At a time when obscure new whiskeys are appearing on cocktail menus, it's hard to imagine the American whiskey industry was ever under threat. For starters, the grain-based spirit is as American as apple pie. In fact, George Washington's Mount Vernon estate was once the site of the country's largest distillery.
But despite its noble foundations, America's whiskey industry suffered repeated setbacks. The Prohibitionl, the hardships of World War II, and competition from the almighty vodka. Collectors Weekly spoke with Noah Rothbaum, who chronicled the whiskey industry's bumpy past in his new book, The Art of American Whiskey.