essay .................... Every Ounce a Man's Whiskey? Bourbon in the White Masculine South by Seán S. McKeithan It is about the aesthetic of Bourbon drinking in general and in particular of knocking it back neat . . . The joy of Bourbon drinking is not the pharmacological effect of C2H5OH on the cortex but rather the instant of the whiskey being knocked back and the little explosion of Kentucky U.S.A. sunshine in the cavity of the nasopharynx and the hot bosky bite of Tennessee summertime. --Walker Percy, "Bourbon" 1 Kentucky farmers ate their corn, drank their corn, and fed it to their animals. They also quickly learned that the fastest way to turn their excess harvest into extra cash was to distill it, and the rotgut corn whiskey of yore slowly evolved into the smooth stuff we know today as Bourbon. Courtesy of the Collections of the Library of Congress. n a 1975 essay bluntly and beautifully titled "Bourbon," Walker Percy asserts that "The pleasure of knocking back Bourbon lies in the plane of the aesthetic but at an opposite pole from connoisseurship." For Percy, it is Bourbon's aesthetic condition rather than its chemical composition that makes the
Southern Cultures – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Feb 5, 2012
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