Rehm Zeiher Company

Distillers, Rectifiers, and Blenders. These terms were often confused in the early days of the spirits industry. Businesses like the early 20th-century Rehm-Zeiher Company functioned as rectifiers and liquor wholesalers but were often called—and even referred to themselves as— distillers. As was typical of rectifiers, they bought whiskey from several distilleries, blended and bottled them, and then sold that product under a variety of brand names. The Rehm-Zeiher brands were Clover, June Rise, Kentucky Senate, Old Abe, Old Clover, Old Dog, and Sachem. Rectifiers used this confusion to their advantage to increase sales. This led to quite a heated debate as to who was a real distiller and what was real whiskey. Early 1900s headlines read “War in the Whiskey Trade” and “Beware of Imitations.” As a result, the distillers and rectifiers initiated separate competitive “educational” campaigns to defend their place in the industry.