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NKU Students To Research Licking River's Bourbon History


Five counties in northern Kentucky will join students from Northern Kentucky University in researching the Licking River's connection to bourbon's original journey.


Jacob Spears, who operated a distillery near Paris, Kentucky, in Bourbon County, is credited as the "most probably creator" of the spirit, as noted in the book Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of American Whiskey by Fred Minnick.

The Licking River played a significant role in transporting bourbon in its early days.

NKU's Department of History is embarking on this exploration with assistance from officials in Bourbon, Harrison, Pendleton, Campbell, and Kenton counties, as well as the city of Paris, to research the history of the Spears Distillery and how bourbon traveled.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to talk about the project are NKU History Professor Dr. Brian Hackett, and NKU graduate students Charles Williams and Christian Sthodahl.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the new host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.