How Andrew Jackson’s favorite tipple led to him running his own distillery

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Despite losing all of his equipment, including the stills and barrels, as well as the 300 gallons of precious whiskey, Andrew Jackson was still required to pay taxes on the whiskey he had produced (the same unpopular tax that led to the Whiskey Rebellion). True to his infamous stubbornness and short temper, Jackson immediately lodged an appeal with the U.S. House of Representatives, decrying the tax as “drawing money from the misfortunes” of U.S. citizens.

His petition was rejected by Congress and, predictably, made him furious. While purely speculative, some historians believe that this incident could have been one of the driving factors that ultimately propelled him into politics. It’s a path that paid off handsomely for Jackson in the annals of history. Two decades after he sent the petition, he won the 1828 election and became the seventh president of the United States.

Today, beyond scattered records of his fondness for whiskey and his brief-but-eventful foray into the spirit-making business, if you’re lucky, you can find some bottlings that pay homage to Jackson on the shelves. Old Hickory Bourbon, for instance, takes its name from his famous nickname. While the bourbon itself has no direct connection to Jackson (it’s distilled wholesale in Indiana instead of in Jackson’s Tennesseean home), if you’re a history buff and whiskey connoisseur in one, it’s not a bad dram to sip while reading into memoirs or autobiographies about the man!

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