In the pantheon of whiskies named following people—Johnnie Walker, Elijah Craig, Jack Daniel’s—there’s one particular that’s endured longer than any, and carries a verifiably reliable backstory to boot. Previous Overholt, America’s most storied and longest-managing rye, bears the name and impression of Abraham Overholt, an irascible Pennsylvanian who founded a whiskey empire that’s lasted about two centuries.

Numerous individuals viewed as Abe a hard nut to crack in the course of his life time, and now the tables have turned: He’s been immortalized in nutcracker type.

This getaway time, Previous Overholt has partnered with German nutcracker artisans Steinbach to generate a particular figurine of its founding patriarch. The wood Abe, with his outsized eyebrows and trademark scowl, is flanked by a sack of rye grain and a barrel. He sporting activities a gold pocket watch—no question preserving track of how rapidly his staff are working—and carries a bottle of common Previous Overholt. The hardness of Abe’s demeanor is matched only by the energy of his jaws, which can crack a walnut shell with relieve.

This presentation of the Overholt scion isn’t just for fun: It’s rooted in the lifetime of the person and heritage of the model. Abraham commenced earning whiskey at his family’s Western Pennsylvania farm distillery in the 1st 10 years of the 19th century. The moment referred to as an “unruly Mennonite,” he had a track record for frugality—which is expressing some thing, considering the hardscrabble needs of lifetime on the frontier at that time.

Abraham had the persona traits for accomplishment, nevertheless: In his life time, he took the Overholt rye distillery from currently being very little additional than a farm operation to one particular of the country’s premier whiskey producers. At the time of his demise in 1870, A. Overholt & Co. had two distilleries in Western Pennsylvania earning nicely-regarded Monongahela rye. Less than 20 a long time later on, that whiskey had entirely adopted Previous Overholt as its model and was currently being bottled with Abraham’s scowling confront on the label. The impression was centered on a serious-lifetime portrait of Abraham and still graces just about every bottle of Previous Overholt today.

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Although Prohibition dealt a fatal blow to a lot of whiskey makers, Previous Overholt survived. You may well recall it as a plot issue in the 3rd time of “Boardwalk Empire,” when then-distillery proprietor Andrew Mellon conspires with Nucky Thompson to continue to keep the facility up and managing illegally. That section is all fiction, but Mellon—real-lifetime Secretary of the Treasury—did grant himself a license to promote medicinal whiskey from Previous Overholt’s stocks, which stored the model alive till Repeal.

These times Previous Overholt is created in Kentucky, not Pennsylvania, though its first spot still stands. Just lately that site—now a museum and residing heritage experience named West Overton—began earning whiskey at the time once again on a micro-scale, presenting readers a possibility to see what it was like two centuries back, when Abraham himself labored the stills.

The Previous Overholt model has been active much too, releasing new offerings like Bottled-in-Bond and 114 Evidence, an amped up edition of the common rye that will remember to followers of higher-evidence whiskey. A very limited Previous Overholt 11-calendar year-old arrived out past year—the oldest rye the model has at any time unveiled.

Any of these bottles would make a best reward in tandem with this limited-version nutcracker. The 1st operate of stiff-legged very little Abes, priced at $399, bought out in just an hour of launch, but a 2nd, additional limited batch, which swaps Previous Overholt 114 for a small bottle of common rye is set to fall on December 16 at steinbach-store.com if you are hunting to rating. The whiskey drinker who presently has a cupboard comprehensive of rocks eyeglasses and additional decanters than they could possibly fill is positive to go nuts about this kind of a distinctive piece of whiskey equipment.

And even if they never get one particular of these iron-jawed Abes, a fantastic bottle of Previous Overholt should really be just as welcome.


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