039 – Rob Samuels, COO of Maker’s Mark

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Rob Samuels, COO of Maker’s Mark, talks about the operations behind Maker’s and holding almost every job at the distillery since he was 9.

  1. We kick off the show talking about bourbon tourism numbers from 2015
  2. Talk about your childhood and growing up in the family business
  3. What does the phrase mean “blow your ears off?”
  4. Maker’s has a great relationship with Keeneland, talk about it.
  5. Where do you see Makers as a part of the growth of bourbon?
  6. What do you think kept Maker’s alive 20-30 years ago when vodka was king?
  7. What are some your favorite ads Maker’s has had over the years?
  8. This is a family business. What was the best piece of advice your father ever gave you?
  9. You started at the distillery at 9 years old. Talk about holding all those various positions over the years. Best and worst job
  10. How do you get on the tasting panel at Maker’s?
  11. Back in 2013 was the great proof reduction debacle. Talk about that.
  12. What are some of toughest decisions you’ve had to make as COO?
  13. Let’s talk about life outside of bourbon. Do you have any other hobbies?

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