I Talked to my Doctor and He Prescribed Whiskey

This article was originally published December 5, 2016, on Bourbon & Banter.

January 16, 1919, was a dark day for America. The 18th Amendment passed, prohibiting the manufacture, sale, and transportation of intoxicating liquors in the United States. The Volstead Act was passed to lay out the guidelines for enforcing the 18th Amendment. On January 16, 1920, America went dry. Well, it went mostly dry.


What a sad day that had to have been! People watched as barrels and barrels of liquid sunshine were dumped into the sewers, never to be enjoyed by a single soul. 



Exceptions and exemptions exist like many laws that strip people of the freedom to do what they enjoy. Physicians were allowed to prescribe limited amounts of whiskey to patients. As you would suspect, you had to go to a pharmacist to get a prescription filled. That being said, a pharmacist would have to obtain said medicinal whiskey from a distillery, which meant distilleries needed to remain open.


A total of six distilleries were granted licenses to distill whiskey. The rest were shuttered or converted to other purposes.


Can you imagine what obtaining whiskey would be like in today’s America if Prohibition was still in place?


I am thirsty, and I’m at home. I plop down in front of the TV to relax. Low and behold, a commercial comes on, and it goes a little something like this:


Do you find yourself stressed out at the end of your day? Do you have trouble relaxing? Are you irritable and frequently experiencing difficulty socializing with others? If so, Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey may be the answer. Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey has been found to help people unwind and pull the stick out of their butts. Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey also helps break the ice in those awkward social situations. Results happen in as little as 15 minutes. Studies have shown some people may experience significant relaxation, leading to unplanned, immediate sleep or an uncontrollable urge to say, “I love you, man!” to everyone they come in contact with. In extreme cases, excess use of Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey may lead to hugging your toilet all night. People should not drive or operate heavy machinery while under the influence of Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey. Be sure to ask your doctor if Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey is right for you.


Now we’re talking! Time to call a doctor and make an appointment to get a prescription.


“Hi, this is Jeff. I’m trying to make an appointment with Dr. J. Beam. I’m just really stressed all the time and would like to see him as soon as possible… What? Six weeks? Argh!!!! [Sigh] Okay.”


Six long, arduous weeks pass, and I’m finally able to see Dr. Beam. I explain that I’m stressed out, having trouble relaxing, sometimes irritable, and I experience difficulty socializing with others.


“Hey doc, I heard about this thing called Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey. Might that be right for me?”


Dr. Beam says, “Sure! Let me write you a prescription!”



Bam! Awesome! Finally, this nightmare is going to end! Time to get me some Thunder Juice!


I arrive at my local pharmacy with my prescription for one pint of Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey. I’m happy as a pup with a new chew bone. I hand my prescription to the clerk.


“What’s that? Sure, I have my insurance card! Yes, no problem, I can wait 15 minutes.”


I’m browsing the aisles, looking at the various products, just killing time. I’ve got a big smile on my face because I’ve figured it all out. Fifteen short minutes later, the pharmacist calls my name. She asks me if I’ve ever had whiskey before, and I tell her I have, and it works fine. We talked briefly about the side effects, and if I experience any, I need to contact Dr. Beam immediately.


“Yes, yes, thank you. Have a great day!”


As I walked away and opened the bag to retrieve my medicinal elixir, I noticed it was not what my doctor had prescribed. I march back to the counter, hand the bottle to the pharmacist, and ask, “What’s this? I was supposed to get Buffalo Trace!”


“That’s Bison Tinge. It is a generic for Buffalo Trace. Don’t worry, it is the same thing.”


“No, no, it isn’t the same thing at all. I want Buffalo Trace like my doctor ordered!”


Unfortunately, due to my prescription coverage, my insurance will only pay for Bison Tinge. Still, I can pay the full retail rate of $500 for the pint of Buffalo Trace out of my pocket…


“UGH! I’ve had enough of this version of America! Take me back to where whiskey is plentiful!”


Thankfully, in 1933, Congress proposed the 21st Amendment. On December 5th of that year, Utah cast the 36th vote, bringing an end to this horror and preventing all of us from having to deal with any of that crap. Many of us refer to December 5th as Repeal Day, and we celebrate in style. God bless America, and don’t forget to ask your doctor if Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey is right for you.









My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It


Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you to do so responsibly.