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Web site neglects Maryland’s intoxicating history

As a whiskey drinker, and more specifically, an enthusiastic drinker of Maryland whiskeys (which means, in effect, rye whiskeys), I was thrilled when a friend linked me to whiskipedia, launched on the first of the year.

It’s pretty self-explanatory: an online, open-source encyclopedia of whiskey. But unfortunately, whiskipedia, even though it’s mostly written by “well-known whisky author” Gavin Smith, falls way too short.

I typed in “Maryland,” expecting to read a treatise on Maryland’s glorious history as the rye whiskey capital of the world, but instead found only one reference to the tidewater state, shamefully after Pennsylvania, in the entry about rye.

Baltimore yields 0 results, and Pikesville, the glorious, once-Baltimore-based rye that is my cheap whiskey of choice, is mentioned only once, in the rye article. Absurdly, there is no entry at all for the Whiskey Rebellion, a turning point in whiskey history, as all good hooch-swillers know, that took place in no small part in Maryland.

Frustrated, I typed in the name of my favorite scotch, an Orkney Isles poison called Highland Park, figuring hey, maybe rye just isn’t their thing!

No results.

Until whiskipedia gets it together, I’ll stick to wikipedia, which actually lists the brands of rye available under an extensive rye whiskey entry, and

ROBBIE WHELAN, Business Writer


  1. Very useful information for a Monday morning. Now we know what the Daily Record editors do once they’ve put the paper to bed. Do tell more: What are your favorite watering holes? Any thoughts on Baltimore’s best bars for lawyers? (Excuse the pun.)

  2. what we do “once [we’ve] put the paper to bed?”


    See here, from Slate editor Jack Shafer, has to say about boozing and writing. A bit heavy handed and misogynistic, perhaps, but fun:

    My favorite watering holes include Dizzie Issie’s and Frazier’s in the Remington/Hampden area, where I live, the Tusk Room at the Brass Elephant, which I can’t really afford, and happy hour at Kooper’s in Fells Point, which includes lots of free delicious food, and Mum’s in Federal Hill for divey atmosphere.

    If you want to drop some green on good rye, go to Grand Cru in Belvedere Square, and drink some normal rye, or pay $50 for shot of the 100-year-old bottle that the owner found stashed in a Prohibition locker under the stairs of his house.

    Not sure I water alongside too many lawyers, but all of the above are quality establishments.

    …and for the record, my publisher has me mistaken for an editor, when I am, in fact, a reporter.


  3. Randall (not Randy!)

    Men who drink whiskey are not named Robbie. They are named Robert or Rob or Bob. Robbie is what your mommy, Nana, and schoolyard chums call you. And reporters don’t drink $50 shots of booze unless their dad’s buy it for them.

  4. Jack (not johnny)

    Way to go Randall! The pretentious twit is probably barely old enough to drink. I bet he read somewhere that writers drink whiskey and now he wants to pretend he’s one of them.

  5. Dear Randall Sir,

    We at the Daily Record must respectfully disagree with your statement, “Men who drink whiskey are not named Robbie.”

    And to prove it, we have compiled the following list of famous Robbies who were, in fact tipplers of the first degree:

    ** Robbie O’Connell, Irish singer whose songs address the Catholic-Protestant conflict in Northern Ireland:

    ** Robbie Fulks, Chicago-based revival country singer who was described by one reviewer as “a shot of wry whiskey in the brew pub of country.”

    ** Robbie Robertson, guitar player for legendary 70s rockers The Band, who once composed the following lines:

    Hail stones beatin’ on the roof
    The bourbon is a hundred proof
    It’s you and me and the telephone
    Our destiny is quite well known
    We don’t need to sit and brag
    All we gotta do is rag Mama rag Mama rag

    ** Robbie Coltrane, the actor who plays Hagrid, the bearded, friendly sorcerer of the “Harry Potter” movies, who, according to this website, was at one point drinking a bottle of whiskey every day.

    ** Robbie Ftorek, member of the 1972 US Olympic hockey team, and former member of the Detroit Redwings and Quebec Nordiques. No evidence points specifically whiskey consumption, but if you accused him of not being man enough to drink whiskey, I reckon he might drop the gloves for a few rounds with you.

    And for the record, I did call my maternal grandmother “Nana”.

    ROBBIE WHELAN, Business Writer

  6. Wow Robbie…you really are a twit!

  7. Thanks for the compliment!