In the 1800s, bourbon/whisky was sold in bulk to rectifiers, wholesalers,
brokers and retailers. Barrels were branded with a distillery or "brand" name.
Package stores/druggists bottled their own labels from bulk supplies.
Unscrupulous rectifiers, jobbers and retailers would often tamper with the
quality and integrity of the whisky in a barrel.
In 1870, George Garvin Brown, a young pharmaceuticals salesman in Louisville,
Kentucky, saw the need for a consistently high-quality whisky that met medicinal
standards. With $5,500 in saved and borrowed money, Brown and his half brother
started J.T.S. Brown and Bro. They sold Old Forester Bourbon Whisky exclusively
in sealed glass bottles to assure its quality. George Garvin Brown ensured the
quality of his product with his handwritten guarantee on every bottle.