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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Jul 13, 2017
Drew Mayville, Master Blender at Buffalo Trace / Sazerac, has one of the most important jobs and that’s making sure the blended products meet a flavor profile. We dive into the differences between tanked and non-tank Sazerac 18 year and even talk about his involvement with the Old Rip 25 year. - Talk about your past because I did some LinkedIn sleuthing last night and come to find out you’re no spring chicken. - Talk about what it means to be a master blender because we talk to master distillers all the time but we don’t get to see this side very often - talk about the panel and the process - would you say blenders are under appreciated in this business? - talk about some of the labels you are blending for - lets take Eagle Rare as an example, what are some of the characteristics you are looking for to have it’s consistency? - are you using a previous batch or set of samples and comparing that to new samples? - Did i read somewhere that BT’s Buffalo Cream is your baby? - what else are you or your team responsible for? - fireball? - Harlen has his vodka. If you have your way, what sort of spirit do you want your name across? - Everyone knows that warehouse X is part of the experimentation projects. Do you have some of your own things over there as well? - Don’t you think experimentation of everything has been done already? Many consumers are just looking for good bourbon from a good distillery with a rich history. - Personally, the EHT 4 Grain was a way to build the EH Taylor hype but, of BT knew the 4grain bourbon was better than 3, then all bourbons would have been 4grain from the beginning. am i wrong? - Is the single barrel, barrel proof explosion going to put you out of business?
Jul 6, 2017

Brent Elliott, Master Distiller at Four Roses, takes us through the creation of Al Young’s 50th Anniversary bourbon at an exclusive session during WhiskyLive. We are looking for partnerships to help support the podcast. Get more information at Show Notes:
  • Listen as Brent talks about every individual bourbon and how it blended all together to make Al’s commemorative bourbon.
  • Listen to Al Young’s podcast and all the past Four Roses episodes at
  • Special Thanks to WhiskyLiveUSA for letting us share this information with you during WhiskyLive Louisville. Show your support for WhiskyLiveUSA by liking their page and attending one of their events.
Jun 29, 2017

The Bourbon Community Roundtable #9 talks about the recent news of one man who has defrauded the secondary bourbon market with counterfeit bourbon. We wrap up the show talking about the Weller 12 craze. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes: We are looking for partnerships to help support the podcast. Get more information at Show Notes: - The biggest reveal in secondary market history. A seller with 2+ years worth of building up sales reveals that he's been counterfeiting bottles. - hear the story unfold - how does this impact bourbon going forward? - how do you trust you seller? - how can you trust anything in bars? - What has happened with Weller12? It’s madness   TRANSCRIPT   So on June 14th, the bourbon internet broke. I remember going to bed, looking at my phone and then not putting it down for almost an hour. This is a long story and we are going to break out the conversation based on the 3 segments of the story.   Part 1. Here’s how it started. Brandon Priest, a longtime seller on the secondary market, has admitted to buying empty bottles on Ebay, refilling them, resealing them, and selling them as new. I’ll let the people who did the sleuthing remain anonymous and refer to them as A&A. Brandon had provided elaborate excuses, claiming he had bought a number of what-he-thought-were-real bottles from a man from Chicago, now un-findable, in two deals that went down in Indianapolis in January. After letting him toil over it for two days, A&A had all their direct evidence ready. It was presented  to Brandon. A&A had his ebay account, the empties he bought, and photos of the exact same bottles now “full and new” owned by his unsuspecting customers. Brandon first denied everything, but eventually confessed. He intentionally defrauded people, and frankly, A&A had planned to tear him apart in public. Instead, A&A spent hours talking with him, trying to figure out what he should do from here. Brandon has offered to make things right as best he can. He has already issued some refunds and says he will do so for anyone else who received a fake. He asks that his family won’t be harassed, his property damaged, his business destroyed, and whatever other retaliatory acts people may be contemplating.   As it turns out, dozens of the empties he bought are actually sitting on his home bar, refilled but open, to show off to guests as bar stock. A&A  asked him to destroy those and provide proof.   A&A asked Don’t panic over every bottle you have. The market itself is still by and large trustworthy. If you have a bottle you bought from Brandon within the past 6 months and it has a wax or plastic seal, or just a plain tax stamp, it may be fake. He did sell mostly real bottles. All bottles prior to 2017 seem to be ok at this point. A&A have been working with him to verify individual bottles he faked.   You have to know that Brandon Priest had been selling bottles consistently, every week for years. He had mules at Liquor Barn raffles, willett runs, and paid people to stand in lines. Rumors began swirling that his sales were in upwards of $100k. Of course and without question, everyone began questioning their previous purchases. In the span of 48 hours, people were looking at bottles such as their 4R Small Batch LEs and noticed that the film seemed off, like it was done with a hair dryer. Others brought out their tax stamped bottles and there was even a rumor that he went as low as counterfeiting a Lost Prophet orphan barrel.  
  1. So before we get into parts 2 and 3 where he digs himself deeper, the community went up in arms and were asking for his head. Blake what was your initial impression?
  2. People were wondering, is it even possible to take it to the authorities for grand theft and fraud, from a legal standpoint, Brian does that sound like a dumb idea?
  3. Do you all think it was a wise choice to not outright viciously attack him and his family and business?
  4. People believe he is only sorry he got caught. which is probably true
  5. Here’s the thing, this guy didn’t look like he needed the money. He has pictures from courtside games, multiple Super Bowls, drove a really nice car. Was it greed?
  6. I wonder if WIllett raising prices is what made him go chris route. Because he was like the walmart of bourbon on the secondary market. a $120 bottle he would sell for like $180 or $160. after shipping that’s like a $40 profit. didn’t make sense.
  7. Something should have been up when there are rules in place in some forums that say you can’t delete a post. However, his were always deleted.
  8. The real question is, what as he refilling them with?
  Part 2. Within 24 hours, he shut down his Facebook account and people started blasting his business on Yelp, Facebook, and Google. The business took down their Facebook pages and it didn’t take long to find his home address since he shipped so many packages. Not to mention the Yelp rating went down to 1 star almost immediately. A&A started the refund process that involved Brandon’s cooperation. Brandon also has a full statement to make to apologize to the bourbon community. The community was in an uproar and wanted his head on a silver platter. A&A insisted they are not going soft on him. We’re being practical, level-headed, and extremely wary. Brandon asked that everyone stop retaliations against his business and family. Those that had posted public messages about him, Brandon asks that you remove them. He knows you’re beyond furious and this will all be addressed in his statement. A&A said Immediacy is not the priority. Accuracy and thoroughness is. Again thanks for your cooperation, understanding, and patience.  
  1. Did deleting his Facebook account really help the situation?
  2. How many bar and liquor stores could be scammed by this going forward as Louisville passes the new vintage spirit bill.
  3. If he wanted his business spared, perhaps using that business email address to conduct illegal and fraudulent sales was a terrible idea. He misused business resources to break the law. HE would do well to keep that in mind before making demands.
  4. Is he in a position to make demands? I mean i guess he still has the upper hand after all
  5. Did any of you all buy bottles from him?
  6. At this time, it was rumored that the local news caught wind of the story but it never aired. From a slander point of view, is this something that could have been broadcast on public airwaves?
  7. To salvage his family business, Brandon went on yelp and said “there are some people out there trying to destroy “our business” reputations by making false accusations. We have been in business since 1956 & our track record speaks for itself. We helped hundred of families buy and sell their home. our business was built around service and integrity”. That takes some balls, no?
  Part 3. Brandon releases his statement. A&A say Brandon’s statement is entirely him. What you see here is entirely A&A. A&A presented facts, not passing judgement or offering opinion, so please recognize this as such. A&A is not “representing” Brandon. A&A We’re trying to track down fakes and get restitution to those defrauded. A&A isn’t the law or the government. A&A did this for the benefit of the community and because of our interest/expertise in counterfeit collectible whiskey. Brandon has so far refunded 9 people since this was uncovered, and has worked with a 10th to agree on a payment plan for a larger multi-bottle purchase. A&A can confirm that Brandon is working to repay all who received fakes. He has to pull together the finances. Restitution to all who received fakes truly does seem to be his goal, and achievable, though it may take him some time. That is A&As feeling at this time. A team was assembled to review fakes (and that team is highly regarded in the community for knowing vintage bottles) and restitution comes directly from Brandon. At this point, A&A has confirmed with  about 30 fakes. 24 were traded/sold and 6 were at his home “sealed.” Another couple dozen or so “open bottles” (i.e. refilled but not resealed) were also on display as stock in his home bar. He also bought a small number of red and green tax strips. Total value of fakes sold is currently estimated at $16k. This may rise to $18k-$20k. Number of victims is about 20, which may rise by a few. The uncertainty is because Brandon is often inexact and hard to pin down on details. He has been cooperative yet sometimes evasive and/or unavailable. A&A did not suspect this was of a significantly larger scale. To help identify fakes/empties/refills, A&A’s MO commonly included asking Brandon questions that they already knew the answer to. For instance, when Brandon first sent us his statement, it claimed he didn’t fake anything prior to 2017. A&A knew this to be untrue, although the vast majority of fakes were made in 2017. When A&A finally confronted that untruth with evidence to the contrary, Brandon revised the not-before date to November 2016. A&A confirms that Brandon was buying empties on eBay as early as November, 2016. At this point no evidence has presented itself that he made fakes prior to then. I think this is where it gets funny. Brandon destroyed the open “fake drinker” bottles he still had. He provided “before” pictures as well as a video of him smashing them. Since A&A recognized this as a dangerous task, they reminded Brandon to wear protective gear, gloves, thick clothing, eye protection, etc. Brandon chose to wear no protection. He ended up in Urgent Care with injuries to his hand and foot. This is included as an example of one of the many challenges that caused continued delays and frustrations. A&A concludes they are not here to “let him off easy.” They are not trying to keep this “away from law enforcement.” They have asked for your patience and cooperation in what has been a very difficult, intensive process.   Here’s Brandon’s Statement: “I want to formally apologize to everyone affiliated with these groups.  This was without a doubt the dumbest thing I've ever done in my life & it's something I have to learn & live with.  I understand that admitting my faults & working to make each one right will never be good enough.     With the exception of my brothers death this is the hardest thing I've ever had to go through in my life.  Many innocent people that I'm close to are now being negatively affected by this.  I would ask that people focus their hate on me instead of my family or businesses I'm associated with.   The problem I'm faced with now is that I was a very active seller in these groups for the past couple of years.  I checked my Fedex account & I shipped over 1200 packages in 24 months.  77% of these packages had more than one bottle.  Now everyone I've ever sold to thinks they have received a fake bottle & I completely understand why.  98.6% of everything I sold was real.   I'm hoping that people will soon see that to be true.     What I did was wrong & by no means am I trying to justify my actions in this message.  I’ve worked with others to confirm fake bottles with whom they went to along with a plan on how they will be paid back.  I have destroyed any fake bottles that I had in my possession.   The list of fake bottles isn't nearly as long as many of you may think. Some of you have already received refunds & others I've been in contact with & committed to a date which they will receive their refund.   I would please ask that you remove all the public messages about me that have been posted.  People are posting negative remarks about my company all across the internet.  Doing this affects too many innocent people.  I know many of you want to destroy me & reading this message may make you hate me even more.   For me to be accused of selling 10s of thousands of dollars of fake bourbon is crazy.  I've seen some reviews where I'm being accused of selling $100s of thousands in fake bourbon.     I would like to apologize for my yelp post.  I was trying to defend the business itself & not my actions.  I can see how that would have been misinterpreted.  I have removed that post.   Telling the truth comes with many consequences which I'm fully prepared to accept.  However, this situation has snowballed & has gotten extremely out of proportion.  I've had countless threats mainly from people that I did nothing to.  The few guys that were directly impacted by this have been the most forgiving.  I've never really been a religious person, but this has made me look to God as I don't know what else I can do.  I'm praying everyday & hoping that people will view me for how I handled this as supposed to what I have done.     To the guys that did receive fake bottles.  I want to assure you that I will make this right.  There are no words that can explain how bad I feel about this.  It will not do any good to post the factors that led to me doing this.  The bottom line is it was wrong.     I built *allot* of good relationships over the last few years with allot of you & now those relationships have been destroyed.  For me that's the my biggest lost.  Many of you defended in a time of need & I let each & everyone of you down.  This most of all is what I'm having a hard time dealing with.     The guys in these groups share a special bond that I can't describe.  It was this bond that made these groups so enjoyable to be a part of over the last few years.     I could have easily denied all of these allegations & just disappeared, but in order for me to clear my conscious I have to make this right.  There is no doubt that this the biggest mistake I've ever had to fix in my life.     I want to emphasize that I am going to complete the refund process.  I want this over & I couldn't imagine how bad it would get if I say I'm going to send refunds & I don't come through.  If I didn't plan on paying anyone back I wouldn't even bother responding to the messages I received.  I wouldn't bother cooperating in general.  I just wanted to make that clear.     My goal is to have 100% of the refunds completed by 4th of July.   So just to clarify so there's no confusion.  I've already refunded 10 guys.  The remaining few will get refunds by next Friday. I have a plan in place to make this happen.     In closing I hope people use this as an example of what not to do.  I really enjoyed getting to know many of you & will miss being a part of the community.  You will never see me in the years to come sell another bottle of bourbon.”   In the hours that followed, there was a new 5Star Yelp review by Cliff B saying “the negative reviews are the furthest thing from the truth. Brandon is a very respected agent. Looks like to me a bunch of drunk bourbon members have too much time on their hands. I speak for *allot* of people when i say you will always have our respect.” This is was easily ousted as a fake review because he misspelled the the word “a lot” once again. And the memes continue from there.  
  1. I wish we could see the bottle smash video!
  2. Do you think the apology letter was sincere?
  3. So what’s the verdict, do you really think we are only looking at $16k-20k or is it still a very shady situation? I mean 30 out of 1200 packages.
  4. Once the payments are done and restitution is complete, what happens? Are the flood gates open?
  5. How is this going to change the secondary market going forward? What provence do you have to make up to know the history of bottle acquisition?
  Listen Now: Watch Now: iTunes: Google Play Music: YouTube: Instagram: Twitter:
Jun 22, 2017

Charlie Downs, Artisanal Distillery Manager at Evan Williams Bourbon Experience (a part of Heaven Hill Brands) talks about the operations, his mentorship with Parker Beam, and the recollection of events that took place at the Heaven Hill fire of 1996. We are looking for partnerships to help support the podcast. Get more information at Show Notes - Before we dive into it, people have to know about you. As most people may know, my wife works at HH and I was at the company Christmas party this year where you were honored by spending your 40th year at HH. - What has this business taught you? - talk about how you carved your path in HH and who was your mentor and who gave you those lucky breaks? - Do you have a favorite memory with Parker? - Lots of people like to just call this a tourist center, but this is actually a functioning distillery as well - Is it just Evan Williams or a different mash bill are you distilling? - How many barrels a day? - And you’re about to hit that 4 year mark, what’s the plans for the first few barrels? - Talk about the fire of 1996 and where were you - Other than amount, what the difference between you here and Denny over at the Bernheim plant - do you often feel like a hamster in a cage? Listen Now: Watch Now: iTunes:…/bourbon-pursuit-podc…/id975392298 Google Play Music:… YouTube: Instagram: Twitter:
Jun 16, 2017


Fred Minnick, Bourbon Author, Pundit, and Expert, joins us to discuss the San Francisco Spirits Competition, asking if bourbon is just a gimmick when it comes to experimentation, how the new vintage spirits law will effect Louisville, and if pricing has gone out of whack!

We are looking for partnerships to help support the podcast. Get more information at Show Notes:

  1. So what’s new since the last time we chatted?
  2. What are you doing for the Bourbon and Beyond Festival?
  3. I hear there is a Bourbon Cruise?
  4. You’re also going to be at Forecastle
  5. Let’s talk about the new Dusty law
  6. So lets talk about San Francisco. Lets talk about the upsets.
  7. Who doesn't get a golden medal or a star?
  8. Is bourbon turning into a gimmick for releases?
  9. Can we stop it with the experimentation? At what point does it go to far?
  10. Pricing is out of whack. How do we as consumers fix this?


May 21, 2017

Fred Minnick interviews Campbell Brown, President of Old Forester. for the Kentucky Derby Museum's Bourbon Legends Series.


- Fred gets more information from the corporate side rather than the distilling side


May 4, 2017

The Bourbon Community Roundtable #8 is back for a Derby special to talk about their lack of desire for ORVW25, a surprise twist with Bulleit Bourbon, and results from San Francisco

  1. It’s Derby, who has plans
  2. So Pappy25 is out. Who actually cares?
  3. Interesting bulleit scenario that was posted in a significant bourbon group out of houston…
  4. Bourbon Barrel Batch 011 Wins Best Bourbon
  5. WhistlePig Boss Hog wins best Whiskey
  6. Quinn English: Has anyone had Four Grain? Thoughts?


Apr 27, 2017

JK McKnight, Founder and Captain of Forecastle Festival, talks about running a music festival and how their Bourbon Lodge has become a festival of itself.

  1. If you’re a music lover, you’re going to enjoy this episode. We’ve been to forecastle a few times and we’ll talk about why our guest is here talking about Bourbon a bit later, but music festivals are just fun. There’s no better way to put it than that.
  2. Explain to everyone who isn’t up to speed on music festivals, what is Forecastle.
  3. I went to Forecastle back in 2008 to see Counting Crows and 2010 to see Widespread.
  4. What’s the history? Why did you start it, what was the idea? How big has it grown?
  5. I know you also are starting to get a little bit of growth in the EDM tent.
  6. I believe this is the 5th year in a row you all are featuring the “bourbon lodge”. talk about what it is.
  7. What was the idea behind drinking bourbon in 100 degree weather in the middle of July?
  8. How has the lodge progressed from when you first started it?
- It seems like you’ve got everyone on board now. There’s bulleit, woodford, four roses, jim beam, larceny of heaven hill, maker’s mark, michaels, old forester, and wild turkey. pretty much all the big guns.
  9. Instead of a beer garden, you all have a bourbon garden.
  10. Cocktails sound more up my alley in the July heat. i see there is a mixology station and signature cocktails.
  11. Talk about the food because you have a friend of the show taking care of that for you.
  12. Lastly is a rarities bar sponsored by Liquor Barn.


Apr 21, 2017

Beth Burrows, Kentucky Bourbon Ambassador for Beam Suntory, gives us all the history behind Jim Beam and the different expressions. We even get the chance to learn how Baker’s Bourbon got its name.

  1. Tell us about your history with bourbon
  2. Do you miss bartending?
  3. What has the passing of Senate Bill 11, allowing producers to serve cocktails and more whiskey going to do for Jim Beam?
  4. Jim Beam is really pioneering and doing all flavored whiskey like the Apple and Honey, Black Cherry, Fire, Maple. Thoughts?
  5. Who’s your target market with these?
  6. Then you’ve got Jim Beam white label, black, double oak, devils’ cut, rye, bonded, single barrel,
  7. Tell us about the Jim Beam distiller’s masterpiece
  8. Names behind Knob Creek, Baker, Basil Hayden, OGD, Old Crow, Booker’s


Apr 14, 2017

Bourbon Truth, the infamous blogger and twitter persona known as Lloyd Christmas, gives a Bourbon Pursuit exclusive where no one is safe. He tells it like it is and let's you know not everything smells like roses.

  1. What made you start blogging? (spoiler alert, he has bone to pick with the Van Winkles)
  2. Let’s talk about distilleries and their non-sense tactics. Which ones stand out the most and why?
  3. Your latest blog post talked about the issues behind private barrel picks. Let’s talk because people are moving to these as the limited edition market is now flooded with people.
  4. Lets talk about marketing over the value of the bottles. What do you see consumers continually falling for?
  5. Distillers are continually pushing the envelope of cost. Bottles are increasing in price and even limited editions that were once $50 are now $350 at retail. These were always 15 year bourbons. What’s the long-term effect?
  6. Should a person that never drank Bourbon before 2017 take the precious bottles from those drinking it for 5 or 10 years? Are they worthy?
  7. Is there a problem with people “collecting” bourbon?
  8. Does Craft Whiskey stand a chance?


Apr 6, 2017

Fred Minnick interviews Tom Bulleit of the Bulleit Distilling Company for the Kentucky Derby Museum's Bourbon Legends Series.

  • Listen as Fred tries to pry information out of Tom about family history, stitzel-weller, age statements, and more


Mar 31, 2017

We are going back and revisiting episode #056 about building the barrels at Brown Forman. This is a great to wrap up back to basics month. Michael Nelson, Plant Director at the Brown-Forman Cooperage, gives a step-by-step and inside look to the barrel making process.

  1. Give us your bourbon story.
  2. Before we dive into the ins and outs of technicalities of barrel char. give us a history lesson about where we are.
  3. So this is my first encounter being at a cooperage. give me the 101
  4. We saw one barrel that was cross cut. Talk about that.
  5. What’s the average number of discarded barrels that don’t meet some sort of quality assurance?
  6. Talk about char levels for a bit because it’s something that is always said, but never really explained about in depth.
  7. Is the barrel making process getting more expensive on a yearly basis because of demand and material supply?
  8. For everyone that missed the episode with Chris Morris where we talked briefly about the cooperage, talk about what it means to have a cooperage dedicated to their private whiskey
  9. The release of Cooper’s Craft happened recently. And it was named after the location of where we are recording today. What does that mean to you?


Mar 24, 2017

Mike Sherman, Owner of Vendome Copper and Brass Works, joins the show to talk about the art and craftsmanship that go into making the stills and how they have established being the best in the business after a century of being in business.

  1. Before we get into talk about what it is that you do here, let’s get your thoughts on bourbon. Do you drink it? or just love it because it means good business right now?
  2. For those listeners who have never heard of Vendome, give them an idea of what it is you all make here and why it’s important
  3. What else do you make here besides copper stills?
  4. Give us the history of Vendome and how you grew up in the business.
  5. Give us a break down of trial and error. Because at this point you are carrying on legacy, but the generations before you probably had to go through retooling, or refactoring of certain things to make the stills as reliable as they are.
  6. Terry Bone & Brent Melvin ask how customized are your products? do they start with a base design for the stills or is it entirely customized to the whiskey manufacturers desires?
  7. Is there any innovation thats going on or is pretty much copy/paste?
  8. Why is copper the element of choice when making a still?
  9. What makes Vendome stills unique?
  10. What’s the average time is takes to manufacture a still? I know that’s a loaded question but humor me.
  11. Follow @VendomeCopper and Like on Facebook


Mar 17, 2017

The Bourbon Community Roundtable #7 talks about their beginnings with bourbon. Where did it all start, the intimidating scenarios, tips for beginners, and even tips for veterans.

  1. What was your gateway bourbon? The one that started it all...
  2. Blake you started with a barrel-proof, why is that?
  3. Do you think it’s a smart idea to introduce people to bourbon with low proof vs high-proof?
  4. What bottles would you say are a must for a newb? I know this is very broad question, but if I was gonna start with 5 bottles, what would be on your list?
  5. What’s the most intimidating thing about being new to this?
  6. Tips to newbies getting into this
  7. Tips to veterans like us to help new people?
  8. What’s the first limited release bourbon that made you become a sucker for FOMO?


Mar 10, 2017

Bernie Lubbers, Whiskey Ambassador for Heaven Hill and also known as The Whiskey Professor, joins the show to talk about bottled-in-bond and what makes these bourbons “bricks of gold”.


  1. Talk about Bern’s Corner and how you arrange your bottles
  2. What has made you so fascinated with Bottled-in-Bond?
  3. Talk about the issue or necessity behind bottled-in-bond
  4. When people were diluting whiskey or using tobacco spit, were people still buying it?
  5. Why 100 proof and not 90 or 80?
  6. Is the bottled-in-bond act still a binding piece of legislation?
  7. So you can have bottled-in-bond of spirits other than bourbon?
  8. There is an interpretation for bottled-in-bond corn whiskey
  9. Why did Issac Wolfe Bernheim against the bottled-in-bond act?
  10. Talk about Colonel Taylor and his involvement
  11. Were there any palms that were greased to make this happen?
  12. After this bill passed, did it put brands out of business?
  13. What’s the importance of having bottled-in-bond today?
  14. What is the responsible for the resurgence of bottled-in-bond?
Mar 3, 2017

Tim Knittel, Bourbon Educator at and a certified Stave & Thief Society Executive Bourbon Steward, kicks off "back to basics" month by giving an in-depth Bourbon 101 and 201 level knowledge bomb. You will learn something new, guarenteed or your money back!

  1. let's start from the top. What is bourbon?
  2. How's it made?
  3. What goes into it?
  4. What's the average proof coming off the distillate?
  5. Some people say that limestone water is a big reason why Kentucky bourbon taste better. Is that true or can I get the same effect out of a garden hose?
  6. Is anything stopping someone outside of America from making a bourbon or it just can't be called that?
  7. What advice do you give people of the first bottles to buy that give you a variable taste range?
  8. So people like us who think we know everything, what's a common misperception or falsification we tend to fall for?
  9. What’s the most common question you get asked at your tastings


Feb 24, 2017

Brent Elliott, Master Distiller at Four Roses, talks about how he never owned a bottle of Four Roses until he interviewed and how the conversation went when he was tapped to be the new Master Distiller.

  1. Talk about growing up in Owensboro, your history and education
  2. What made you want to get into bourbon?
  3. Were you a Four Roses bourbon fan when you applied to work here?
  4. Was Four Roses the first place you looked at working?
  5. How long have you been working at Four Roses?
  6. Talk a little bit about working with Jim Rutledge under his tutelage.
  7. So talk about that phone call, when it’s usually depicted in the movies as being called up to the CEOs office on the 33rd floor to get that big promotion
  8. Why is there not a rye whiskey offered by Four Roses?
  9. What about the rage of barrel finishes or cinnamon whiskey?
  10. From Kevin Ragland on Facebook - How was the process for selecting 2016 LE went since it was the first time you would have done it without Jim.
  11. Why did you come out and call it Elliott’s Select instead of just the normal 2016 Limited Edition Single Barrel?
  12. From Travis Roberts on Facebook - Will FR continue their barrel selections in the future and if so, will they eventually be able to offer barrels aged 10+ years again to consumers?
  13. Talk about life outside of bourbon


Feb 17, 2017

The Bourbon Community Roundtable #6 discusses Beam sales tactics with OGD114 news, Buffalo Trace OFC conspiracy theories, and is there a bias towards NDP/MGP when buying off the shelf.

  1. Blake from, Nick from and Kerry from
  2. OGD 114 is here to stay. Another Beam ploy to drive shelf sales.
  3. There’s been no shortage of getting your chance to buy raffle tickets for the Buffalo Trace OFC bottles. They carry a suggested price tag of $8-10k. Is there a hidden motive here by Buffalo Trace? A clever coup by BT to bring a bottle to market valued at $10k then release more OFC to the general market at $1k and call it a bargain?
  4. NDP, MGP, and the bias. Do you hold a grudge against NDPs and refuse to buy? Or are you a believer that the flavor can come from aging and finishing rather than the distillate.
  5. Bruce Schwalm: Question for the panel: If we geeks are the 1% of the drinkers, why aren't we more focused on the art and less on the marketing?


Feb 10, 2017

James Markert, author of The Angel’s Share, joins the show to share information about the first fictional novel based on bourbon that takes place in Twisted Tree, Kentucky on an old family distillery that was abandoned after prohibition.

  1. Talk about your brush with bourbon
  2. Let’s talk about The Angel’s Share, what’s the premise of the story?
  3. What are some distilleries where you got inspiration?
  4. Does it take a different kind of author to write something completely fictional?
  5. Do you have a fascination with the 1920’s gangster era?
  6. What does this book mean to you as you carve out a new mark in bourbon history?


Feb 2, 2017

Elizabeth McCall, Sensory Scientist and Master Taster at Brown-Forman, joins the show to share what happens behind the white curtain and how people with a psychologist degree are recruited into bourbon.

  1. Talk about your past, growing up and your education
  2. What got you into brown spirits
  3. Did you have family influences or connections to the spirits industry?
  4. So I have to be honest, we have done the rounds with Master Distillers and they always give credit to people like you, but lets get an idea of your day to day responsibilities
  5. What else happens in the lab? we need to give our listeners an idea of what’s happening behind the curtain so-to-speak
  6. So why psychologists for being sensory scientists? go deeper there
  7. What’s the most important sense when it comes to making a product consistent?
  8. What does catching a cold have on the influence of the bourbon your doing that day? or do you have an addiction to Afrin nasal decongestant?
  9. What sort of training goes into becoming a master taster?
  10. From Matt Fisher on Facebook: Super nerdy and specific. With most bourbon drinkers using Glencairn glasses at home, why does the distillery use Copita Nosing glasses vs the Glencairn? Looking for an expert opinion of why they use the Copita.
  11. I watched part of your presentation of change and you gave a good explanation of why people mix their bourbon with coke, explain that
  12. Talk about your other passion of horses


Jan 27, 2017

Ed Bley, Spirits and Beer Manager at Cork ’N Bottle, joins the show to talk about their historic past with bourbon, the importance of shopping small, and his process of doing barrel picks.

  1. Dive into your past and some history to what led you into bourbon
  2. What’s the history of Cork N’ Bottle?
  3. Talk about how you deal with allocated releases
  4. What’s the importance to shop small and local?
  5. What’s your process for barrel picks?
  6. Anything special coming up?


Jan 19, 2017

The Bourbon Community Roundtable #5 dicusses the theories behind Old Scout getting rid of barrel picks, 2017 Predictions and Easily Obtainable Barrel Proof Choices.

  1. Joined by Blake of, Jordan of, and Kerry of
  2. So Smooth Ambler has discontinued their barrel program, which means no more private picks of SAOS. Thoughts?
  3. 2017 Predictions. What's going to happen?
  4. Are there any companies that will be bought up in 2017?
  5. Are we going to see more bottles lose age statements?
  6. Is there a consensus favorite among the more easily "obtainable" high proof? Stagg Jr, ECBP, EH Taylor BP


Jan 13, 2017

Ryan Ashley, COO and Director of Distillery Operations, talks about how his history of beer brewing led him to distillation, the Four Roses brand, distillery expansion, and even hints at a possible Four Roses Rye.

  1. Today's Guest co-host is Linden Ferguson
  2. Talk about your past. Where did you grow up and your education, family influence, all that
  3. You’ve been known to be a big beer guy.
  4. What got you into bourbon?
  5. Talk about your job for a few minutes and your responsibilities
  6. So before we get into it, I think this is a good time to re-introduce Four Roses to people. So talk about the uniqueness of four roses with the two yeast strains, 10 recipes, warehouses, etc
  7. This big news is that Four Roses is investing $55 Million into expanding operations. And we have all been in remodeling projects so we know that you need to budget 15%, so we’ll say 63million. talk about that
  8. From Michael Leeper on Facebook, What kind of issues do you struggle with as you scale up distillation?, "How do you ensure raw ingredients are available to meet your need (from grain, to glass, to packaging and ultimately labor)", "Is there a limit to how big you can grow within the Bourbon region?"
  9. Talk about working with Brent Elliott
  10. Are you a stout guy or hops guy?


Jan 6, 2017

Chuck Cowdery, Bourbon Author and media pundit, joins to talk about Jim Beam backpedaling it’s way out of Booker’s price increase and the unique purchases Sazerac is making to expand their footprint.

  1. Talk about how you got into bourbon in the beginning
  2. Give the listeners a quick background on your books
  3. The Booker's thing is on everyone's mind and you had a article calling their actions dumb and embarrassing
  4. Sazerac has purchased the Popcorn Sutton, a building in downtown New Orleans and more recently. Possibly attributed due to the success of Fireball. What’s on the horizon for them?
  5. Chuck on Facebook


Dec 29, 2016

John Little, VP and Head Distiller at Smooth Ambler, talks about the how the whole operation started from a note his father-in-law from Time. John dives into the roots of his current distillation and the single barrels seen on the market.

  1. Talk a little about your past and how you got into Whiskey
  2. What made you want to start a bourbon company a long time ago outside of KY?
  3. Talk about Smooth Ambler for a bit and what you offer
  4. Talk about the name behind it as well. Smooth Ambler, Contradiction, Old Scout, etc;
  5. So how did you learn about the distilling process since you didn’t have a background in it?
  6. You all don’t hide the fact that a lot of what’s on the market today is sourced from MGP. But there was a question that was brought up by Ryan Lintz that asked “Why Does SA MGP sourced bourbon taste so much better than others? Is it because it’s bottled at Cask Strength? Or is it a mental hype train thing?”
  7. The Old Scout store picks have had wild success. It seems like people can’t get enough of them
  8. Are we ever going to see Very Old Old Scout again?
  9. The biggest news as of late was Pernod Ricard has taken a majority stake in your company. First off, congratulations. I hope we’re going to see a new ferrari in your driveway soon, but what does this mean for your business.


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