, and to be quiet within should the police be alerted. Also known as a “blind pig” or “blind tiger”.

Although homebrewing wine and cider from fruits remained unaffected by Prohibition, beer was prohibited. Al Capone’s empire was built largely on the sale and distribution of beer, earning his organization up to $60 million per year (somewhere in the ballpark of $600 million today).

The phrase "The real McCoy" is a corruption of the Scots "The real MacKay", first recorded in 1856 as: "A drappie o' the real MacKay," (A drop of the real MacKay). This appeared in a poem Deil's Hallowe'en published in Glasgow and is widely accepted as the phrase's origin.