LIQUOR: The Schenley Reserves

As boss and chief stockholder of Schenley Industries, Inc., Lewis Solon Rosenstiel built a $438 million empire and a reputation in the liquor trade as a confident hustler. During Prohibition, while distillers were folding up, Rosenstiel, then a whisky broker, bet his money on Repeal ; he bought up all the whisky he could lay his hands on. Result: the year after Repeal, his new Schenley company had sales of $40 million.

During World War II, when grain spirits were short, Rosenstiel confidently started using potato spirits in Three Feathers, one of his...

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