April 16, 2002 08:00 PM
Washington, DC – The Distilled Spirits Council (DSC)and National Geographic Society organized a successful evening dedicated to the history of distilled spirits in this country for more than 300 attendees at National Geographic headquarters Tuesday. The filled-to-capacity event featured discussions by the Mount Vernon historian on George Washington’s role as a distiller and renowned Master Distillers on the history of Bourbon and rum. The evening ended with a tasting of some of the finest Bourbons, whiskies and rums available today. “The distilled spirits industry is spreading the word about George Washington’s role as a successful distiller and the prominent role the industry has played throughout the history of our country,” said Dr. Peter Cressy, President and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council. “Partnering with prestigious organizations such as National Geographic Society help us share the industry’s heritage with a wider audience.” The event began with Dennis Pogue, associate director for preservation at Mount Vernon, discussing George Washington’s successful career as a distiller and the current archeological excavation project underway at Mount Vernon to restore Washington’s historic distillery. The distilled spirits industry has donated more than $1.2 million for the five-year restoration project. Bill Samuels, Master Distiller of Maker’s Mark Bourbon, and Fred Noe, Master Distiller of Jim Beam Brands, presented a lively history lesson on America’s native spirit -- Bourbon, and other whiskies. Both Samuels and Noe have generations of distillers in their respective Bourbon families and attendees were treated to their unparalleled firsthand knowledge of the history of this great American industry. Following the presentations, Master Distillers including Jimmy Russell (Wild Turkey), Chris Morris (Brown-Forman) and Gary Nelthropp (Todhunter) led attendees through a tasting of the finest Bourbons, whiskies and rums in the United States. Also, Thursday at the National Press Club, the DSC will begin sponsoring a series of category histories and tastings events, focusing first on American Bourbons.

"Spirits of America" featured speakers Dennis Pogue, Mount Vernon Historian, and Fred Noe, Jim Beam Master Distiller

“Spirit of America" attendees enjoy the fine spirits during the tasting portion of the event
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