Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Does Bourbon�s Shadow Threaten Its Future?


Baudoinia compniacensis covers an aging warehouse in Cognac.

It looks like a shadow and is casting a pall over the otherwise brilliant revival of American whiskey in the 21st century.

Tourists find it an amusing curiosity. Producers decline to talk about it. Distillery neighbors call it a nuisance and worse. There have been government actions and civil lawsuits.

Nobody knows what to do about it.

�It� is baudoinia compniacensis, more commonly called the �whiskey fungus.� It looks like dirt. The black mold can be found clinging to the outer walls of whiskey warehouses in Kentucky, Tennessee, Canada, Scotland, Ireland, Japan, etc. It was first observed in France, in Cognac, more than 150 years ago.

Cognac wears it proudly as an ensign of prosperity. In other places it is less esteemed.

In the new issue of The Bourbon Country Reader (and the next one), we take a deep dive into all things baudoinia, the history of its discovery, the current state of scientific knowledge, and how it may be affecting the ability of American whiskey-makers and other spirits producers to take full advantage of the recent, ongoing spectacular growth in the popularity of spirits, especially American whiskey.

Baudoinia is a potential threat to all producers of barrel-aged spirits, from the largest to the smallest.

Although there is no evidence that baudoinia is a health threat, and a great deal of evidence that it is not, these days it takes more than facts to keep people from claiming all sorts of dangers.

Current Reader subscribers should receive their copies of the new issue in the next few days. New subscribers can get on the bandwagon by clicking here.

Founded in 1994, The Bourbon Country Reader is the oldest publication devoted entirely to American whiskey. It is a charming mix of news, history, analysis, and product reviews. Do you worry that advertising spending influences coverage in other publications? No chance of that here since The Bourbon Country Reader is 100 percent reader-supported. It accepts no advertising.

To experience The Bourbon Country Reader for yourself, you need to subscribe. Honoring history, The Bourbon Country Reader still comes to you exclusively on paper, in an envelope, via the USPS.

A subscription to The Bourbon Country Reader is still just $20 per year for addresses in the USA, $25 for everyone else. The Bourbon Country Reader is published six times a year, more-or-less, but your subscription always includes six issues no matter how long it takes.

Click here to subscribe with PayPal or any major credit card, or for more information. Click here for a free sample issue (in PDF format). Click here to open or download the free PDF document, "The Bourbon Country Reader Issue Contents in Chronological Order." (It's like an index.)

If you want to catch up on what you've missed, bound back issue volumes are available for $20 each, or three for $50. Each volume contains six issues. That's here too.

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Go ahead and subscribe. It's fungus!

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