Bourbon Pursuit

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 industry insiders, 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






All Episodes
Now displaying: 2015
Dec 18, 2015

Erik of @BourbonSeason joins the show to talk about the infamous bottle chase and the growing secondary market

- Before we get started, there is a new December release coming from Kentucky Owl so be on the lookout for red, blue, and green ink bottles soon.
- Erik, how did you get into bourbon?
- Tell us what you do with your twitter handle, @BourbonSeason.
- There’s a lot of ways to get allocated bourbons, have you found a good formula for getting special release bourbons?
- Have you seen special hunting groups that have formed?
- Have you seen more camp out situations in other parts of the country?
- There’s camping, lotteries, and being a “best” customer but is there a fair way to distribute allocated bottles?
- In Louisville the secondary market is starting to take its effect. Small shops are selling bottles for secondary prices. Are you seeing this in other parts of the country as well?
- When you think about the secondary market there are fingers to point. Are people flipping the bottles or buying the bottles the culprit of the problem?
- How do you feel about seeing the flipper “crotch shot”?
- Some people on forums are selling 2 or 3 full verticals of Pappy or BTAC, so how are these people feeding the secondary market?
- In Louisville, we have a few restaurants that have fantastic selections, but they are price gouging. No question about it. Do you see restaurants as contributing to the secondary market as well?
- Are the distilleries going to start charging more to combat and make more money for themselves?
- This week, Buffalo Trace sent out an email responding to the mass inquiries about secondary market pricing and they intend on trying to shut down secondary markets. Can Buffalo Trace successfully shut it down?
- Would you like to see Buffalo Trace crack down on stores and restaurants that price gouge since the three-tier system is the only way a consumer can get a bottle?
- Quick PSA on breaking your empty bottles
- Is there such a thing as “bourbon karma”?

Dec 15, 2015

Reid Mitenbuler (@ReidMitenbuler), author of Bourbon Empire, joins Ryan and Kenny to talk about the history and psyche of bourbon, “a distinctive product of the United States”.


- The Frazier Museum has a new Prohibition exhibit that will become a new or even a first stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
- Reid, what’s your coming to age tale of bourbon?
- What made you so fascinated that you took the time to become an author on the subject?
- Talk about the misquote of bourbon being a “distinctive product of the United States”.
- Talk about the beginning with the “Big Bang of Bourbon”.
- In the book, you talk about myths behind the labels.
- Let’s jump ahead in history, there was a lot going on in 1964. Can you talk about what was going on during that time period?
- What was the result of The Bourbon Institute in overseas markets?
- There is a concept of marketing that has changed the way in what you think you’re drinking.
- You said (paraphrasing) “Rosenstiel presided over vicious consolidation rounds that made many distillers and brands extinct, but is also a part of the reason why many bourbons today taste as good as they do”. Talk about that. How come his name isn’t as prominent as EH Taylor for Bottled-in-Bond?
- How come we don’t see a bourbon or whiskey brand named Rosenstiel?
- Within the prologue, you talk about bourbon being a “comfort food”. Talk about that.
- If you want to buy Bourbon Empire, it’s available on Amazon.

Dec 8, 2015

Robert Mohr & Tom Johnson of Aroma Academy (@AromaAcademyUS) join the podcast to talk about the science behind using olfactory senses to know more about your bourbon and the key aromas.

- How do you store your extensive bourbon collection? Is it like storing wine?
- Give us a quick intro about how you are and how you got into bourbon
- The tagline is “a sensory training for DRINKS PROFESSIONALS” so talk about what is Aroma Academy
- Are the smells common between everyone or does everyone smell something different?
- What are some of the key aromas we get from bourbon?
- Has there ever been a bourbon, scotch or wine that you’ve nosed and you said, “I’m not even going to drink that”
- Talk about your blog post on creating a Pappy Van Winkle nosing sample
- Have you found two particular brands of bourbon that are two polar opposites of one another?
- If someone purchases a kit, is there a 24-hour turnaround time or how long does it take to better develop your olfactory senses?
- Do aromas change based on density levels depending on the type of glass its in?
- Talk about letting the alcohol dissipate after pouring it in a glass before nosing and tasting
- Special 20% discount for Bourbon Pursuit listeners on the 24 Aroma Kit - When checking out, use the coupon code “Pursuit” or visit

Dec 4, 2015

John Kowalczyk reveals how he started a Bourbon Christmas Gift Exchange that grew from just a handful of friends to an event that is sponsored by liquor stores and distilleries.

- Overview of the past few bottles to come out and Ryan is becoming a dusty hunter after attending Whiskey Pig at Willett Distillery.
- What’s your bourbon story? How did you get into it?
- Tell us about your Bourbon Gift Exchange
- Are there rules to your gift exchange?
- Throw out some of the names of the brands you had your first year
- How did more people find out about it and spread?
- Is there a certain bottle that stands out among the crowd?
- How did you get sponsorships from local stores and even distilleries?
- What are the plans for this year? Are you trying to step it up?
- After the exchange is over, do people just immediately open their bottle and start sharing?

Nov 24, 2015

Matt Jamie, Founder and Owner of Bourbon Barrel Foods, talks about how he started a company with Bluegrass Soy Sauce into a brand that does everything to promote "Eat Your Bourbon"

- We’ve taken a hiatus and we apologize. Sometimes life just gets in the way… and bourbon hunting. lots and lots of bourbon hunting.
- What's your bourbon story? I know you are a Louisville native, has bourbon always been in your blood like ours?
- Tell us the story of Bourbon Barrel Foods and how it got created.
- Talk about some of the products and what makes them special
- I notice that you also have a lot of products from Woodford Reserve. Can you talk about their products or the partnership you have with them?
- Talk a bit about Kentuckiaki and Bourbon Vanilla Extract
- I was also reading about a sponsorship you received in 2013 to help build a Kitchen Studio. Can you talk about that?
- Do you have any of your favorite recipes?
- If people in louisville and traveling for the bourbon trail want to find a retail store, where do they go?
- What entails the Eat Your Bourbon Class and the Chef Series?
- If you want to learn more, you can visit the online at or follow them on twitter @bourbonbarrel

Oct 9, 2015

Dixon Dedman, Owner Operator of Beaumont Inn & Partner in Kentucky Owl, joins us to talk about his family history and how they revitalized a brand that died during prohibition.

- Fantasy teams are now using high valued bourbons as entrance fees
- Lets talk about you. Who are you and what have you been doing up to this point?
- Lets talk about your bourbon. What got you into dealing with the brand?
- Why the tag name “The Wise Man’s Bourbon”?
- What made you go with a barrel proof bourbon?
- How many barrels went into the particular batches?
- So you take the barrels, and you dump them and put them into new charred barrels?
- Is there a big difference between Batch 1 and Batch 2? What about Batch 3? (easter egg here!)
- This is a KY only release. Why only KY?
- How does it feel to have this craze happening?
- Talk about the Old Owl Tavern on your property
- Where do you sit on the Bourbon Trail?
- For anyone still looking for a pour of KY Owl, can they get it at the tavern?
- Adam Johnson asks, What is the secret to the General Lee cake?
- How can people get in touch with you?

Oct 2, 2015

Mikael Mossberg, Co-Founder & CEO of Distiller, talks about his whiskey recommendation app and how his whiskey passion led him to be in the startup world. 
- Kick off the show talking about Parker's Heritage Collection #9, The Malt Whiskey Release
- What has your past been that led you up into Distiller?
- Tell us more about the app, what would you categorize it as?
- How did the idea spawn?
- We really like the "trending bottle", how did that idea come about?
- Walk us through the recommendation engine
- Where do you find your expert reviewers?
- The reviews are like Amazon reviews, short and to the point.
- What sort of glasses do you drink out of? I found a good tidbit of information from Marianne Barnes about density and nosing.
- How many people are on the platform?
- How do you get all these bottles and samplesfor reviews?
- How did you come up with the tagline "The Whiskey Companion"?
- Shout out to our new audio engineer David Isreal

Sep 24, 2015

Nino Marchetti, Founder at (@WhiskeyWash), joins us today to announce a new partnership between us. We talk about his news outlet, the authors, products, and most importantly, his bunker!

- Starting the show off by drinking Kentucky Owl Batch #2. Add it to the collection if you have the money to spare
- Talk to us about the
- We’re proud to announce a partnership between our two brands
- Nino has an offsite, undisclosed location, for his bunker
- Talk about the authors on the site
- Talk about some of the most popular articles
- One of the most popular articles is about the $75,000 Whiskey
- In regards to reviewers, what walks of life do they come from so we trust them?
- There are lots of reviews on food pairings
- Your apartment is on fire, what’s the one bottle you grab?

Sep 18, 2015

Krim Comstock, the Bourbon Marketing Director at Buffalo Trace, talks about how he made his way to Kentucky and gives us insight into the brands and even the new 2015 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (sorry about the horrible audio on this one). 


- Tell us your bourbon story

- What led you to Buffalo Trace?

- What do you do in your current role?

- Give everyone a bit of insight on how you do forecasting for production?

- Since you are in charge of packaging lets talk a bit about some of the labels we see today. 

Can you talk a bit about some of them and perhaps some backstory. Maybe even give the listeners an understanding why Buffalo Trace is even called Buffalo Trace?

- Now i know Blantons has the collector series of caps. Am I right?

- You’ve also had a hand in developing some of the other brands like EH Taylor, Experimental, Stagg Jr and Single Oak. talk about each one of those a little bit and the roles you played<

- The Antique collection was just announced. Talk to us about it a bit

- Follow Kris on twitter at @BUFFALOCOMSTOCK

Sep 10, 2015

Carol Perry, or just Perry, is a legend in his own right. Perry has worked at the Stitzel-Weller distillery in Shively for 45 years. He has held about every job you could possibly have and is currently working security and head greeter for the Bulleit Frontier Experience.


 - Give us an idea of what you have been doing here for the past 45 years

 - Talk about what life is like working at the warehouse

 - Why did they have windows open only during the day?

 - What other kinds of experiences did you gather from working at warehouse?

 - Drinking your own product on the job probably wasn’t uncommon back then

 - How automated were the processes back then?

 - What do you mean by dumping the glass?

 - Did you ever have any interactions with the Van Winkle family?

 - Wasn’t there a break room incident with Julian?

 - What were you doing when the distillery closed its doors?

 - Any security incidents in your time?

 - You’ve seen the ups and downs, is this the craziest time you’ve ever seen?

 - Is there a best memory that sticks out for you during this time?

Sep 3, 2015

Your hosts, Kenny and Ryan, take a look back on the past 21 episodes. We talk about the guests and what is still to come with the remaining part of the year.

 - Have we had some guests that have stood out more than others?

 - Great history lesson with Brian Harra of Sipp'n Corn

 - Learned a great deal about pot still vs column still with Brent Goodin of Boundary Oak

 - Have you had any favorite bourbon releases this year?

 - Lots of distilleries are having unique and rare releases for big money

 - If you think you are going to visit Louisville for bourbon hunting, you've come to the wrong place

 - Did you ever open your EH Taylor Cured Oak?

 - Are people looking to get price for proof now?

 - Take a look back on the Ophan Barrel releases with Ewan Morgan

 - What other guests did you find interesting?

 - We also get to visit some interesting places such as mansions to record our podcasts

 - Jim Rutledge's retirement made us thankful he recorded a show

 - An Easter Egg... you have to listen to find out!!

Aug 11, 2015

Brent Goodin, Master Distiller at Boundary Oak Distillery, discusses his new startup distillery and how his first bottle of bourbon off the line sold for $28,000                 


- What’s your bourbon story? Do you have an earliest moment with bourbon?

- Are you picking up the family lineage of getting back into the bourbon industry?

- What led you to becoming a Master Distiller? Any influencers along the way?

- How long have you been practicing your trade?

- Where does the name Boundary Oak come from?

- Where is your location in relation to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail?

- I don’t get to use this word very often, but What’s it mean to be the first distiller in Hardin County after a “centennial plus some”?

- There was an Insider Louisville article lately that talked about a record being broken for the most paid for a first bottle of bourbon. Talk about that

- Any skeptics or hypothesis to who this donor was?

- Most consumers think 2 year old bourbon is under-aged. Are you doing something different to age your bourbon to make it more appealing?

- How big is your operation? and how many barrels can you age?

- Are you thinking you are going to have multiple brands or mix them all together to have a consistent flavor?

- What price point are you targeting?

- As with most distillery startups, you already have a product for sale, Kentucky Amber, talk about it a bit

- How can people get a hold of you and learn more about the distillery?

Jul 29, 2015

Brian Haara (@SippnCorn), Attorney and blogger at Sipp’n Corn, joins the podcast to talk about the history of the bourbon industry through the lens of lawsuits. Listen to find out how Colonel Taylor loved getting himself into trouble as well as the real story behind Ezra Brooks.


Do you have a favorite office bourbon?

What’s your bourbon story?

How did you get into bourbon?

The one thing I love how blog is such an interesting angle into the past. You stumbled upon this, now are you going through archives in Lexis Nexis to search for keywords like “EH Taylor”.

Do you think more people are looking to become educated consumers?

You have an article on your blog on how to read the Four Roses single barrel label

Talk about Copycat Whiskey with Jack Daniels and Ezra Brooks

Who is the most notorious for being in legal trouble with bourbon?

Talk a bit about Taylor and the bottle-in-bond act

What about the lawsuits between George Stagg and Taylor? What did that mean about the brands and the distilleries?

Is there more legal trouble about Taylor’s Signature?

You’ve got another article called Kentucky Isn’t Big Enough for Two Colonel Taylors. Talk about that.

Did you see a lot of cases based off copyright or brand infringements?

Churchill Downs Distilling vs Churchill Downs Inc.

Were there any cases involving Stitzel-Weller?

Are there any recent laws or cases that are interesting?

Give me your favorite bourbons you have reviewed recently

Jul 22, 2015

David Mandell, CEO of Bardstown Bourbon Company, talks about the beginning of one of the newest and largest distilleries to ever hit Bardstown, KY. We talk about the present and future of this up and coming distillery.


- David tell us about your background

- Tell us about the spirits you will be distilling

- Give us your bourbon story. What led you into the spirits business?

- Talk a little bit about the operation you are currently building

- What edge does this give you compared to Heaven Hill, Four Roses for outsourcing bourbon?

- What are you going to do with 37,000 square feet of space?

- We’re the first to break the news about Harrison-Smith House being a staple at the new distillery.

- What else can you fit inside this massive space?

- What’s the timeline to get the stills running?

- To be called a bourbon it needs to be aged for two years. So what’s your two year plan to fill the gap?

- What are the long term plans with that facility?

- What was the solidifying fact by choosing Bardstown as the home for this new distillery?

- What are the biggest hurdles you see as the biggest blockers for trying to get into the spirits industry?

- Tell us about Steve Nally and what he brings to possible micro-distillers wanting to expand their product lines

- Where are you exactly in Bardstown?

- Get in touch at or @btownbourbon on twitter

Jun 26, 2015

Marianne Barnes, Master Distiller at The Distillery Formally Known as Old Taylor, discusses her new role, what everyone can expect coming from this revitalization, and insights into what it takes to be a master distiller.


1. Tell us a little bit about your past

2. How does chemical engineering play into this role?

3. Talk to us about why we have you on the show

4. Are you going to keep the name Old Taylor name or will it be renamed?

5. What’s being invested into restoring the distillery?

6. Where is the distillery in relation to the bourbon trail?

7. Where do you see this business in the next 5 years?

8. How do you measure success?

9. What can you do differently versus Brown-Forman?

10. What does it mean to be a woman in this male dominated field?

11. Talk to us a little bit about what made you so successful and why you were chosen for this role

12. What is going to set your bourbon apart from everything else on the market?

13. When is the distillery going to be up and running?

14. Follow Marianne Barnes on Facebook 

Jun 12, 2015

Ewan Morgan, National Director for the Diageo Masters of Whiskey, joins us from DC to talk about his past with whiskey, scotch, and bourbon. We dive deeper into the Orphan Barrel releases as well as the latest, Blade and Bow.


1. Tell us about your love story with bourbon. How did you get into the industry?

2. Give us an idea about the differences you see in scotch vs whiskey vs bourbon

3. Talk about your role at Diageo as a Master of Whiskey

4. How would you even begin in that career path?

5. Talk about how Diageo started getting into pure bourbon?

6. Give us a little bit of history and the inspiration behind the Orphan Barrels

7. How did Diageo come up with the bottle designs?

8. Can you talk a little bit about the Diageo Orphan Barrel releases? Old Blowhard, Barterhouse, Lost Prophet, Rhetoric, and Forged Oak. What makes each unique?

9. Some Orphan Barrel series such as Barterhouse are seeing new batches show up while some others such as Lost Prophet are pretty much done. Can you give an indication of which releases we can expect to see more of? And which ones are done?

10. Diageo recently released Blade and Bow. Talk to us a bit about both releases

11. What is solera aging?

12. Talk about the marketing of the key and the name “Blade and Bow”

13. What does it mean to call the old Stitzel-Weller distillery "home"?

14. How much Stitzel-Weller juice do you have on hand?

Jun 4, 2015
Marianne Zickuhr, Executive Director of Preservation Louisville, talks about the history of Whiskey Row and her involvement with preserving this iconic landmark in downtown Louisville, KY.
What was your first memory or first bottle of bourbon?
What’s your role at Preservation Louisville?
Did you study history in college or have you been a history buff?
What is Whiskey Row in Louisville, KY?
How did you get involved with it?
Can you recall any of the names that might have inhabited Whiskey Row?
Can you explain more about the building because the facade is there but what about the rest of the building?
Why did Whiskey Row die off?
Do you know the origin of the tiles on the block showing names of the old distilleries?
Is everything done what can be done to preserve it?
There is a bourbon called Whiskey Row but it’s actually made in Crestwood, KY and you have a story about that.
Follow @PreservationLou on twitter and @PreservationLou on Instagram.
May 27, 2015
Tell us a bit about Mint Julep Tours
How did you get into the bourbon industry?
You helped drive Makers Mark into Southern California. Was this pre-Ambassador Program?
What are in the catalog of products you offer?
Can you just hop on a tour on a whim?
What places will you see if you go South or East?
How many distilleries can you see in one day?
What does the day entail?
What’s the cost?
What’s more popular? The custom tour or public tour.
What’s the range of people to charter your own bus?
Give us an idea of a bachelor party trip?
How did this idea come about?
How do you find your tour guides?
What can you do for corporate events?
Talk about the “expert” bourbon tastings you advertise
Talk about the Mint Julep Exclusives like the Makers Mark After Dark tour
May 14, 2015
- What’s your elevator pitch of the Bourbon Affair?
- Tell us about some of the events that take place
- The hype video shows the polo players getting bathed in bourbon
- It’s the hardest event to pack a suitcase for
- How do you respond to “what’s the best?”
- Fred Minnick says this is an event usually Press and Analysts get to do
- These events do cost money to attend
- Which events did you like from last year?
- Casa Bourblanca
- Louisville bars do stay open till 4am
- visit the Facebook page and to get more info
May 9, 2015
Kevin, how did you get your start?
What was your role while you were at Brown-Foreman?
How did your time at Brown-Foreman prepare you for role at Angel’s Envy?
Kyle, talk about your family lineage with Angel’s Envy.
Kyle what’s your day to day operation?
When you’re analyzing the maturity of a port barrel, what are you looking for?
Kevin, what’s your day to day role as well?
What do you think makes Angel’s Envy so special and such a success?
Give us a verbal map of how it goes from 500 East Main Street to the old Yellowstone Distillery.
When is the expected start date for visitors to come to the distillary?
How has the Louisville bridge project effected your start date?
Has the project effected your future forecast?
What do you want to leave our listeners with?
Apr 30, 2015
- What experiences stand out from your travels?
- Talk about your super premium releases such as the Single Barrel and Small Batch Limited Editions
- What goes into the process of selecting the premium limited edition barrels over regular bottling barrels?
- Do you look at limited editions as a form of experimentation?
- Talk a bit about the single barrel bottle labels providing the consumer information for warehouse locations and recipe used
- Have you selected the barrels for 2015 limited edition releases?
- Four Roses has one floor warehouses, is that done to minimize variables of temperature fluctuations?
- Why wouldn’t you create 10 different brands from 10 different recipes?
Apr 23, 2015
- What was your first experience with bourbon?
- What was your journey from different roles with Seagrams and your path into Four Roses?
- Who gave you the opportunity to get back into distillery operations?
- Blended Whiskey by Seagrams were top shelf at one time
- What impact did Kirin have on Four Roses since it was primarily an export only?
- How has the Four Roses brand grown since it’s been back in the US?
- What are you most excited for with the future of Four Roses?
- How are you planning for Four Roses future?


Apr 15, 2015
- Pappy Spring Release
- Bourbon auction: A gaggle of Stagg on
- What’s the auction currently priced at?
- Did you grow up around bourbon or did you just recently discover it all?
- Sour Mash smells like home
- Do you still have any family in the bourbon industry?
- Did you or your mom collect all of this research of family history?
- What happened to all the money?
- Any memories of George T. Stagg from your mother?
- Paul Sawyier was supported by Frank Stagg
- Lots of pictures in the show notes of the website
- Can you talk about the picture with the lock of hair in the folded envelope? 
- What was George T. Stagg doing in Baltimore when he died? And how?
- Is it getting harder to find George T. Stagg bottles in Denver?
- Ryan is going to take Martha out to dinner if she gets him her extra bottle of 2013!


Apr 9, 2015
Tell us a bit about your lineage and the dirty rundown of the Taylor's
Where did the EH Taylor packaging and logo come from?
What led you to Buffalo Trace?
Talk about your role as a Barrel Program Manager
How many barrels are available for the program?
How do you choose who gets to pick a barrel?
What's the process of going through the barrel selection?
What brands can you choose and the history of the barrel program?
Why does the barrel program exist? Why mess with the "chef's recipe"?
Talk about "Honor Tradition, Embrace Change" with Single Barrel Select app to follow the barrel selection process online.
What your thought's on the Old Taylor brand getting a re-birth?
If you have a Tornado you are willing to part with, Beau is in search of it!
What's the best part about the job?
Apr 1, 2015
Can you remember your first drink?
Live, Eat, Drink, and Sleep Bourbon
What's your elevator pitch for the Kentucky Bourbon Trail?
What increase are you seeing in visitor attendance?
There are quite a few on the trail. Is there a best way to plan this all out?
What's the difference between the Bourbon Trail & The Craft Tour?
Is there a better time of the year to visit?
Talk about the Passport Program and free t-shirts
Talk about biking (bicycle or motorcycle) the bourbon trail
Are there plans for a bullet train between destinations?
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