podcast

124 – How to Create Barrel Picking Groups with Eddie Noel of The Bourbon Cartel




Have you ever wondered what these bourbon barrel picking groups like The Bourbon Mafia, 1789b, T5C, and The Bourbon Cartel are all about?  Eddie Noel, who has a history of founding multiple groups, will guide us into what it takes to form a barrel picking group with the types of individuals needed, the commitment of joining one, and the secret to getting private barrel selections when you don’t have a store to get you in.

  • Eddie, how did you get started with bourbon?
  • Before we dive in, explain what a barrel picking group does. It should be self explanatory but you know.
  • We’ve talked about barrel selections being a great avenue for terrific bourbon, do you agree?
  • Talk about your history with barrel picking groups
  • Lets talk about the mentality of barrel picking groups. What do you need to know going into creating one?
  • How hard is it to create one?
  • Is it difficult when stores want to keep the barrel themselves?
  • What do store owners get out of it?
  • Who are the types of individuals you seek out?
  • Do they need to be in the same area?
  • Does it help if the members are from Kentucky? (Local to the distilleries)
  • Does having a connection to a store owner make it break it?
  • If you do have that connection, how big should a store be or the volume that needs to be sold to determine how often they can be selected?
  • Is there ever an over abundance of selections? Could it hurt your pockets if you aren’t careful? Can you split barrels with a store so half go to the group?
  • Are there ways to get barrels without knowing a store owner?
  • What are some of the rules of the group?
  • Amy Halter from Patreon: For Eddie Noel, are there ever differences of opinion on which barrel to select, and if so, how does a large group handle that?
  • Are there certain distilleries that treat barrel picking groups in favor versus traditional store owners?
  • Talk about some distilleries you are visiting outside of Kentucky
  • What do you think about finished barrels?
  • Are craft distilleries easier to get on their select list rather than the big dogs like Wild Turkey, Four Roses or Buffalo Trace etc?

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