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Bourbon Pursuit: The Official Podcast of Bourbon | Insiders, Pundits, and Master Distillers of the Bourbon Whiskey Industry

The Official Podcast of Bourbon! Featuring interviews with the people making the bourbon industry happen. Listen to hear all the stories behind your favorite brands from master distillers, authors, pundits, bloggers, and more. A new podcast every week focused on America’s native spirit, bourbon.
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Bourbon Pursuit: The Official Podcast of Bourbon | Insiders, Pundits, and Master Distillers of the Bourbon Whiskey Industry
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Sep 13, 2018
Private barrel selections are becoming the hot new item. These carefully selected barrels are brought into a store and chosen for a particular audience. However, can every one be a winner? Do you trust who picked it? Just because a label said it was chosen by a master distiller, did he really pick it or was it leftovers from other barrel picks? And of course, we have to cover stickers because it's the hotness. It's a podcast that is both fascinating and intriguing and will make you think twice about going into a unknown store to purchase a random barrel pick. Sponsors: Show Notes:
  • This week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick talks about family and the new Bourbon Hall of Fame inductees.
  • Ryan, when you go into a store and look for a single barrel pick, what do you gravitate towards?
  • Back on Ep 124 we covered creating a barrel picking group and we've talked about individual barrel picks before but we're going to deep dive today
  • What makes barrel picks more special than their standard bottling counterpart?
  • Are all barrel picks always better than their standard releases?
  • If a store picks samples out of a box, are they all just rejects?
  • Is three samples really enough to go off of?
  • What about stickers that say "selected by the Master Distiller"?
  • Michael Iurato​ asks "I have not had that many store picks but from my experience it seems like the single store pick is usually better than when a major chain or the state run liquor outlet does a pick. Would you agree?"
  • Talk about what it means to have a bourbon group together vs having a store pick for you
  • Is it really possible to pick a barrel based on the tastes of the customers for a store? I mean everyone is different
  • Is having "after market" stickers a good thing?
  • Is there too much hype train on them?
  • Let's speculate. Lets talk about store picks that are no longer available. Is there a false sense of demand or are they trying to play the game?
  • Why can't there be just a few single barrels of Weller 12 or Elijah Craig Barrel Proof per year?
  • Heaven Hill used to plenty of private picks, but now all you see is Elijah Craig. Why are they holding back?
  • Why even continue a single barrel program is the bourbon is going to sell anyway?
  • Frank Mentlick​ asks What is the first taste that turn you off a pick? Sweet? Lack flavor? What makes you excited about picks?
  • Do you do a baseline by sneaking in a flask with the standard offering?
  • Any tips on going on your first barrel pick?
Sep 6, 2018
Is he the biggest Wild Turkey super fan out there? Without a doubt. David Jennings goes by the alter ego RareBird101. In this episode we explore his obsession with older dusty Wild Turkey and even some of the newest Russell's Reserve offerings. We also spend some time speculating on our theories on what has changed over the years and if Wild Turkey is headed in the right direction with premium offerings. Sponsors: Show Notes:
  • Before we dive right in, what's your bourbon story?
  • What got you into Wild Turkey?
  • What keeps you interested in Wild Turkey?
  • Talk about your blog for a minute and what you do at Rarebird101
  • Think about some of those reviews you’ve done, because I’ve seen some real turkey unicorns in there from tradition to split labels to Christmas Rye. Do you have any standout favorites?
  • What is it about cheesy gold foil?
  • Jimmy says nothing has changed. But Be honest, do you think dusty Wild Turkey is better than today?
  • Since you’ve tasted almost everything in the turkey lineup, any thoughts on recreating that dusty flavor profile?
  • We posted on Instagram a while back about waiting in line for a Weller107 store pick because people like us are dumb. You were playing the angle that if everyone focused their attention on Russell's Reserve picks you wouldn’t have to stand in line. I know you have an article on the 10 reasons why you should be buying Russell's Reserve picks, what are some of those favorite reasons of yours?
  • How many different Russell's Reserve picks do you have?
  • It seems that Wild Turkey limited releases don’t get many accolades. From Diamond to Master’s Keep. What’s you honest opinion? Do you feel they don’t deserve the high dollar or do you?
  • Did you sleep on Russell's Reserve 1998 like I did?
  • When are you getting your chance to meet Matt McConaughey?
  • Support RareBird101 on Patreon
Aug 30, 2018
Why there is an extra L in Barrell Bourbon? Well, today we find out. Joe Beatrice and Tripp Stimson join us to talk about all things Barrell and how this brand is really one for the bourbon geeks with unfiltered barrel proof expressions. We then dive into the newest releases of the Infinite Barrel Project and talk about their plans for sourcing, distilling and blending as they have made Louisville KY their headquarters. Sponsors: Get upfront and honest life insurance quotes in less than 10 minutes with an online application from Ethos. Buy your tickets to the Speed Museum’s Art of Bourbon hosted by Fred Minnick Sterling Cut Glass is the Official Glassware of Bourbon Pursuit. They are offering FREE etched samples to whiskey societies nationwide! Simply email spirits@sterlingcutglass.com, include your logo, and mention Bourbon Pursuit. Bourbon and Beyond Music Festival takes place in Louisville, KY on Sept 22nd and 23rd. Buy tickets and see the bourbon workshops we will be moderating. Show Notes:
  • This week's Above the Char with Fred Minnick talks about sexism with Master Distillers.
  • Do you remember you first bottle of bourbon or first memory with it?
  • Talk about the history of Barrell. Why did you want to start it?
  • What is it about barrel proof that consumers like over 90 or 100 proof?
  • Would you rather blend than distill?
  • What's the size of a Barrell batch?
  • Which do you think is harder because we've had both master distillers and master blenders on the show?
  • How does scale play into this bringing in more barrels?
  • What's the release schedule and idea about numbering the batches?
  • Why is there an extra L?
  • Give us a run down of the line up products you offer
  • Why rum?
  • New year edition. Let's talk about what this is all about.
  • The Infinite Barrel Project is super unique.
  • Why keep doing new ideas and not sticking with the staples?
  • Tripp are there any ideas that Joe comes up with and you're like "this is never going to work"?
  • What's a rejected idea?
  • Are you able to continually able to source good whiskey and are you able to turn it away?
  • Talk about the operation now. Are are you contract distilling? straight sourcing? bottling?
  • So are you itching to start distilling?
  • Why distill when you haven't had a problem getting barrels before?
  • Would you take your own distillate and mix from sourced goods?
  • Why build a distillery that's a pure factory that doesn't look at making it a tourist destination?
  • Why Louisville? You can build a distillery anywhere.
  • What about storage? I know you’re at Castle and Key right now but where can you go?
  • Do you think you started a revolution of brands following suit?
Aug 23, 2018
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ayv4xYgyXNQ&w=560&h=315] The full gang of the bourbon community roundtable made it for this one.  We discuss the timing of distilleries starting to blend their own distillate and a whole second half of the show dedicated to Heaven Hill. Not only did they send some really good bourbon samples, but they are also suing Bob Dylan over Heavens Door Whiskey.   Sponsors: Get upfront and honest life insurance quotes in less than 10 minutes with an online application from Ethos. Buy your tickets to the Speed Museum’s Art of Bourbon hosted by Fred Minnick Sterling Cut Glass is the Official Glassware of Bourbon Pursuit. They are offering FREE etched samples to whiskey societies nationwide! Simply email spirits@sterlingcutglass.com, include your logo, and mention Bourbon Pursuit. Bourbon and Beyond Music Festival takes place in Louisville, KY on Sept 22nd and 23rd. Buy tickets and see the bourbon workshops we will be moderating.   Show Notes
  • We are seeing a whole new slew of crafts that are moving from MGP to their own distillate. New Riff, Smooth Ambler, it will eventually be lots more. The question is, when is the right time?
  • Can you taste potential?
  • When do you stomach it up and buy another after you've been burned?
  • Battle of the New Heaven Hill releases. Let's talk about them individually and where should you spend your money?
  • Heaven Hill brings out the big guns to sue Bob Dylan's whiskey brand Heaven's Door over trademark protection.
    • Complaint -> https://www.dropbox.com/s/em64gkv5d3is7yc/Complaint.pdf?dl=0
    • Expert Report -> https://www.dropbox.com/s/wnm9u12bo8o911a/Expert%20Report.pdf?dl=0
  • What do you consider a modern unicorn?
Aug 16, 2018
Where can you see Lenny Kravitz, John Mayer, Bourbon Pursuit, Sheryl Crow, Eddie Russell, Sting, Fred Noe, and more! Only at Bourbon & Beyond Festival 2018! The entire Bourbon Pursuit Team is together for the first time to talk about the festival, the music , the Bourbon+ seminars, and a few backstage stories from last year. Oh yeah... you can win tickets to be there with us, visit Facebook and get entered to win. Sponsors: Get upfront and honest life insurance quotes in less than 10 minutes with an online application from Ethos. Bourbon and Beyond Music Festival takes place in Louisville, KY on Sept 22nd and 23rd. Buy tickets and see the bourbon workshops we will be moderating. Show Notes:
    • Buy your tickets to the Speed Museum’s Art of Bourbon hosted by Fred Minnick
    • This week's "Above the Char" with Fred Minnick discusses state pride and whiskey bars across the country.
    • Our first podcast with Fred Minnick joining as part of the Bourbon Pursuit team!
    • Talk about the origins and the planning process behind it
    • What was the idea about the culinary components?
    • What did you see out if your attendees about who were coming from outside the city?
    • Let’s talk about the sessions
    • Kenny and Ryan are leading two Bourbon+ Workshops
    • What are you looking forward to with regards of music?
    • Let’s talk about the Big Bourbon Bar
    • Rabbit Hole brought their own bartenders from Death and Co
    • What is Fred’s mini bar?
    • Got a cool story from backstage last year?
    • What about vintage pours?
    • What is it about having a Tiki bar as well?
    • We're sipping on Old Jordan from the 1900s
Aug 9, 2018
It's time for the blind battle of private barrel selections! Three heavyweight bouts between barrels that have sweet stickers and demand a hefty market price. During this fight of flights we are joined by Ben Pickett and Paul Warnott to discuss blind tasting strategies, barrel selection processes, and overall thoughts on our competing picks. Show Notes:
  • Buy your tickets to the Speed Museum's Art of Bourbon hosted by Fred Minnick
  • This week's "Above the Char" focuses on the myth that bourbon can only be made in Kentucky
  • Paul invited us to come, what was the motivation behind it?
  • Ben, how do you disperse 150 bottles between 1000 people?
  • Are you spoiled by being able to go on every single barrel pick?
  • Do you see people faking store picks now because there are hang tags?
  • Time to do our first blind tasting
  • [Russell's Reserve Results between Blind Monkey, Bluegrass Berries, and Twix]
  • Does trying anything in a particular order skew the results?
  • Tell the story behind Bluegrass Berries
  • Do you use anything as a palate cleanser
  • When you're going into blind tastings, do you have a method for setting it up and breaking it down?
  • Time do our 2nd blind tasting
  • Have you tried a bottled-in-bond blind to remove the proof variable?
  • Do you pick for the group or the store?
  • Have you ever done a barrel proof line up and is that harder or easier than something that's 90 or 110 proof.
  • What do legs do for you?
  • What do you think the attraction is to NCF or is it all mental?
  • Is there any way you can get a barrel proof single barrel any more that is outside of MGP?
  • Time to do our 3rd blind tasting
  • What was your impression of picking a barrel at New Riff/OKI vs Wild Turkey or Buffalo Trace?
  • When going back and forth between two, do you look for big discerning differences?
  • When you are doing blind, is it harder to do 8 or more together or should you narrow the field?
  • How often do you, if ever, spit anything out when tasting?
  • [Barrel Proof Results between EH Taylor Barrel Proof and OKI 12 year "Ricky Bobby"]
  • Stop in at Jake's Cigar Bar to learn more and try some of these barrels.
Aug 2, 2018
Kentucky Owl has amassed a cult following. It hit the market in 2014 but didn't gain nationwide sensation until recently. Dixon Dedman joins the show to talk about the Stoli investment, huge rye releases, and what's in store for Batch 8 this fall. Listen as we talk about burnout as Dixon continues bussing tables and making fried chicken at the Beaumont Inn while building a brand. Sponsors: Sterling Cut Glass is the Official Glassware of Bourbon Pursuit. They are offering FREE etched samples to whiskey societies nationwide! Simply email spirits@sterlingcutglass.com, include your logo, and mention Bourbon Pursuit. Show Notes:
  • This week's Above the Char with Fred Minnick discusses responsible drinking and taxation.
  • Can you give a refresher of Kentucky Owl and Beaumont Inn?
  • Are you getting to the point of burnout?
  • How much time are you putting into Kentucky Owl?
  • What has changed with Kentucky Owl in the past 2 years?
  • Were you looking for investors or being sought out?
  • Why did you choose Stoli over others?
  • Was the goal to really get this big?
  • Have you caught yourself saying you want to do Kentucky Owl full time?
  • Talk a bit about the blends and batches
  • What is the ultimate goal in how you can take something and scale it for blending?
  • Why have different batches and not have something consistent?
  • Give everyone a refresher on the bourbon process for re-barreling
  • How long are you re-aging?
  • How often are you putting out new batches?
  • What are we doing different with Batch 8 vs Batch 7?
  • Why start the Rye release?
  • Do you want the bourbon to become as big as the rye release?
  • How many bottles were in the Rye release?
  • Are you putting more emphasis on the bourbon rather than the rye?
  • Talk about the investment from Stoli and what's going to happen with the theme park
  • Talk about your epic samplings at Beaumont Inn on Instagram
  • All Kentucky Owl Podcasts
Jul 26, 2018
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgWjbWfDcnE&w=500&h=315] Everyone has some news to share this week. We welcome, Fred Minnick, as a new co-host to the show and kick off a new segment called "Above the Char". Ed Bley, multi-appearance guest on the show, has some news to share as well. Can you guess what it is? What's going to happen to Old Baldy? What's on the horizon for everyone? Enjoy this week's episode! Sponsors: Sterling Cut Glass is the Official Glassware of Bourbon Pursuit. They are offering FREE etched samples to whiskey societies nationwide! Simply email spirits@sterlingcutglass.com, include your logo, and mention Bourbon Pursuit. Show Notes:
  • This week's "Above the Char" with Fred Minnick discusses cigar barrels or cigar blends
  • Ed is leaving Cork N Bottle and opening a distillery
  • What's the name of it?
  • What happens after barreling?
  • Are you going to be distilling or just sourcing?
  • Focus on filtration and proofing
  • Did you find your great great grandpappys old recipe?
  • How did you feel Cork N Bottle groomed you for this?
  • Elephant in the room... what's happening with Old Baldy?
  • Narrow it down, what does it mean that your focus will be on filtration techniques
  • Have you talked to other master distillers about advice on this adventure?
  • Are you hiring?
  • What's the meaning behind the name?
  • Is there something that was the climatic moment?
  • Do you have a legit fear that it could flop?
  • In the scotch world, blending of other distilleries is common, but why now for bourbon?
  • Have you taken on investors or are you bootstrapped?
  • What's the vision of the site if it's not a distillery?
  • Is there a timeline for having a release?
  • How do you think your loyal Cork N Bottle customers feel?
  • Ed, what do you have planned for bourbon and rum blends?
  • Do you plan on changing your instagram account name?
Jul 19, 2018
There used to be thousands of distilleries spread across Kentucky at houses, farms, and industrial sites. As time moved through the industrial revolution, prohibition, and the clear spirit movement, many of these became ruins and were long forgotten. Nick Laracuente has dedicated years to uncovering these forgotten pieces of history as an effort to piece together their story. He is also on the forefront of Buffalo Trace's Bourbon Pompeii exhibit. Listen to this episode as Nick tells his story of discovering artifacts and uncovering the history of bourbon distillation.   Show Notes:
  • Did archeology turn you into a bourbon enthusiast or was it the other way around?
  • I suppose it really helps to know more about the product you are researching
  • What is the drive or economic reason for wanting to dig up these sites and learn?
  • Are distilleries funding this or the state? Where is the money coming from?
  • Who was Jack Jouett?
  • Can you talk about the magnitude of the footprint you are dealing with?
  • What is your fascination with the Fraziers or Ecklers who haven't had much history documented?
  • Have you been able to uncover something that isn't part of today's distillation techniques?
  • When you are exploring a site, do you have an idea of how big the operation was to figure out what to look for?
  • When you are digging holes looking for artifacts, how big are these holes?
  • What is your "eureka" moment when something is found?
  • At what point does the story start coming together for the Jouett distillery?
  • Let's talk about the poster child of bourbon archeology, Bourbon Pompeii.
  • Other than the vats, anything else cool that was discovered?
  • Follow Nick on twitter (@archeologist) and instagram (bourbonarcheology)
Jul 12, 2018
It's a tradition that has remained in the hands of the family for generations. Willett Distillery is one of the most recognized brands for bourbon enthusiasts and has accumulated a cult status. Even Kulsveen has seen the struggles and highs of his industry but had foresight to buy aged whiskey stocks when they were plentiful which put the spotlight on this brands. With Britt Kulsveen at the helm as their new President, this family is making bigger waves than before. Listen to their story as Fred Minnick moderates this Kentucky Derby Museum Legend Series. Sponsors: Sterling Cut Glass is the Official Glassware of Bourbon Pursuit. They are offering FREE etched samples to whiskey societies nationwide! Simply email spirits@sterlingcutglass.com, include your logo, and mention Bourbon Pursuit. Show Notes:
  • This event is being moderated by Fred Minnick.
  • This years theme is all about family
  • Even, where did you grow up?
  • Did you do a lot of ice fishing growing up? Did you ever fall through the ice?
  • Talk about your time in the Merchant Marines
  • What were your events in college sports?
  • So we found out before we started that you're not an American citizen
  • Britt, can you give us a story about your father's kindness?
  • Even, was there a moment where you saw Britt in action and said she's got skills?
  • Britt, is there a story behind you always wearing boots?
  • Even, did you train Drew?
  • What are you looking for in the barrels when you are creating your small batch composition? What is something that doesn't taste right?
  • What was something you learned from Thompson Willett?
  • Did he ever show you his secret spots in the warehouses?
  • Talk about the Frosted Yeast Rolls. This is the High Corn Mashbill. Barrel entry at
  • Even, How did you meet your wife?
  • All the big brands were bailing out on bourbon, what was that time like?
  • When did you come out with your small batch series?
  • Did you ever travel to Russia in the 90s? Did you ever have trust issues with distributors there?
  • Britt, what was it like as a kid watching your dad living around whiskey?
  • Let's drink the wheated bourbon now. Entry Proof at 115
  • When Drew brings you something, do you ever turn it away and tell him its bad?
  • You were also bottling stuff for a lot of other people back in the day. Can you talk about that?
  • You had to acquire bourbon from other distilleries, what sort of other whiskey were you looking for?
  • Was there is an age limit of something you wouldn't buy?
  • Would your early batches include barrels from lots of different distilleries?
  • What's your sweet spot for an aged bourbon?
  • Lets taste the 6 year old Rye now, 51% Rye, 34% Corn, 15% barley, Barrel entry proof is 125, but now goes in at 110.
  • Dipping back into the great barrels coming out during the early 2000s, how does this new stuff rank?
  • We talked about the 80s and 90s, but Willett becomes really popular in the late 2000s. There are a lot of fans. Have you ever been a part of the fandom?
  • How many times have you been asked to get bought out?
  • Bill Thomas from Jack Rose has been a big supporter of Willett.
  • Talk about the Willett 80th anniversary. It's the original Willett mashbill, 72% Corn, 13% Rye, 15% Barley and this one is bottled in bond
  • There aren't many bad things to be said about your whiskey. Do you think it's harder to stay on top?
  • Are there any other mashbills or barrel finishes you are working on?
Jul 5, 2018
How are businesses able to take advantage of Kentucky's House Bill 100 or better known as the Vintage Spirits Law? Today’s show features two opposite side of the spectrum. We have one side doing retail with Justin Sloane at Justin’s House of Bourbon in Lexington, and the other is on-premise at a restaurant with Larry Rice of the famed Silver Dollar in Louisville. Both of these places are known for having unique bourbons on the menu and we get an inside scoop into how this law has effected their business. We wrap up the show with their greatest dusty hunting stories. Sponsors: Sterling Cut Glass is the Official Glassware of Bourbon Pursuit. They are offering FREE etched samples to whiskey societies nationwide! Simply email spirits@sterlingcutglass.com, include your logo, and mention Bourbon Pursuit. Show Notes:
  • Talk about how you got into bourbon
  • It seems like many people got started with collecting Maker's Mark. Are any of them valuable now?
  • Justin, talk about the launching point for The House of Bourbon, was the spirit law a big motivating factor?
  • Why did you think a package store would be the best way to capitalize on House Bill 100?
  • Why aren't more liquor stores investing in this business model?
  • Larry, you saw the writing on the wall pretty early and Silver Dollar became a destination for bourbon trail people. What was the idea of having a very large whiskey catalog?
  • Where did the honky tonk aspect come from?
  • What is it about vintage or dusty whiskey that they bring to the table?
  • Talk about how you began acquiring all these bottles
  • Do you feel uneasy knowing you have all these unicorns and you won’t get to try it?
  • How are you managing inventory?
  • What's your target market?
  • Larry, I think you’re getting locals that are just now getting into the scene but don’t know about the forums.
  • Do you find it funny that old people thought this was rot gut?
  • Do you want them to fly off the shelf?
  • Do vintage spirits have big revenue or is it just value-add?
  • Will there be an end in sight of getting hands on dusty bourbon?
  • Lets wrap it up with your best dusty hunting story
Jun 28, 2018
Pretty sure everyone has heard about Barton 1792's Warehouse collapsing but we take our stab at some chaos theories. Brian Harra from Sipp'n Corn defended Castle and Key against Sazerac in a lawsuit and won. And the second half of the show is discussing all the new releases that are set to debut. Sponsors: Sterling Cut Glass is the Official Glassware of Bourbon Pursuit. They are offering FREE etched samples to whiskey societies nationwide! Simply email spirits@sterlingcutglass.com, include your logo, and mention Bourbon Pursuit. Show Notes:
  • Drinking Old Forester's President's Choice, Kentucky Owl Rye, Wilderness Trail, Elijah Craig, and Henry McKenna
  • Why doesn't Heaven Hill allow Elijah Craig Barrel Proof picks?
  • It's the story that broke headlines and most of our phones were buzzing from family sending us links as if we hadn't heard of it yet. But Warehouse 30 at Barton collapsed.
  • First, lets go ahead and see who got the most texts or links sent to them?
  • I know they haven't said the cause, but if you go check out a previous podcast guests blog, bourbontruth, you will see that he wrote an article back in 2015 about infestation of beetles
  • On June 14, 2018, one of the panelists on this roundtable actually counter-suit Sazerac and won. A quick summary of the decision went as follows. Will Arvin and Wesley Murry are the guys behind the Castle and Key venture, even though we see Marianne Barnes on IG all the time. During the period where they were renovating, it was commonly referred to as the old taylor distillery or the spot formally known as. The problem with this was that Sazerac sued them for defamation for the name of Old Taylor saying that it caused brand confusion. Court Ruling PDF
  • What's the Lanham Act?
  • Sazerac points out that there is a four-hundred foot “Old Taylor Distillery” sign on the distillery’s barrel storage warehouse and a twenty-foot “The Old Taylor Distillery Company” sign above the entrance to its main building. What did they expect to do with this?
  • Was there a settlement to be paid? Or attorney fees get paid?
  • Kentucky Owl Rye Batch 2 raise in SRP to $200. Almost a 50% increase. Seen some sold for $160
  • 1792 BiB single barrels
  • Parker's Orange Curacao finish
  • Booker's 30th Blend Announcement - Blake I saw in your email round up you talked about this. Can you give a recap?
  • Wild Turkey Revival
  • Heaven Hill 27 year
  • Knob Creek Cask Strength Rye
  • Thanks to Blake from Bourbonr.com, Jordan from Breaking Bourbon, Brian from Sipp'n Corn, and Kerry from Subourbia for joining this week.
  • Listen to all the Community Roundtables at http://bourbonpursuit.com/bourbon-community-roundtable-podcasts/
Jun 21, 2018
The spotlight is set on the man who has made non-distilling producers famous. It's an exclusive podcast to the operations behind one of the largest distilleries in the world. Our guest spent nearly 40 years with that very famous Indiana distillery. It's safe to say, Greg Metze probably produced more bourbon and rye in a single year than some master distillers will in a lifetime once you hear about the size and scale of MGP.
  • Let’s do what we all always do and start from the beginning. Do you remember your introduction into whiskey?
  • Can you talk about your education and what led you into distillation?
  • So lets look at your history at MGP Ingredients. What was your career path and trajectory there?
  • The internals of MGPi aren’t discussed very much. How big is the operation there?
  • What was the idea to distill all that rye before it became popular?
  • Are there more spirits that were produced than others?
  • What was the break out in bourbon vs rye being produced?
  • Do you pride yourself in knowing that 90% of the Ryes and probably a good percentage of bourbon on the shelves of liquor stores is all from your work?
  • How popular was contract distilling 10 years ago?
  • Do you feel a bit angered or left out knowing there are tons of NDPs out there who are making a fortune telling a story about a rye that you created?
  • Talk us through the process of selling to an NDP. Are they coming to MGP asking for juice? Is MGP coming to them first trying to sell them?
  • Are there contracts that say you can or can't market a MGP bourbon or rye?
  • Are there boundaries on how they market MGP juice?
  • I'd like to know if they have ever had to turn someone away with either just buying sourced barrels or contract distilling? If so what is the pecking order or criteria?
  • What are NDPs doing to make their product different or if it's all the same stuff?
  • Are NDPs taking barrel from the same warehouses or how do they pick and choose?
  • Did the whiskey boom hurt MGP getting rid of aged stocks?
  • Lets talk about Old Elk in Colorado
Jun 14, 2018
Wes Henderson ran with his father's idea of doing port barrel finished bourbon. He weathered the storm of critics and let the product carve a new path where barrel finishes are now commonplace. It caught the eye of Bacardi and is continuing to grow with their own distillery that's now up and running. We talk about brand loyalty, social media, acquisitions, and business models when it comes to bourbon and spirits. Sponsors: Sterling Cut Glass is the Official Glassware of Bourbon Pursuit. They are offering FREE etched samples to whiskey societies nationwide! Simply email spirits@sterlingcutglass.com, include your logo, and mention Bourbon Pursuit. Show Notes:
  • Wes, you were back on Episode 006 which was back in March of 2015. I mean that was a long time ago! But for all those who just recently joined, lets give a quick recap of who you are, you father, the origins of Angel’s Envy, etc.
  • Also, why the port finish?
  • Barrel finishes are taking off, do you think you're delivering a better product than just standard bourbon?
  • You know last time we talked, you were talking about trying a sherry finished cask. How has that experiment progressed?
  • One of the great things I see consistently out of you is how you connect with the people who drink Angel’s Envy on social media. You respond back to almost every angels envy hashtag thanking the consumer. How does that effect brand loyalty?
  • How are you connecting to a wide demographic to bourbon drinkers?
  • The last time we saw each other was at Bourbon and Beyond and I thought this can’t be real. When did people in bourbon started getting treated like celebrities. I was there with you hanging out on stage with the bands as they were playing and it was a good time.
  • I know I’ve seen you rubbing shoulders with a lot of Hollywood elite now too. I think you’re becoming secret best friends with actress and country music singer Laura Bell Buddy.
  • So the last time we talked it was the same exact week Bacardi had announced the take over of Angel’s Envy. How has that been going?
  • Was the Bacardi acquisition a big jump in capital that was needed?
  • Then why a Distillery if no debt? What was wrong with the sourcing business model?
  • You talked about tremendous upside building in Louisville but where's the risk?
  • As the innovation officer, how are you getting your brand into the eyes of more consumers every day?
  • Do you think the acquisition train will be coming full steam as bourbon begins to rise?
Jun 7, 2018
You know when people say "I miss the good 'ol days"? Guthrie McKay is one of them. He has seen the bourbon renaissance flourish as he's been nestled in a small little liquor store in downtown Bardstown called Toddy's Liquors. Toddy's has almost become a stop on its own as people visit the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Listen as Guthrie tells stories of taking customers to visit Booker and Parker, his run in with Bill Thomas, and how the current boom has made him adapt business. Sponsors: Sterling Cut Glass is the Official Glassware of Bourbon Pursuit. They are offering FREE etched samples to whiskey societies nationwide! Simply email spirits@sterlingcutglass.com, include your logo, and mention Bourbon Pursuit. Show Notes:
  • Talk about the store. How did you get into the liquor business?
  • Why didn't you name it after yourself?
  • Talk about Bardstown 30 years ago and the bourbon scene and how it has changed
  • Was there a premium brand back then?
  • Did you have a hard time selling stuff like Booker's or Maker's Mark?
  • Talk more about those early relationships with first entrants in the market?
  • I'm sure you aren't sending people to the Beam's house any longer
  • Is your store becoming another stop on the bourbon trail?
  • What's your most annoying Pappy story?
  • Talk about your history with Bill Thomas
  • How do you deal with distributor games now?
  • Are you looking forward to seeing Bardstown grow with reinvestments into infrastructure for keeping bourbon booming?
  • How do you deal with shelf space on craft brands?
  • Are you major buyers on the bourbon trail or everyday consumers?
  • So you don't feel bad about pricing above secondary?
  • Are gift shops taking away from your bottom line?
  • What can big distilleries do to help support you?
  • Can Bardstown support any more business? Are there enough people?
  • You've talked about lot of gripes, but tell us what are some of the positives
May 31, 2018
The craft beer and wine world has good apps, why doesn't bourbon? Have you started to see Henry McKenna games start with liquor stores and distributors? Are we entering a new era of specialty bourbon decanters to appeal to an audience that will bite? We investigate the reasons why it's so hard to make bourbon apps popular. Tell true stories from the front lines of distributors bullying store owners on purchasing cases of Henry McKenna. Reveal our opinions on the new Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-bond decanter. Sponsors: Good Cigar Co. designed the first ready-to-go kit with everything needed to light up – all in a handsome pack that acts as its own humidor. Use promo code BOURBON for 10% off any subscription Sterling Cut Glass is the Official Glassware of Bourbon Pursuit. They are offering FREE etched samples to whiskey societies nationwide! Simply email spirits@sterlingcutglass.com, include your logo, and mention Bourbon Pursuit. Show Notes:
  • -Thanks to Blake from Bourbonr.com, Jordan from Breaking Bourbon, and Max from Superfly Bourbon Club for joining this week.
  • Max recently spent his bachelor party trip in bourbon country, tell us about it.
  • Why aren't there apps? It works for beer and wine, but why not bourbon?
  • Is there a false sense of scarcity with Henry McKenna?
  • Are distributors starting games again?
  • Why isn't hoarding or buying multiple cases of Henry McKenna a good thing?
  • Are spirits competitions getting too much recognition?
  • Are decanters coming back in style?
  • Are we rolling back to the 70s?
  • Can this be a collectors item?
  • Bob Dylan released his line of whiskey. Is this the start of celebs getting into the game?
  • Listen to all the Community Roundtables at http://bourbonpursuit.com/bourbon-community-roundtable-podcasts/
May 24, 2018
Is Jack Daniel's a bourbon? It's a question that has been asked thousands of times over and there never really seems to be a good answer. It's about time you hear it from the man himself, the one who helps make every drop of that charcoal mellowed goodness, Jeff Arnett, the Master Distiller at Jack Daniel's Distillery. We talk about the Lincoln County Process and if that changes the terminology from "Bourbon" to "Tennessee Whiskey" or if it can even be replicated in other parts of the country. If you've ever snuffed your nose at Jack thinking it's not bourbon, perhaps you should listen to this episode and you might end up buying a bottle at the end. Sponsors: Good Cigar Co. designed the first ready-to-go kit with everything needed to light up – all in a handsome pack that acts as its own humidor. Use promo code BOURBON for 10% off any subscription Sterling Cut Glass is the Official Glassware of Bourbon Pursuit. They are offering FREE etched samples to whiskey societies nationwide! Simply email spirits@sterlingcutglass.com, include your logo, and mention Bourbon Pursuit. Show Notes:
  • Talk about your background
  • Did Pringles really start because they couldn't get rid of the tennis ball cans?
  • When did you start there?
  • We are pretty unfamiliar with Jack Daniel's history. Was there an actual man named Jack Daniels?
  • Jack Daniels like to categorize itself as a Tennessee Whiskey and not a bourbon so we are going to look at all the information in front of us and put it to rest
  • So lets talk about the mash bill being the first checkbox… Does it use at least 51% of corn?
  • What is it about your yeast and water that make Jack so unique?
  • So lets talk about the distillation process of Jack Daniels because it’s in the United States which hits a check box. It follows pretty much every other bourbon law if i’m not mistaken, meaning that you aren’t adding flavoring agents, distilling at no more than 160 proof and entering the barrel at no more than 125 proof
  • Give me an idea of what the Lincoln County process is?
  • So you’re really just trying to one up Kentucky Bourbon then?
  • You use new charred oak barrels, yes?
  • In 2014, legislation was introduced in the Tennessee legislature that would modify the 2013 law to allow the reuse of oak barrels in the Tennessee whiskey aging process. But you opposed the legislation, why? is it because you secretly love bourbon?
  • And it’s bottled at 80 proof which is also another checkbox.
  • So by in large it follows the all the laws of being a bourbon… but it doesn’t want to be.
  • Do you believe this is a major influence on the flavor or “charcoal mellowing” of Jack Daniels?
  • Why do you think the general public cares if it’s a bourbon or tennessee whiskey? Is it because we have too much time on our hands?
  • Do you start hearing of people from Kentucky who tell stories about disowning their sons when they bring a bottle of Jack to christmas because "it’s not bourbon”?
  • Does it go the other way that Tennesseans don’t want to be associated to Kentucky bourbon?
  • But it’s funny because Jack Daniels is a part of Brown-Forman, the same family as Woodford Reserve and Old Forester but it’s a substantial portion of the portfolio.
  • Fred Minnick goes as far as saying that the federal government needs to define Tennessee Whiskey so this will be ended once and for all.
  • So I think we’ve hit on a lot but I want to give our snobby listeners out there a taste of what’s beyond the signature black label. If someone out there wants to get into the other expressions where do they start?
May 17, 2018
Picking a single barrel out of a line up seems relatively simple when compared to blending tens or hundreds of barrels together to hit a specific bourbon taste profile. Where does that process begin? Do you start with a few and keep taste testing? Is it a math formula of X spicy barrels to Y sweet barrels? This episode features Ed Bley, blender behind the underground phenomenon known as Old Baldy. We ask Ed what it's like to go from picking single barrels to learning how to blend multiple barrels to hit a distinct flavor spot. It's an art form that Ed describes as trying to perfect the "witch's hat".   Good Cigar Co. designed the first ready-to-go kit with everything needed to light up - all in a handsome pack that acts as its own humidor. Use promo code BOURBON for 10% off any subscription State of Logic Podcast connect the dots on relevant topics with interesting people as their guests. They explore recent books, culture, movies, science, politics and other random thoughts about life.   Show Notes:
  • Were you trying to make something truly unique?
  • How did you get access to the warehouse to start creating your own private label?
  • Do most blenders have a lot of this down to a science where they know what warehouses are going to yield a specific flavor profile?
  • Did you at one point think, well we may have just thrown away a bunch of barrels while waiting for it to marry in a tank?
  • Were you experimenting with finished whiskies at home to perfect this?
  • Was there a teacher that go you to this point?
  • Are people mad because they don't have access?
  • What's your advice to people on how they can experiment at home?
  • What are the elements of the bourbon flavor wheel are you looking for?
  • Do you think people get turned off from grain flavors?
  • What problems do you run into when you scale from a few barrels to barrels in the teens or small 20s?
  • Do you think people are a little crazy that they are paying hundreds of dollars for your blend?
  • What's your plan for the next one?
  • Is the best way to learn to do this is to learn how to break down single barrels?
  • Do you think you are helping revive blended straight whiskey?
  • Hear all of Ed's Podcast's at http://bourbonpursuit.com/?s=bley
 
May 10, 2018
Are you looking for an in-depth story on the Beam family history and how Fred and Freddie Noe are cementing their place in it? Look no further than the 2018 Kentucky Derby Museum's Legend Series. This episode will cover some of the fun times that were had by Booker, Fred, and Freddie and how the new release of Little Book is coming to be a yearly distribution. Fred Minnick is the host of the show as he covers many of the aspects of the family business, how they came up in the ranks, and tries to get them to divulge information time and time again.   State of Logic Podcast connect the dots on relevant topics with interesting people as their guests. They explore recent books, culture, movies, science, politics and other random thoughts about life. Bourbon and Beyond Music Festival takes place in Louisville, KY on Sept 22nd and 23rd. Buy tickets and see the bourbon workshops we will be moderating. Show Notes:
  • I didn't take any notes while I was listening. So you'll have to listen to this one for yourself and find out how awesome it is.
May 3, 2018
Will Longbranch slowly phase out Wild Turkey 81? Did you know that 92% of the entrants in the 2017 San Francisco World Spirit Awards won a medal? Did Buffalo Trace start aiming too high? We examine all of these topics much more in depth in this edition of the Bourbon Community Roundtable. State of Logic Podcast connect the dots on relevant topics with interesting people as their guests. They explore recent books, culture, movies, science, politics and other random thoughts about life. Bourbon and Beyond Music Festival takes place in Louisville, KY on Sept 22nd and 23rd. Buy tickets and see the bourbon workshops we will be moderating. Show Notes:
Apr 26, 2018
Maker's Mark is easily the most iconic brand in bourbon. But did you know the brand would have probably ceased to exist if Bill Samuels Jr didn't try and sell his Dad's whiskey? Get ready to hear the untold history of how Bill Samuels Jr turned his Dad's hobby of making whiskey from a few barrels a week into the powerhouse it is today. State of Logic Podcast connect the dots on relevant topics with interesting people as their guests. They explore recent books, culture, movies, science, politics and other random thoughts about life. Bourbon and Beyond Music Festival takes place in Louisville, KY on Sept 22nd and 23rd. Buy tickets and see the bourbon workshops we will be moderating. Show Notes:
  • So Bill let's start from the beginning.
  • Did you and your Dad butt heads a lot?
  • What was your Dad's original vision?
  • What was the original investment?
  • At what point was your Dad "All in"?
  • How were the hard decisions made?
  • Talk about the next stage for you and what you were doing with Aerospace?
  • Why did you Dad want you to be "un-engineered"?
  • You were a summer intern in the White House?
  • What was it during that 1 year with your Dad that made you want to stay around?
  • Where did you fit in this puzzle?
  • You had your first publication in the Wall Street Journal, what's next?
  • At what point did you start taking over after your father began exiting?
  • Talk about the growth when Rob started coming into the scene
  • Do you get a feeling of accomplishment when you look at the distillery now?
  • What's your idea of still being involved and enjoying retirement?
  • So 46 was your baby
  • Where is this industry trending?
  • Talk about strategic pricing with supply and demand
  • Do you see a reason why bourbon couldn't be $1000 a bottle?
  • What niche do you think craft whiskey is solving in the market today?
  • Is there a way they can have continued success?
  • Listen to all of our Maker's Mark Podcasts
Apr 19, 2018
The threats of a global trade war have been looming over the past few months. Sparked by an EU attempt to lower the tariff on steel imports, they targeted American products such as peanut butter and bourbon. What sort of economic impact would a bourbon tariff have on exports to other countries? How does that trickle back into Bardstown, KY and the growing market? Does it even matter?  On this episode, we are joined by University of Louisville's Economic Professors, Conor Lennon and Keith Teltser, to explain the intertwined global economy and the effect a tariff has from the bourbon producers to the grain suppliers. State of Logic Podcast connect the dots on relevant topics with interesting people as their guests. They explore recent books, culture, movies, science, politics and other random thoughts about life. Bourbon and Beyond Music Festival takes place in Louisville, KY on Sept 22nd and 23rd. Buy tickets and see the bourbon workshops we will be moderating. Show Notes:
  • How did you all get into bourbon?
  • Explain what is a tariff?
  • This all started as a retaliatory effort from the EU as an opposition to the US putting tariffs on imported steel. Can you give some more information to set the scene?
  • Could this be a much ado about nothing?
  • Could something actually never happen?
  • Is big European growth even a target?
  • Does the tariff even have an effect when you look at the abundance of the excise tax?
  • When people say "Alright! More bourbon in America!" is that even a sentiment that should be encouraged? Or is that narrow-minded?
  • What protection do you not like about Bourbon from a economist's perspective?
  • There isn't a shortage of bourbon on the shelf. Are there other markets that haven't been tapped?
  • Who has the biggest dog in the fight? Brown-Forman with Jack Daniels?
  • What are those other aspects we haven't touched on that this impacts? Voters? Constituents?
  • What other countries could remove their tariffs to bring more imported goods there?
  • You all find the secondary market much more entertaining
  • The academic work on bourbon prices over the last 3-4 years is on Conor's site under the “Research” tab (direct link: https://tinyurl.com/yau4pn34).
Apr 12, 2018
What does a bourbon that receives double gold actually mean? Are the whiskies judged blind? We learn all this and more as the Executive Director of the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Anthony Dias Blue, joins the show to give us an inside glimpse to the bourbons that can be entered and dispels some myths if it's a "pay to play" atmosphere. State of Logic Podcast connect the dots on relevant topics with interesting people as their guests. They explore recent books, culture, movies, science, politics and other random thoughts about life. Show Notes:
  • What sets your competition apart from the rest?
  • How many different categories do you have at the event?
  • Are all tastings done blind?
  • Are they shelf bottles (from a standard distributor) or do distillers get to choose specific bottles they send in?
  • Why not Jack Daniels and other major selling brands?
  • How medals are awarded, and what those medals actually mean when we see them on a bottle?
  • How many judges are there and how many need to rate a bourbon as Gold for it to receive a Gold Medal?
  • Most of the time when I see a sticker on a bottle saying that this bourbon was rated as Gold or Double Gold, it doesn’t have a date on the sticker. If a bourbon is awarded a medal does it have that medal forever? Is it or can it be evaluated ever again? Does the producer have to do anything to maintain that medal?
  • Is the "same" product is entered over multiple years and judged independently each year?
  • How much weight should we consumers put on these awards when we see them on a brand we’ve never heard of or tried?
  • Why have a competition at all?
  • Is it "pay to play" and your entrance fee will automatically score you a medal?
  • Do you see cases of "bait and switch"? Products/Sellers submit “honey” barrels to the competition to get a higher award, and then using that award to promote an inferior product.
Apr 5, 2018
Do you snuff at $100 MGP bourbon and will sourced Dickel be the next wave of NDPs? What does House Bill 400 really mean when it comes to shipping booze from Kentucky? And finally Buffalo Trace announced their new line of CYPB but who really wanted 95 proof Weller? We touch on all these topics and more on this Bourbon Community Roundtable episode. State of Logic Podcast connect the dots on relevant topics with interesting people as their guests. They explore recent books, culture, movies, science, politics and other random thoughts about life.
  • What's everyone drinking tonight?
  • Are we getting tired of seeing $100 MGP bourbons?
  • Bourbonr and BreakingBourbon have Doc52, let's hear it
  • Any good April fools out there?
  • Let’s talk shipping. HB400 passed
  • The new W. L. Weller Bourbon, CYPB edition (short for Craft Your Perfect Bourbon), is, according to those behind it, made from a wheat recipe, aged eight years on the top floors of the warehouses, and bottled at 95 proof. It is the bourbon which best fit into what over 100,200 bourbon drinkers voted most for over two years –  a wheated bourbon recipe aged for eight years that’s been matured on the top floor of the bourbon warehouse and bottled at somewhere between 90-99 proof. Although very limited, one batch of this new bourbon will be released each year, beginning this summer. The recommended price is around $40 for a 750ml bottle. First off, who said we wanted 95 proof weller?
  • Kerry visited Bowman and Jack Rose Dining Saloon
  • Thanks to Blake from bourbonr.com, Jordan from BreakingBourbon.com, Kerry from Sobourbia.com, and Brian Harra from Sippncorn.blogspot.com
Mar 29, 2018
 Dave Pickerell is well known in the bourbon world, he was former master distiller at Maker’s Mark and owns a consulting business, Oak View Spirits, where he has designed equipment, systems and processes for about 100 distilleries worldwide including WhistlePig, Hillrock, Corsair, and many others. This episode dives into to the distilleries themselves, the pricing behind Boss Hog,  and questions we would want to know from a master distiller like grain sourcing. State of Logic Podcast connect the dots on relevant topics with interesting people as their guests. They explore recent books, culture, movies, science, politics and other random thoughts about life.
  • As usual, lets start from the beginning. Do you remember your introduction into whiskey or bourbon?
  • Did you think chemical engineering would lead to spirits?
  • First off, do you get tired of talking about your past at Makers?
  • Do you think Maker’s put you on the map?
  • Do people still ask you to sign Maker’s stuff?
  • It seems that consulting is becoming a pretty big business because there’s the likes of you, Jim Rutledge, Nancy Fraley, Greg Metze, and the list goes on. Is there that much demand?
  • Are you training new distillers?
  • Do they get off track?
  • Master distillers today are seen is high regards as a big marketing tool and the face of the brand relies on that one person. However, you’re wearing the badge of many distilleries at one time. Are you asked to go to places to talk about a specific brand? Do you play favorites?
  • You’re still heavily involved with WhistlePig still, correct?
  • Talk about the brand a bit because it’s one we typically don’t talk about on the show.
  • It’s just sourced MGPi, right? So what are you doing that’s adding a bit of pizzazz to it?
  • Tell me, what’s up with the pricing on Boss Hog? What sort of magic are you doing that makes a $500 bottle of whiskey?
  • You are working with craft distilleries every day, what’s the biggest challenge you see facing them?
  • Are you trying to produce the same product at all these places? Because when I think about it you could just have the Dave Pickerall SKUs where you say here’s your 3 options, choose one and we will put everything in that bucket
  • Whats your theory on sourcing grains?
  • Are chewing on them? Or after distillation?
  • Discuss year to year variation of crops affect on flavors.
  • Discuss how sourcing grains from different parts of the world makes a difference in the finished product.
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