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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! Bourbon Pursuit interviews icons in the bourbon whiskey industry who share their story and give a behind the scenes look at the people that make whiskey so enjoyable.
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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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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.
Mar 22, 2018
Can you name all the distilleries in Lawrenceburg? How is it possible that a straight bourbon is only 70 proof? Wade Woodard, blogger at tater-talk.com and witty comedic relief on Facebook forums, leads us through a series of bourbon brain teasers to see if we really know our stuff. Wade is an advocate for bourbon laws and makes sure that everyone is playing by the rules so he knows them inside and out. Listen to see if we get stumped and see if you can answer the questions before we can. 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:
  • None! Because I want you to listen and try to guess the answers for yourself!
Mar 15, 2018
Blending is an art. We've discussed it many times before and our guest today would be considered the Queen. She provides Nosing Services, meaning she is a blood hound in human form. Listen about Nancy Fraley's past and how she has carved a path as one of the world's best blenders for whiskey, rum, armagnac, and many different spirits. In the second segment of the show, we talk about her current role at Joseph A. Magnus & Co and how she mirrored the current distribution to one that was found in a family closet from pre-prohibition as well as her exploration in the Jos. A. Magnus Cigar Blend! 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:
  • This is the second Master Blender we’ve had on the show. Back on Episode 103 we featured Drew Mayville. If you didn’t get a chance to listen to it, you really should. It’s an impossible decision to wonder if the master distiller or the master blender is the real star of the show.
  • Our guest today is renowned in the industry and gets the ever so attractive nickname “the nose”.
  • Lets talk about you for a bit. Do you remember your first experience with whiskey or bourbon?
  • Talk about your education and how you got your nick name
  • When did you realize you could start a business with this?
  • What do you do when you get a head cold?
  • So you currently freelance for many big names in the industry as well as craft distilleries out there. What services are you offering for many of these places?
  • What are some of the most common mistakes distillers make?
  • Talk me through nosing new make or white dog and how you can criticize or tweak it because in my opinion it’s damn near impossible. are there certain aromas?
  • Any examples of when you can sense something is wrong and how to fix it?
  • What’s the worst case you came across and had to salvage something. We can keep the names innocent, but what went wrong?
  • What else besides whiskey do you consult in?
  • I read somewhere you’re a big fan of armagnac.
  • Do you use the same method for judging different spirits or is there a playbook for each one?
  • Lots of craft distilleries are looking at you to help perfect their products.
  • How does you determine the amount of each different whiskey that goes into a blend? Does that always translate when your mixing small amounts in a lab then try to use the same percentages on a batch from barrels?
  • Lots of people do home blending with after market products. Perhaps it’s something as simple as an infinity bottle where you take the last ounce or two from every bottle and put it in a decanter, and others that buy these small 1 gallon barrels. Is there any recipe or formula you use to know what should go into a blend?
  • Do you find it odd or interesting that distilleries don’t do limited edition blendings with barrels from each respective distiller to form a collaboration?
  • Talk about Jos A Magnus and what you are doing there
  • I’ve got access to the single barrels as well as some of the infamous Cigar blend finishes. I want you to talk me through your involvement with single barrels, the standard Magnus release, Murray Hill, and we’ll finish it off with Cigar Blend
  • Do you see barrel finishes as the future of the industry?
Mar 8, 2018
We have a loaded show today with some hot topics hitting the boards. This episode touches on recent releases of NEAT, the less than stellar James Thompson & Brother incredibly overaged bourbon made its way out, we discuss the practices by Pennsylvania liquor control board setting lottery prices at secondary prices, thoughts on the new Old Fitzgerald release, we wonder if NDPs sourced from MGP being $100 is the new norm, and Kenny gets snobby a bit. Danner has been making boots for 85 years for the unforgiving Pacific Northwest. Their Stronghold series is inspired by hikers but built for the toughest working conditions. Find your local store at danner.com. Show Notes:
  • What are your initial thoughts on the new release of NEAT at thebourbonfilm.com?
  • We've got our own bourbon film come out. You will love the cheesy graphics. It's fun to watch.
  • There was release for James Thompson & Brother Final Reserve 45 year old bourbon here in Louisville. 250 total bottles. only 150 to the public. It was $1800 + tax. People camped out in the rain. First few sold and then the reviews came out. It’s terrible. What’s the likely future outcome for pricing of this bourbon? and the subsequent 43 and 41 year old releases?
  • The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board admitting that it's pricing Booker's Rye with secondary in their online lottery. This is state run. Is this legal? What's to make of this?
  • Heaven Hill is releasing their Old Fitzgerald BIB Decanter at $100. Will you be buying it? What will happen to the bottom shelf Old Fitz?
  • Are $100 NDP MGPs the new norm? We used to scuff at this like 2 years ago saying you wouldn't pay these prices for something you knew was made in Indiana. Now with things like Mic.Drop. people are doing it. And keep in perspective that GTS is only $89.
  • Is it a problem with hype?
  • What's the next SAOS
  • MGP be the new stitzel weller...all these up and coming distilleries are going to switch to their own distillate and their mgp bottlings will become more valuable
  • Is it worth buying bottles over $50 now?
  • What's up with all the Wathen's Barrel Proof recently? When did this become a sought after item? Because it's barrel proof? a single barrel pick? Wathen's has been around forever but just now became something that continually shows up on my feed.
  • How about an additional topic: Blake hates Single barrel bourbons...thoughts?
Mar 1, 2018
He might be the angriest man in bourbon and ruffles a lot of feathers along the way, but he's been enjoying the spirit longer than most of us. Bourbon Truth, or known as Lloyd Christmas on twitter, is well known for his jabs at the industry. In this episode, we talk about his disdain for shelf trophies, if the current market is overinflated, his opinion on how spirit awards are rigged, and even touch on apple brandy. He's back with another no non-sense episode about the harsh reality we often overlook. Danner has been making boots for 85 years for the unforgiving Pacific Northwest. Their Stronghold series is inspired by hikers but built for the toughest working conditions. Find your local store at danner.com. 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:
  • Also appeared on Episode 094
  • How has bourbon changed since we last talked?
  • How dumb are people getting that they are buying partial bottles?
  • What are your thoughts on WhistlePig and their pricing strategy?
  • What bottles are collectibles for you?
  • You said that you hate people that buy bottles as investments but it actually worked out for you.
  • Do you think you sold your collection too early?
  • Are prices just at the top ?
  • Are unicorns going to go up?
  • What are some of those bottles you would sell already open?
  • You mentioned KY Owl and it's pricing, do you see that as a long term investment for that particular brand after their Stoli funding?
  • Why do you think people feel the need to sell half-open bottles?
  • You had a funny tweet that said "Reviewers have so many different ways of saying 'the booze sucks'"
  • The Whiskey Advocate changed their whiskey review system with their original score and panel score so it's flawed.
  • Are those spirit awards just BS now? Because the most favorited spirits don't enter anymore
  • Is the problem that they are sending single barrels or limited expressions most people won't have access to?
  • What do you see as the movement of craft? Are bad ones ruining the reputation for the majority of them?
  • Are you jumping on the rum train too?
  • We haven't heard people talk about brandy much
  • How bad has Van Winkle quality gone down in recent years?
  • Allocations are becoming very scandalous
   
Feb 22, 2018
The Rickhouse. A place where bourbon allows father time and mother nature to do its magic. Have you ever wondered who is behind all these rickhouses? Donald Blincoe, President of Buzick Construction, is carrying on his family's legacy of being the top name in bourbon business for rickhouses. Their patented ricking system is easily identified when entering a rackhouse and Donald talks about their history and process when constructing. Donald also talks a bit about the superiority of a rickhouse versus stacking barrels on pallets.
Shaker & Spoon is a monthly cocktail box that delivers the craft cocktail experience to your home with fresh ingredients and easy to follow directions. Get $20 off your subscription using code "BOURBON"
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:
  • First let's give an overview of the company and then we will dive into the history.
  • So do yo know about the history of storing barrels before the idea of rick houses?
  • There's all different kinds of ways to store barrels. But you all are pretty much renowned for it. Talk about how that came to be.
  • Why wood?
  • Talk about the design of the rick itself
  • Why is your design better than pallet? More economical? Does it make it easier to move barrels in and out?
  • Is a rackhouse made to survive acts of nature?
  • What sort of maintenance is involved?
  • You also have a patented process, right?
  • Give us the basic idea of why a rick house is constructed the way it is
  • What man power is involved? I hear you all have a machine that is beginning to automate a bit?
  • How long to get one stood up?
  • What's the sustained weight?
  • Why is there hardly ever electricity ran to these?
  • Do people ask for other amenities like running water?
  • How has the engineering of the construction changed over the years or are they just getting bigger?
Feb 15, 2018
 We revisit with Kyle Henderson to talk about the past and current production of Angel's Envy with their new distillery and all the decisions and mistakes that came along with it. Kyle has a great excuse to build a bunker with "competitive tasting" that has amassed him over 1600 bottles of spirits and now he's getting into barrel aged beers and cigars. Kyle hints at a future of bottled-in-bond Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey and putting an end to their sourced whiskey years down the road. What else is in their future? Listen and find out! Danner has been making boots for 85 years for the unforgiving Pacific Northwest. Their Stronghold series is inspired by hikers but built for the toughest working conditions. Find your local store at danner.com. 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:
  • Kyle, You haven’t been back on the show since episode 13 back in May of 2015. Before we dive into what’s new, talk about you again for a moment.
  • How you came up in the ranks, became a part of the family lineage, etc?
  • You’re also not a newbie to the bourbon scene. I know you have quite a collection so talk about that too.
  • How has your role changed now that this distillery is up and running?
  • Now that you have your own distillery, could we see an Angel's Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey?
  • That’s no where near the amount needed for sustaining supply of your product so sourcing is still a big means. Is there a future plan to cut off sourcing?
  • What has it taken for you to get up to speed to now understand distillation as well as outgrowing the co-packer?
  • Did you all have input on the design of your stills?
  • Talk about on-boarding and finding the right people
  • Talk about clocking barrels real quick
  • What was the benefit of the Bacardi buy out?
  • How many barrels are you pumping out a day?
  • That’s no where near the amount needed for sustaining supply of your product so sourcing is still a big means. Is there a future plan to cut off sourcing?
Feb 8, 2018
Everyone has a different strategy when it comes to picking barrels and we talk about each of ours. We also touch on the topic of a "group pick" versus a "store pick" when something is selected by the Master Distiller. Crown Royal Bourbon Mash has violated the TTB, but does the TTB even care? Why are consumers still regulating this? And we talk about bourbon FOMO and the ridiculous amount of people around the country that have Blanton's scarcity, where did it all go? But more importantly, who cares? Danner has been making boots for 85 years for the unforgiving Pacific Northwest. Their Stronghold series is inspired by hikers but built for the toughest working conditions. Find your local store at danner.com.
  • We picked our first barrel together. Let's talk about the process a bit more.
  • Everyone has a different strategy
  • Blake can you give your tasting notes on it
  • Video will be posted on perfectpourtv.com in the future
  • Everyone passed on barrel #6 but someone will eventually take that barrel. Or do you think that goes to stores who don't select and ask the Master Distiller to pick on for them?
  • Wade Woodard who has started his new blog at tater-talk.com had an article called Diageo done screwed up. He talked about the Crown Royal Bourbon Mashbill release we discussed in the roundtable. Wade is a consumer advocate and whiskey law sleuth and discovered they are in violation. Can you take any guesses to what this product will be called after the 1 year period is over?
  • Why are consumers still the ones doing all the legal hurdles? Does the TTB not care? Does it really matter at the end of the day since it's not a real crime?
  • OKI announced the end of their line with a bunch of 12 year barrels being dumped soon but people are cleaning out shelves. In addition, the standard Old Scout is being cleared too. Not even store picks. Is there a panic mode being set in right now?
  • People are continually complaining about finding Blanton's. Is it just me or does regular Blanton’s not do it for you all anymore?
  • Is Buffalo Trace manufacturing demand?
  Thanks to Blake from bourbonr.com, Nick and Jordan from BreakingBourbon.com, and Brian Harra from Sippncorn.blogspot.com Listen to all the Bourbon Community Roundtables.
Feb 1, 2018
Many seasoned bourbon drinkers know all too well the climate of things, but rarely ever stop to think how newcomers to this hobby view it. This episode takes an outside look in from experimenting with high rye, low rye, and wheated bourbons as well as a look into how our guest views allocated items. Darin Mellor, a spirits enthusiast, has been on the beer and tequila chase in the past and recently got into bourbon. Learn about his journey into the crazy hobby that can be very frustrating at times. This episode is made possible by through Patreon support. Make your pledge to support the show today on Patreon.
  • What first attracted you to bourbon?
  • Talk about the tequila and beer chase for a bit.
  • Before you started really getting into it, was there anything that made you anxious or nervous?
  • What made you want to know more?
  • How did you start exploring high rye vs low rye vs wheated bourbon?
  • Did you even know these different kind of bourbons existed before you dove in?
  • What made you go with something barrel proof when you first started getting your few bottles?
  • Being new to the scene, what's your take on non-distilling producers?
  • When you go to a store and see a hangtag or sticker that says "Won Double Gold", does that influence your decision?
  • How did you come to find out about Facebook groups or reddit?
  • What was the most surprising thing you saw when you started reading more into bourbon?
  • It took me almost 6 years until I found out about limited edition bourbons. How did you find out?
  • Am I creating the problem or are new bourbon drinkers the problem when it comes to the allocation issue?
  • So talk about your first reactions when you see an acronym like WLW. Are you like what the hell are these guys talking about?
  • Now that you are getting into the bourbon scene, what's the most frustrating part?
  • What advice can you give to seasoned veterans of bourbon when all the new people are coming into the hobby?
  • Are you surprised people are waiting in lines and lotteries for bourbon?
  • Have you found yourself sneaking bottles in the house from your significant other?
You can read more about Darin at mempxl and on Instagram at @mempxl
Jan 25, 2018
The grain to glass movement isn't new, but it's a way for brands to differentiate themselves as they have complete control of the distillation process from all locally sourced products. It sparks pride in your area and builds relationships across the process until it hits the consumer. Ryan Burchett, Co-Owner and Distiller at Mississippi River Distilling Company, joins the show to talk about new experiments are happening from partnering with other distilleries and how the wood effecting the barrel is the next frontier for unique concepts and spirits. This episode is made possible by through Patreon support. Make your pledge to support the show today on Patreon.
  • Ryan, let's talk about you for a minute. Talk about your background and if you grew up around spirits.
  • How old are you and your brother? When did you get the bug to really dive into this venture?
  • Your known as one of the bourbon brothers that changed prohibition-era state law in Iowa, so talk about the history of Iowa and the meaning behind this title.
  • Before we dive into it, give us an overview of Mississippi River Distilling Company
  • Talk about the origins and how the name Mississippi River came to be or did you look out your office window and saw the Mississippi River and said "that's it!"
  • So the whole grain to glass thing is something we hear very often now. It's almost counterintuitive to what some of the big titans in the industry do. They feel that sourcing the best grains are the most efficient way to create a quality product, no matter the distance. But they also have to buy from multiple farms for the same grain. So talk about your view of having grain to glass distillation and what it brings.
  • Talk about some of the brands and spirits you all are doing.
  • Ok what's an "artisan spirit"? I'm intrigued
  • Let's be honest, you're on a bourbon podcast but do you have a particular spirit you enjoy distilling more than it?
  • What states are your products distributed so our listeners can be on the lookout?
  • Talk about the tours and what's unique?
  • Talk about Iowa for a bit. You're our first guest from this state so what's bourbon growth been like in regards to the market?
  • You started this 5-7 years ago - How has your own operation grown from where it started?
  • How many barrels are you aging? You’ve got a lot of experimental barrels going on but what is your primary age you shoot for in your bourbon whiskey? Size of barrels being used? Where do you get your barrels?
  • Where are you located so people can visit you and some social media locations to learn more about you
Jan 18, 2018
What happens when you get Bill Samuels, Mike VeachReid Mitenbuler, and Susan Reigler in front of an economics class? You talk about the growth of bourbon, the economic impact of it, and how to get jumpstarted into a career. Thanks to the John H. Schnatter Center for Free Enterprise at the College of Business, University of Louisville for hosting and allowing us to record. This event is just one of a series of events on the bourbon industry in the college this semester . The bourbon theme included an economics reading group which read and met to discuss Reid’s book. They also took field trips to Buffalo Trace and Peerless distilling. In addition, the economics senior capstone class is focused on the economic history and importance of the industry. Students in the class are writing a variety of research papers on the bourbon industry for their senior projects. This episode is made possible by through Patreon support. Make your pledge to support the show today on Patreon. Show Notes:
  • We will first attempt to wrap our heads around the size of the boom
  • What consumer and federal or state-level regulatory trends might be facilitating the recent resurgence.
  • We will be considering the economic impact on KY, including investment, job creation, tourism, and exports. I’ll have the panelists dwell on the recent investment announcements by BBC, Lux Row, Stoli, and Heaven Hill plus the revival of whiskey row (Old Forester, Michter’s, and, by extension, Peerless, Angel’s Envy, Rabbit Hole, and so on).
  • What about the marketing strategy of old brands and distilleries being brought back from the dead (Peerless, Kentucky Owl, and Old Taylor/Castle & Key).
  • Given it is fall release season, discuss the surging popularity of the boutique brands from the big distillers and the associated retail price increases, shortages, production timelines, and the “ethics” of the secondary market.
  • What is your opinion on the future? Can the boom last and what opportunities are out there for UofL students interested in the industry?
 
Jan 11, 2018
The community did a pretty quick 180 in regards to treating people more fairly in facebook groups. We discuss how banning unopened bottles has settled the drama and also evaluate the definition of the new vintage spirits law that has passed in Kentucky. Taking a speculative look at the success and if it has the potential to go mainstream across the country. Lastly, we wrap it up talking about our favorite wheated bourbons of all time. This episode is made possible by through Patreon support. Make your pledge to support the show today. Show Notes Listen to all the Bourbon Community Roundtables.
Jan 4, 2018
You may remember of Dr. Pat Heist of Ferm-Solutions back on episode 121 talking about the science of yeast. This episode feature his counterpart Shane Baker, Master Distiller of Wilderness Trail Distillery, as he answers all the questions you ever wanted to know from a Master Distiller. These guys are very well known in the bourbon world amongst distillers who know what they are doing. We take a deeper dive into grains and how this distillery has been aging product for almost 4 years and still hasn't released a bourbon yet. This episode is made possible by our Patreon support. Make your pledge to support the show today Show Notes:
  • Tell us a bit about Wilderness Trail?
  • Where are you located?
  • Do you use the same yeast strain in all your different mash bills?
  • Adam Kessell I'd like the hear about all crop yield, and the agricultural footprint of bourbon/whiskey and what safe guards we take for the long term success of the product.
  • Can you continue to keep it local?
  • How often do you turn away grains?
  • What do you think about the bourbon boom from a craft standpoint. what needs to be done to maintain this momentum?
  • Aged stock vs making money. where’s that balance?
  • What advice to give to other craft distillers?
  • What in your opinion is the biggest factor in distilling/aging? Mash?,distillation temperature?, entry proof?, barrel type or aging location?
  • Chris Scott I want to hear more about sourcing grains. We already heard Jimmy Russell say he must source rye from Europe. That blew my mind.
  • Dustin Charles Herr Discuss year to year variation of crops affect on flavors.
  • Steven Granger Discuss how sourcing grains from different parts of the world makes a difference in the finished product.
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