There were Wilkens, but it’s not the homey-small-company tale it may seem. WIlken was a distiller for a subsidiary of Schenley, the giant liquor concern, and was tapped to provide a recipe for a new product. Whether it was an old family recipe or not, I don’t know.

According to this 1935 Time magazine story, Distiller Wilken was presented last week as "the man who has actually made more whiskey than any living person. At 1 he was put in one of his father's distilleries as manager."

Kid got an early start.