TS: Mrs. Farnsley, could you tell us about the origin of Rebel Yell, and theorigin of the business?
NF: Well, Charley concocted it in about 1937, and his uncle owned W. L. Weller,on Main Street, at that time, with the Stitzler-Weller people, and they bottled it for him, and the label, which was perfectly beautiful--it was made at Caxton Printing Company--it was just marvelous and he did that through the Doe Anderson Advertising Agency, and Charley, of course, named it, and it was 86.8 proof and a delicious, really a delightful whisky. He didn't bottle a great deal of it, and several years later, four or five years later he sold the brand to the 1:00Southern Comfort people, and they never used it. And the-
TS: Did you have a feeling why they never used it?
NF: I don't know. But years later, Julian Van Winkle, he was at ??? at PennState, and young Julian at that time came over to him and said, "Charley, are you gonna use the name Rebel Yell?" And Charley said, "Well it wouldn't be proper since I sold it." And he said, "Well if you don't pick it up we're thinking of picking it up." And Charley said, "Well, that's fine." It would have 2:00been legal, but wasn't the spirit of the law for him to. So that's the way they had it, and I felt a little badly because they added--the beautiful label--they added the figure that looked to me a little like an Arab instead of a Confederate. Well, it was still a good looking label. It wasn't quite as attractive, but they kept the 86.8 proof and they had- ah- they used, I'm sure, Old Fitzgerald in it, and cut the proof. Charley would like to have used 40 or 60--I mean a much lower proof, but you get it down there and you can't call it 3:00whisky. His theory's always been that the old time whiskeys were, some of them 20, 40, 60 - They, uh-
TS: You're the first person to mention to me a whiskey of 20 proof.
NF: The distilleries out on the plantations- uh, there was a wide range, andthen the barrels that they sent, that were left over, to be sold they cut it. The first people would bring their own containers, and they'd cut it so that drinks were not as strong, and it wasn't until prohibition, or whenever that Cleveland administration when they insisted on the high proof, which was medicinal whiskey. It was the basis that they would take to cut. Nobody ever 4:00expected people to drink whiskey that strong. So that was- Charley got it as low as he could and he was much criticized, and it was very- the industry was pretty excited at the time. I think he was in the legislature- well he was in the '38 legislature and I guess the '40, and there was great excitement over that proof.
TS: Do you recall some examples of what a man said?
NF: I don't know what it had to do, or whether it just happened in Frankfortbecause we were up there, and that was the stage, for instance. Or if there was some law being considered about whiskey at that time, in '38 or '40. I know he was in the '38 legislature and he would have been there--he was in the '36 and '38--but he would have been there in '40, perhaps as a lobbyist. Maybe then he 5:00was working for H. F. Wilkie. And I don't remember exactly why, but the distillers didn't want anybody changing their- you know, they were selling what they were selling and they didn't want it monkeyed with. And this was, it was Scotch proof, really, what the 86.8 was, and I just don't remember whether he was- They were a little upset with him.
TS: That's interesting also because in the mid-thirties there was a lot ofblending of whiskeys because many companies were short on good stock because a big deal had come somewhat unexpectedly rather quickly.
NF: Well, Charley's Uncle Alec, I mean they- I think that's the way they gotstarted. And here again I'm on shaky ground, because I don't- W. L. Weller, that's the way Alex Farnsley and Stitzel got into business. They were two 6:00salesmen for--whiskey salesmen--and blenders were kind of ??? I think.
TS: They're called a rectifier.
NF: Rectifiers, right.
TS: It was a nasty word-
NF: The straight whiskey boys didn't want the rectifiers in their- Then, UncleAlec, I guess Uncle Alec and Stitzel sold that W. L. Weller to Dant.
TS: J. W. Dant?
NF: Yeah. And that's where Charley did his- made his- concocted his Lost Cause,which was a dead ringer for Scotch--its that wonderful Scotch, its a beautiful Scotch, and it was owned by Schenley, I think, and when Charley gave the man 7:00that ran Schenley, name Rose something-
TS: Rosenstiel? L. Rosenstiel?
NF: Rosenstiel. Charley gave him a case and the next time Rosenstiel called upDant and said, "What's going on? They're all down there in Kentucky." They'd just paid seventeen million dollars for this Scotch- What's the name of that? - terrible- and here, it was being made down here on Main Street. It was better than that.
TS: (Laughing) That's delightful.
NF: Charley never again was able to get a really decent bottling of it. Theydidn't want, you know, a copy of it. It wasn't a copy, but it was absolutely 8:00delicious. And that too was low proof. And then Charley wanted, he always wanted to do 60 or 40, but you couldn't according to the law without making it too sweet or- he didn't want to do ???. He thought it would be nice if people could drink through an evening and not get drunk. It's a pleasant thing to do, to enjoy talking to people and have a little nip and it's no fun to get drunk. So this was always the- And people used to do that. I mean, sure, there were people that could go out and get it strong if they wanted it. But it was much more sociable thing, and the origin of the distilleries on the farm, those records 9:00really would be fabulous to find. And this man who used to be in that department--Charlie Hines will know--before something happens to that man somebody ought to get a look at those records. Because you see, I think they had to register the distillery. I'm not positive of that, and this is what those records are.
TS: I would presume they'd have to register them with the state.
NF: That's what the records- That's why they were there. And so-
TS: You know, you have to register as a corporation.
NF: Well, in those days--this would have been the early Nineteenth Century--soin those days, whatever they had to do, this man has the records for whatever period it was, but It was before you would have to be incorporated, I think. But 10:00other than that there's not uh- of course Charley had a lot of brands that he never had used. And there's the wonderful story about the label, the beautiful labels, all sorts of different ones, that this wonderful man at Caxton had designed. But then there's the story about Damn Yankee, which you undoubtedly have heard-
TS: No, I haven't heard that one yet.
NF: Well, Charley- All of that stuff you have to go through a registry of thenames and Charley had a brandy called Damn Yankee and he sent it up there to be registered. And they wrote across it "Bad Taste." So Charley had a label made "Old Bad Taste." But he never did have any Old Bad Taste produced. And then he 11:00had Carpet Baggers, ???, and Old State House, and he had a whole lot of perfectly wonderful names that never got to the-
TS: And all of these would have been low proof, right?
NF: As low as he could get it legally. And then the Jolly Farnsley whiskey thathe did. He wanted to do it--that I think was 80 proof- I'm not certain, don't even remember--but he wanted to do one that was 40--I think you could get it down below 50 and still call it whiskey, I'm not sure--anyway hapline or Hubline, I don't know how to say it-
TS: HeublineNF: I believe now they're trying to get it legal to have also makewhiskey that is below 50 proof. It would be a great- because it tastes so good, and you still have that wonderful bourbon flavor. But, that's such a hassle to struggle with- Bourbon's such a wonderful drink--at least I think so. I know 12:00some people don't, but I like the smell of it, and I like the taste of it.
TS: I can't understand the vodka craze myself.
NF: Well, I think it's a question of what you want. If you want the feeling- Butwhen I was little, tiny, I had croup, and they'd mix sugar and whiskey, good bourbon, and lard--sounds perfectly awful now--but this, I can remember it, I was just--I guess I was two or under--and I can remember those wonderful smells of the bourbon, and the taste with the sugar, and it was good whiskey- 13:00
TS: What was the function of the lard?
NF: Well it soothed, you see the croup is- many of the children were- if youever had croup, but it's a very- and this would sooth it and then of course there's be the little band shirts with Vicks the salve on 'em that would get put on your chest. And later on croup kettles came into- But it was very effective, it would quiet that coughing down.
TS: My little boy, when he was about two, was- had a terrible cold, terriblecough, and we gave him the usual medicines that we had given him before, prescription medicines that had worked real well. I recall my neighbor saying to give him some bourbon with some honey and some lemon. I don't know- I'm not a 14:00Kentuckian by background, I don't know if that's a Kentucky- or what. But, I must say, the next day he was fine.
NF: Well, it's magic. It's a wonderful thing. And I did acquire a love for thetaste and smell of it. And my Grandfather used to come--this was in Fredericksburg, I was just crazy 'bout him--and he'd come home in the afternoon and I would just run and jump up and grab him around the neck, and he never drank very much but the way he drank was to go to his desk, when he got home, and pour out a jigger and drink it just like that. Well, that wonderful smell, you know, there it was. That was a long time ago, 1917 or 18. Old fashioned way 15:00of drinking, one of 'em.TS: Do you know of any anecdotal stories regarding the Twenties that you picked up in the family? I realize you were not ???
NF: No, I don't. We always had bourbon, we very rarely had Scotch in the house.And my Father always, like his Father, he didn't drink it just straight but maybe he'd have a drink every day, or every other day, or once a week, but he always had bourbon there and- I don't remember anything about the Twenties that- there were lots of, our generation, we were growing up in the Twenties and 16:00certainly the young men drank a good deal. But they didn't drink like people do now, it was a whole different world, and the girls didn't drink. And the boys were just like young people, they were experimenting, drinking, and some of them drank a good deal, but not at the party itself. I guess they carried it with them.
TS: You rarely saw women drinking bourbon.
NF: Oh, very rarely. I don't think Mother or her friends- maybe they took adrink, but Mother had dinner parties and I don't remember their drinking, not having a bar in the house like you have now. But Mother and Daddy certainly 17:00didn't disapprove. One thing I hadn't realized until the- The Wilkies did so much for the University and H. F. Wilkie did many things to help, and distillers were--it was a hangover from a long time ago--distillers were a little bit looked down upon by some of the ladies. Now Charley's Mother, for instance, wouldn't let Judge Farnsley go into business with his brother because it wasn't the right kind of--I mean she was very Victorian--it was not a business to be in. So 's little feeling about people of that vintage--Chaley's Mother was much older than my family, and his Father--and he- among some people.
TS: And among certain denominations it was very strong I understand.18:00
NF: Charley's Mother, it wasn't church, it was responsible for drunkards, Isuppose, was her thinking. I'm not sure, she didn't express it very much, but it was sort of a- And I think that distillers, to some extent, at least Wilkie, felt a little bit shy of- a little bit shy about it. Now I didn't ever hear I mean in Louisville, you know distillers were just great, I mean they've done in the midst of Louisville society for ages, and H. F. being from away they may have had a little different feeling about it. 19:00
TS: Well, obviously some of the senior members of the Brown family, going backto the early 1900s, also had, I think, what you're expressing, a certain reservation or shyness toward the industry. Not that they opposed it, but they believed very strongly in moderation, that it was difficult to advocate moderation at a time when they were under literally constant attack.
NF: Yes- They were-
TS: And of course in the Brown family some of them switched from localPresbyterian churches here in its ??? in order to get away from some of the oppression.
NF: Well, that's what- H. F. Wilkie, for instance, began to come to our church20:00but it was a certain shyness in- H .F.'s wife said, "Well is it really all right?" I mean they felt- "Is it really all right for us to come?" Our church was, is an Episcopal church, and they did wonderful things for the Sunday School and they were just marvelous, but they needed to be invited. They didn't just appear. ??? They wanted to come but it was-
TS: Was that Christ Church downtown?
NF: No, that was Calvary.
NF: And they- It seems so amazing to me, but I think if you live in the sametown all your life--for instance, my Father and Owsley Brown, the Father, the Grandfather, were at the University of Virginia together and they always knew each other and friends of Mother and Daddy's--but if you live in a town you don't ever think about these things, you know. If you come to a new town then there- it's a different ball game and people feel their way a little bit with these things.
TS: Were the women members of the families of the 1930s of the distillers, were21:00they also reluctant to have some bourbon, or? What happened at a party for instance, did the women drink wine? Or did they drink bourbon too?
NF: I think Mother and Daddy drunk- In our house they were served drinks, as Iremember- Of course we were removed, although we'd go in and speak to people. But I wasn't conscious of there- I'm sure we served drinks, they'd bring in a tray on Sunday, people came on Sunday afternoon and they'd bring in a tray and there'd be bourbon and water and ice. I don't think there was a lot of wine 22:00drunk at our house. Mother and Daddy had a lot of parties, they had them at home, they had servants. I think some women took a little bit but they never, you never saw anybody take too much, and you never heard of anybody having too much. Maybe 20 years later you'd hear of somebody who had a terrible time and had gotten so they drank too much.
TS: The nature of the business, it occurs to me as you are talking, might havebeen different had Charley Farnsley's 40 proof or 20 proof bourbons had been on the market because perhaps many women would have drunk that somewhat more openly, which looking back historically might have put a different face on the industry.
NF: Well, I think so. Charley feels that the law to make it 100 or 90 proof, or23:00whatever it was, was very hard on the industry and that drinking's meant to be a social, pleasant, happy thing and if you get too much it's, it gives it a bad name and it also causes a heck of a lot of trouble. Course the thinking of the Twenties is the- it was a wild sort of- I think that was a very small segment of society having parties, and sort of frenzied, after the war type reaction, and certainly there was some of that in every society. I didn't see any of it in my family, they just went to parties and they seemed to be having a wonderful time and they were going to country club dances, and they were always, seemed to me 24:00always having parties and fun and along came the Depression and things got a little tougher.
TS: I know I've asked members of my own family who were around in the Twentiesand Thirties, who lived mostly in Brooklyn or Pennsylvania, about the availability of distilled spirits and of course they said it was never a problem, there was so much of it available. Apparently in Brooklyn in many ways Prohibition was probably not an effective- there was no shortage. I know they told me it was very easy to get, in the speakeasies and they found it difficult to understand how it was so difficult in so much of the rest of the country.
NF: Oh, it's true. Now I remember, your saying that, makes me remember. They25:00bought bathtub gin, or they'd send over and- And, instead of getting a case at a time lots of people now-a-days, I mean if you're going to get whiskey some people get a case, people didn't drink as much, I guess, because Daddy'd have, at the most, two bottles. They're just going to have a party of course I guess he'd get a little more, but some of those people they did- they drank gin. I just wasn't very conscious of there being much drinking although I know they all drank, and some- it was different than now-days. 26:00
TS: We talked earlier about the Whitleys and apparently you got to know H. F.Wilkie and some of the other family members fairly well. Can you tell us about your contacts with the Wilkies?
NF: Charlie worked directly with H. F., although he knew everybody out there andColonel is H. F.'s brother, worked out there. H. F. was extraordinary and he was always doing research inthe product development and so forth, and he was a fanatic on cleanliness. And I was a young bride with little children, and one time when his wife was ??? Charlie would bring people home, he always would bring people in the house, and when he was mayor he brought people to the house, and all these children around and everything, and we managed alright. But he 27:00brought H. F. home one afternoon and his wife was out of town and Charley said, you know, what about supper? And I said, "Oh, I'd love to have him for supper." Well I got down the best china, it was up on the top shelf, and I can remember to this day, the dessert was ice cream and the top plate had gotten dusty and I hadn't washed them off, and there was H. F. eating ice cream and that plate was covered with dust. You could see it --his spoon went down, the dirty plate, our best client. And I knew how he felt about cleanliness. But they had tests of 28:00different proofs and they had people to be guinea pigs. They had a beautiful room where they tested the things, a beautiful table that went around like a lazy susan and they had these little glasses on it. And one time they had Charlie to be a guinea pig, with other people, they'd do these controlled experiments and they'd send a taxi to pick them up and then send them home in a taxi. And, you'd spit it out- If you're going to test whiskey you just put it in your mouth and then spit it out. And Charley--I hope he didn't ruin the experiment but that took like in the morning, or, no, it was about 11 o'clock 29:00and I saw the taxi come home--this thing started about 8:30 or 9:00--and I saw the taxi come home, and I looked out the window, and Charley didn't come in the house. He got another taxi and went on away, and he had prepared for the test by--I think if you drink olive oil, or something, that you can't get drunk--he was worried that even if he, you know even if he just kept it in your mouth that he-
Side 1 ends mid-sentence
NF: and maybe he ruined the experiment because he was supposed to stay home oncehe got home, but he went on away to kinda sober up and by the time he came home about 12 or 12:30 he was still a little worse for the wear, but I never did find 30:00out if he had ruined it by not following the rules exactly. H. F. was such a fine and capable man and I believe Seagrams did very very well when he was there. And whenever the legislation that they wanted to get through, there'll be a record of whatever they accomplished, I think it was to help the industry and he had it maybe lower proof and more blends, or- There are some very capable people working there, I can't remember all the names. There was Dr. Kolecheck who did all sorts of experiments and I know--he had come from Russia--and he 31:00wanted to grow- H. F. was interested in all sorts of things, not just the whiskey, and-
TS: Yes, increased agricultural production was one of his interests.
NF: And the ??? of sunflowers, and things like that, but-
(lots of static, clangs, buzzers, and adjusting of the microphone -- words lost)
I always wanted, because Dr. Kolecheck was for having fields of sunflowers andgrowing trees for his crop, and all these fascinating things, and when we had the farm I thought Oh, if I could plant fields of sunflowers. But you can't do it in a vacuum, everybody else has got to- There's got to be a market for whatever you're doing. But he found fascinating people and was always working on 32:00these things. I understand his children--he had several wives--but I understand his, several of his children, are quite bright and I don't know just where they are living, but they like father they have inventive turn of mind. It's a remarkable family, that Wilkie family.
TS: Wilkie, when he wrote his book Outline for an Industry, was quite vehementtowards FDR and believed, or at least said in that book, that FDR was engaged in a socialistic type experiment against the liquor industry and that he was using 33:00experimental legislation to dominate that industry and Wilkie suggests that that pattern would then be applied probably to other industries as well. Did you ever get that feeling in talking with him?
NF: No, but at that time-
TS: He disliked FDR very strongly-
NF: - I didn't- I was so young and so immersed in children and not thinking,that I didn't- I just thought he was an attractive person, but I didn't, as I would now, I didn't ask questions or try to learn from people. I just felt that the things he was doing for the liquor industry, and I think he- perhaps he crossed minds with other people in the industry, I don't know--but I would have 34:00been oblivious to it because I wasn't smart enough to learn from people. I just knew he was remarkable and-
TS: It's been suggested to me that Seagrams would never have grown in the way itdid, and would never have been able to dominate the industry as it was soon able to do, had it not been for the Wilkie influence.
NF: I believe that. I think he was so remarkable and it was very sad when hebegan to--I don't know, I think- I mean he left to go to another company, but it was the beginning of an illness that was very destructive that was imperceptible. I don't know the name for it, but he became very early--because 35:00he wasn't an old man--he became forgetful and it's extremely sad because people didn't realize that he was sick, that it was illness, and that this huge capability- I mean, it would be fine for a little while and then it would- there would be a gap in the-
TS: Perhaps Alzheimer's disease, maybe.
NF: Well, it may have been something like that. It was so imperceptible that itwas very sad, for two or three ??? He lived in a monastery with some monks for the last years of his life, and I don't know that he knew his family even, but he didn't live too awfully long and he was well cared for. I think he wouldn't have left Seagrams at that ??? 36:00
TS: I see.
NF: But I'm not positive of this. He went to another company where he was doingvery well but it was, like some companies where they have conflicts and the stock holders- one group of stockholders wins out over another, and sometimes an employee, or an executive, gets put out because one side or the other loses. But he was an amazing man and I haven't read all the things- I've read "The One World," that his brother wrote. And his brother too was remarkable and another brother that was head of some huge canning firm, or something. 37:00
TS: Which seminary did H. F. Wilkie wind up staying in during-
NF: It was in Wisconsin, or up in- I don't remember. I think of it as Wisconsin.Some kind of brothers. But I think- One thing that Charley said about the proof, the proofs in France were 40 and 60 for a good many things, and Charley felt 38:00that maybe because of the French population here in Louisville in the early days that that, those two proofs had sort of come to Kentucky that way.
TS: That's an interesting thesis. What was the difference between Lost Causebourbon and Rebel Yell?
NF: Lost Cause was a, not a bourbon but a Kentucky whiskey. As Charley Farnsleywas a Kentucky whiskey, not a bourbon. And there- there I need the article to tell me, what's the difference between a bourbon and Kentucky whiskey.
TS: Well, the aging-
NF: One of them has to do with when you cut the proof, I think.
TS: Has to be under 160 the time it's cut. The corn content has to be fifty-onepercent but less than the ???NF: Well, the difference between Kentucky whiskey 39:00and bourbon, there's some technical difference. I'm sorry I'm not-
TS: I think the aging too is- age is a requirement too and the charcoalfiltration has something to do with it.
NF: Well, we always believed in that charcoal filter. And the charcoal filters Iremember they talking about the charcoals, he and H. F., if you don't watch out it develops rivers, it would you know, it wouldn't stay silent. It filtered through. That's about all I know.
TS: Well, was there anything different in what you add to the whiskey? I knowabout some of the whiskeys add certain amount of wheat bulgur, the rye-
NF: As I remember in one of these things ??? Charley Farnsley, ??? is a very40:00strong Scotch. Have you never had ??? ?
NF: It's a little like creosote. You should try it some time.
TS: (Laughter) creosote-- Hmmm
NF: It's magnificent stuff. Some people just crazy about it. It's a Scotch.
TS: Scotch has that peaty- peat moss-
NF: Yeah, a little of that, and then- I should have tried to refresh my mind,but- it ??? either Rebel Yell or he used a little tea, you know he put a little tea in it. I don't think he was much on caramel because caramel is sweet. 'Cause they use caramel for color sometimes.
TS: And there is some natural caramel from behind the chars. Would Rebel Yell be41:00heavily aged whiskey?
NF: No, he used- The whiskeys he used were Weller whiskeys and he believed inaeration. I mean Charlie would aerate the Rebel Yell.
TS: How would he do that?
NF: Well, they had something they rigged up down there to aerate it. Somethinghe figured out.
TS: In the barrel, or before it went in the barrel?
NF: No, in a big vat, when it's all in-
TS: Oh, in the fermenting.
NF: And whatever Charley did it was like a great cook, you know. I mean, he'd be42:00there and-
TS: He'd be tasting it-
NF: He will, and it would be a- you know, well now it's all right to stop theaerating. So that made the difference, because I know after Rosenstiel started they couldn't do Lost Cause the way they'd been doing it. It came out kind of oily. It never again had that- it was like drinking- it was so mild that you just- it was just so heavenly to taste you had to be careful because it could slip up on you even if it wasn't very strong.
TS: Have you saved some of that?
NF: We've got a little Lost Cause. We've got a little of the original, the veryoriginal Rebel Yell. And Burrell put sealing wax around them, tops of the bottles. 43:00
TS: Were there many distillers who used sealing wax on tops of the bottles? Iknow Makers Mark was-
NF: We didn't- Charley didn't use it. It's just that Burrell put it over becausewe'd had it so long. He just put it over to preserve it. Sorry I can't remember about the difference between Kentucky whiskey and bourbon.
TS: That's one I can check on ??? We had talked earlier about Mississippi- Imentioned to you when I was down in Mississippi, it's been several years now, Rebel Yell was very very popular, at least during the Seventies. Do you have any anecdotes about just the sales of Rebel Yell in Mississippi, or was that-
NF: Well, that would have been when Stitzler-Weller had it- Actually Charley44:00didn't sell an awful lot of it. He had a salesman but it wasn't a business, wasn't incorporated, had no office. It all happened- And there was a man that- It really made Charley kinda nervous, the thought of selling a lot if, and this salesman that was just doing great guns, and Charley was just sort of alarmed at the prospect of it's becoming a big business.
TS: So he wanted to keep it very small.
NF: He- He- I don't know. I never tried to figure it out. But it worried him sowhen the sales began to pile up. (Laughter) I never understood it.
TS: That's very ???NF: It was- and his advertising was wonderful, but he always,you know, the idea was to start it out small and when he sold it, it was a nice 45:00amount of money, I think it was- he sold the name for about twenty-five thousand dollars. And it had the highest ceiling of any whiskey at that time. And the next day--there was a capital gains tax that was simply huge because it hadn't cost us anything, you know--so I guess we ended up with about sixteen or seventeen thousand dollars, which was just like two-hundred thousand would be- or a hundred thousand would be, anyway, it was monstrous amount of money and it was in the bank and Charley said to me the next day, he said, "You know I don't 46:00think it's the spirit of the law. I think that I shouldn't tax you, give this back." I said, "Oh, no you don't. I'm not going to give this back."
TS: Mrs. Farnsley, earlier we had talked about the difficulty of selling RebelYell in the east, particularly in the New York market. What can you tell us about those difficulties?
NF: I don't think Charley ever did sell any up there. As I said, he didn't- itworried him the thought of- I don't know what worried him about it but he gave some to friends up in New York, and when Julian Van Winkle had it they consciously didn't sell--I mean they had all the apparatus to sell--they consciously wouldn't sell above the Mason-Dixon Line. That was- I believe that was true. But in trying to get a drink of good bourbon in New York was just hopeless in the forties and fifties. There wasn't anything then, for me, that I 47:00found, that I liked to drink. And I don't know what the problem was with- I mean later- Now I suppose you can buy Brown Foreman stuff practically anywhere in the world. Certainly in New York. They had some terrible bourbons. I don't know what was the matter, and that was good places that we went to. So maybe I'm wrong, maybe I wasn't in the right places, but I wouldn't know about why it happened.
TS: If I buy Rebel Yell today, how, if any, will it differ from Rebel Yell earlier?
NF: I think it's very much the same. I have had- I think Jack Daniels is48:00wonderful whiskey, and I thought Charley Farnsley too. And Jack Daniels is Tennessee whiskey, it's not bourbon, as Charley Farnsley's Kentucky Whiskey is not bourbon. But in Washington if I order a drink, and of course they wouldn't have Charley Farnsley, I'd order Jack Daniels and I have Rebel Yell, and I think it tasted very much the same. Perhaps not aerated, perhaps not as mild, maybe not quite as smooth, but that's being very picky. And I didn't drink it straight. I'd get just a toddy without any sugar or anything. So, I think it's the subtle difference that Rebel Yell was so smooth and so light, and it was those infinitesimal differences. Still splendid whiskey, as is Jack Daniels. 49:00Jack Daniels may be a little heavier. There were things called esters and aldehydes that Charley said- whatever he did would mollify the esters and aldehydes and I suppose it was partly being a great cook. And, the fact that it was so small and it could be hand tailored.
TS: People have told me that during the thirties and early forties there weresome bourbons in Kentucky in which the quality control was quite loose and also 50:00in which the sanitary factors were somewhat less than desirable. Do you have any stories or anecdotes or did you hear about some of these bourbons.
NF: No, no-
TS: Apparently the federal oversight was quite loose for quite a while.
NF: No, the only thing- Course I know if you were a whiskey salesman I've heardthat when you went to bars to sell whiskey--I suppose this is an Uncle Alec story, maybe all whiskey salesmen know it--you'd pour some of your own whiskey in a glass and then you'd talk about the bartendant, and then you'd pour some rival's whiskey in, and you'd let him smell it, and 'course the one that had been aerated a little bit there, getting the air, was that much better.
TS: You probably smelled aldehydes in the weaker one.51:00
NF: Whatever it was it was a- I mean obviously you thought you had the bestwhiskey already, but you wanted to take all the precautions possible, and the- Of course Charley's julep recipe was handed down in the family. Charley never believed in putting a lot of ice in it. You'd put a little sugar, just regular sugar, a couple of jiggers of whiskey, and put it in a silver cup and set it in the ice house and then go to the races, and when you came back you put a sprig of mint in it and a little bit of water and the cup was all frosty and this was 52:00the first mint julep.
TS: I see.
NF: What some people call a julep the Farnsleys called a hailstone, where youhad it full of ice. They are both good drinks. We did that for years, we put the tray--we were going to have a party--with the julep cups and then we'd put the whiskey with a little sugar in and go to the races and we came back and they were all beautifully frosted and stick a little mint and put a little water in. That was one powerful drink, and you didn't want to take more than half of one. So that's really all I know. I'm sorry I've been so bad, but-
TS: Well, no, that's very helpful. I've really enjoyed it. Thank you so much,Mrs. Farnsley.
NF: Well, you're very welcome, and if I can find any of my articles that youmight not have run across I'll mail them to you. 53:00
TS: Fine, thank you.