Ecosystem Podcasts

123 – Retail Pricing Wars… Part 2




In Episode 109 we featured two retailers and discussed if there is such a thing as MSRP pricing and how square footage, location, loyalty, and clientele all boil down into how rare bourbon is priced and sold. Eric Darland, a buyer in the D.C. area sent us an email and told us we completely missed the mark. Eric gives insight into the legalized mafia that is distribution, allocation of store picks, and pricing fairly.

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  • Let’s start with store picks and why are they so hard to get outside of Kentucky?
  • Do you think it’s unfair that if a store sells more lower tier bourbon they should have a shot at choosing barrels?
  • Are you losing customers if your store doesn’t have the top-tier stuff?
  • Do liquor stores really make that much money on limited releases by selling at 2-5x MSRP?
  • What’s the difference is pricing in the D.C. area vs Kentucky vs NYC?
  • So you are firm believer in supply and demand and pricing accordingly
  • So your store reaps the benefit of getting 2-3x value. What happens when Buffalo Trace ups their cost to you by 2-3x? How are you going to feel?
  • Would new MSRP pricing end the secondary market? Would we see BTAC bottles lined on the shelf at $600 a piece if that happened?
  • Booker’s Rye and WhistlePig Black Prince releases are good examples of proper pricing
  • Do distiller’s even care? The ultra-premium is less than 1% of their actual revenue.
  • Do you think it’s an unfair fight in regards to passion for someone that lives in KY vs DC?
  • Distribution is problematic. Some people suggested having Amazon being the centralized liquor store. What is an idea of how distribution can be fixed that levels the playing field across state lines?
  • What’s the future of how supply will equal demand?
121 – The Science Behind Bourbon and Yeast with Dr. Pat Heist




Many of us understand Bourbon 101 and 102 knowledge, but what about level 400? Dr. Pat Heist of Ferm Solutions joins the show to explain what is chemically happening when you’re producing bourbon and gives an in-depth look at yeast and how it becomes one of the most critical components of the process. You will learn all about the breakdowns of enzymes during mash cooking and species of yeast for distilling. If you’re a science buff, this episode is for you.

 

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  • What does Ferm Solutions do as well as how big Wilderness Trail Distillery?
  • What was your first real job out of college and how did that get you into spirits?
  • Are you tailoring yourself to craft whiskey or do you help with big names on the market as well?
  • Talk about the science behind corn
  • Is there really a difference between red corn or blue corn vs the traditional white/yellow corn? Difference in flavor? Economical?
  • Talk about pesticides and GMO for the grains
  • What about barley, rye, or wheat? Is the breakdown of the pathogens different or the enzymes?
  • Go a bit more in depth about what the scientific differences between sour vs sweet mash
  • How does yeast compete? What about the sanitary levels and how that contributes?
  • What are the differences in the species of yeast and which ones are typically used in beer and spirits production?
  • True or False. Does yeast contribute 15% to the flavor of a bourbon?
  • What are the differences between low-gravity and high-gravity fermenters?
  • What is the cause of a mutated yeast? Jim Rutledge discovered it at one time when it was a part of some limited edition offerings at Four Roses
  • When you’re monitoring the yeast during fermentation, what are you looking for?
  • When I was at Castle and Key they talked about doing yeast forensics to find a closely resembled strain. Is this actually possible or just marketing hype?
  • Gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. What does this even mean?
  • When does the yeast stop playing a roll? When it’s in the barrel? out of the barrel? in the bottle?
  • Is yeast like a fungi where it can reproduce when it get puts back into a normalized environment?
  • What about beers that go bad?
  • One last question about corn, how long do you age corn in a silo to dehydrate corn and remove moisture?
120 – High Volume Online Retailers with K&L and Ace Spirits



Retailers need an edge to stay competitive in today’s market. Listen to Louis Dachis of Ace Spirits and David Driscoll of K&L Wine Merchants on how technology is making their business grow on national level and you get a lesson on distribution and why there are shipping restrictions to different states in the US.

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  • Talk about your stores and the markets you serve
  • How have you seen the bourbon market effect your business? What’s the good what’s the bad?
  • How does having a very prominent online presence given you an advantage?
  • Do you see your barrel picks making its way out of state because of online orders? Do you feel that impacts locals?
  • We know allocated items in bourbon are coveted right now. How are you dealing with this surge? Do you reward continual shoppers, even online shoppers that are out of state?
  • Is there a better way to get products into the hands of consumers other than the three-tier system?
  • Why are there so many law restrictions on shipping alcohol across state lines? Why can’t we have a uniform federal ruling that allows shipment across state lines?
  • This goes into global shipping. For example: A Malt like Springbank 21 (700 ml) at Masters of Malt retails for $220ish. Even if I bought only one bottle and paid $40 for ship on the 1 bottle, it is still cheaper than purchasing the 750 ml US version for $390ish. Where do you think a savvy consumer would buy? How will US retail stay competitive in the global marketplace at this rate?
  • In an ideal world where you can sell more volume online, what do you want to see changed?
119 – Whiskey Business with Matt Landan of Haymarket Whiskey Bar




With the current climate of overpriced rare whiskey, how do you turn that into a profitable business? Matt Landan talks about pivoting his coffee shop into Haymarket Whiskey Bar, a staple of bourbon country and Top 40 whiskey bar.

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  • Everyone who has visited Louisville probably knows but we are going to talk about the history of the bar
  • Do you think this is becoming a new landmark on the bourbon trail
  • How are you appealing to the local bourbon community?
  • You also do something unique with the price of your Van Winkles too
  • People on the forums also thought you ruined bourbon for maybe 30 minutes last year too
  • Talk about the new Vintage spirits law and what that means
  • You’re keeping up with it. what’s the latest news with it and where are they?
  • What are some potential pit falls?
  • How do retailers or people like yourself protect themselves from frauds?
  • What mistakes have you made trying to run a whiskey bar?
  • What advice would you give to someone?
  • How do feel about increased competition?
117 – The Past, Present, and Future of Bourbon with Chuck Cowdery




Is the madness ever going to end? Are those unicorn bottles going to continue to climb in price for the future? How did we end up here? Past guest Chuck Cowdery, a bourbon authority, enlightens us to how the history of bourbon being an unwanted commodity created stocks of well aged whiskey that led us to the market we see today.

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  • Lets talk about the past and the bourbon, crisis, was it an overall understanding that bourbon might be extinct?
  • At what point did you come in to see some of this first hand?
  • How did advertising work for bourbon? How did you get it into the hands of elders?
  • How did no one see this coming? Like literally no one.
  • You talk about the resurgence of bourbon was partly because of the lack of drinkers because it led to the unintentional benefit of very well-aged whiskey
  • What were distillers doing with this better aged whiskey?
  • Do you think exports are the biggest benefactor?
  • What were bourbon brands doing at the time to appeal to the Japanese and European markets?
  • So people are buying whiskey again, how are distillers ramping up production?
  • Was there a surge of more NDPs and independent bottlers buying sourced whiskey?
  • Why do you call this a “not so attractive” trend?
  • At what point did we start seeing the “shortage”? or is there really a shortage?
  • Have NDPs died off because they can’t source or contract distill now?
  • Will craft distillers put a dent in the market or are they just looking for their piece of the pie?
  • Do you think any of these companies will be “under water” on their investments when the bourbon matures for sales in 4-12 years? Especially when they have to compete with the big boys as they are expanding.
  • Do you think we are going to see people drop off because we don’t have a lot of well-aged whiskey now? We have distillers and craft distillers removing age statements. How will that effect the future?
  • What’s the key to making this trend last?
113 – Rum Pursuit with Fred Minnick




Fred Minnick, multi-appearance guest on the show and author of the new book Rum Curious, educates us bourbon drinkers on why rum isn’t so bad and how the rum industry needs the passion of the bourbon community.

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  • Back in February you had a article named “For Rum’s Sake”, an open letter to bourbon drinkers. Was it a plea?
  • Why rum? There’s lots of other spirits
  • Name a few brands that are accessible in parts of the US that are trustworthy.
  • So what’s wrong with Captain Morgan and those typical ones we all think of?
  • We know bourbon has 3 main ingredients, but what are some of the main ones going into rum?
  • We also have corn whiskey, rye whiskey, etc, any variants?
  • So people want to learn more about rum, besides your book, where are the rum fanatics?
  • Talk about the laws and labels for rum producers
  • What do you think about those companies that say they can create an aged rum in less than 7 days using technology?
  • Thanks to Emmet Klocker that sent us some samples from Lemon Hart, Havana Club, and 1931/
111 – Reid & Emerald of 1789b




Reid Bechtle & Emerald Adair of 1789b join the group to talk about the fascinations with the better things in life, how they started 1789b, how barrel selections have changed in 7 years, and the barrel picks they have still yet to do.

  • Introduce yourselves, your background and how bourbon got into your life
  • What are those coins you have in your hands?
  • Explain what 1789b is
  • Where does the name 1789b come from?
  • Do distilleries roll out the red carpet for you?
  • Have the advent of prolific Facebook groups influenced the group?
  • Talk about those early Reid & Emerald picks
  • How has the barrel selection process changed now that you don’t get the pick of everything in the rick house?
  • When newcomers are in the market and they see Billions with Michter’s 20 year and they get caught up in the chase. Do you all get caught up seeking limited releases too?
  • Is there a bourbon pick you haven’t done yet that would be on your bucket list?
  • Listen to the barrel pick we all did back on Episode 105
109 – Retail Pricing Wars!




Retail Pricing Wars! Does MSRP really mean anything? How do stores price their products relative to their size, customer base, and geographic location? We’re joined by Ed Bley of Cork N Bottle and Angelo Ingrati of Peppino’s Liquors & Wine to discuss both sides of the story. Read Show Notes Below.

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  • What’s your reason on why your stores can sell above MSRP?
  • Why would any store NOT sell at secondary pricing?
  • How does geography play a role into this with Kentucky vs NYC?
  • Is Buffalo Trace or the distillery the real culprits of the problem?
  • Don’t most liquor stores make their money on volume rather than limited releases? So how do you keep your customers happy after this bubble bursts?
  • Small mom & pop shops are losing allocation and reps are favoring big box stores, do you see this as a problem on the distributer side?
  • Do store owners get tired of hearing “Do you have any X?”
  • What do you think is the effect of square footage of your retail space? What are their advantages?
  • How do you buy enough fireball to get any limited release bourbon?
  • Are everyday items priced higher in NYC like Maker’s Mark?
  • By raising the retail price, then do you feel like you are cutting out the distributor and the distillery of their fair share?
105 – Behind a Russell’s Reserve Barrel Pick with Cork N Bottle, Reid & Emerald, and more at Wild Turkey




Wild Turkey Barrel Selection Exclusive with Ed Bley of Cork N Bottle, Reid and Emerald of 1789b, Nick Dikeos of The Bourbon Mafia, and Jimmy Russell of Wild Turkey. Get an inside look at how these connoisseurs of bourbon choose barrels while Jimmy is rattling off more information and history than we knew before. This is a Bourbon Pursuit first, bringing you inside on a private barrel selection.

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  • Everyone introduce themselves
  • Ed, what’s your mentality going into a barrel pick?
  • Jimmy, what hasn’t been tried in this business?
  • Jimmy, you said Wild Turkey doesn’t produce anything outside of their own brands but what about Old Ripy and Bond and Lilliard?
  • Emerald, what’s bourbon like in Arizona?
  • Jimmy, talk about Chill Filtering
  • Ed, do you feel like we could be choosing barrels that have been passed on by others?
  • Jimmy talks about MGP, Schenley, and more
  • Nick, talk about off-profile picks and why they are desired
  • Emerald, how has barrel picking changed since bourbon has become so popular because you can’t get things like private ETL?
  • Reid, talk about the differences between choosing barrels at Four Roses
  • Jimmy, talk about the oak that goes into making the barrels
  • Jimmy, when it comes to local farmers, does farm to bottle really mean anything?
  • Jimmy, how did you get in trouble with the Wild Turkey pewter tops?
  • Ed, Reid, and Nick, what do you think collaborations of different stores and groups coming together to make something special?
  • Jimmy, talk about Parker Beam from Heaven Hill
  • These bottles will be in stores very soon!
104 – 10 Interviews from WhiskyLive Louisville 2017




A combination of 10 interviews all done at WhiskeyLive in Louisville. This podcast features Fred Noe and Beth Burrows of Jim Beam, Joe Beatrice of Barrell Bourbon, Brian Gelfo of Rabbit Hole, John Foster of Smooth Ambler, Josh Hollifield of Barton 1792, Kelly Ramsey of Art Eatables, Winston Edwards of Balcones, Greg Roshkowski of Cooper’s Craft, and we wrap it up with Bill Thomas of Jack Rose.
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096 – JK McKnight, Founder Forecastle Festival, talks Bourbon Lodge

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.
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091 – Mike Sherman, Owner of Vendome Copper and Brass Works – Making Whiskey Stills


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 and #1 still maker after a century of being in business.
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083 – Ed Bley, Spirits and Beer Manager at Cork N Bottle


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
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067 – Bill Thomas, Owner of Jack Rose


Bill Thomas (@MashBill_Thomas), Owner of Jack Rose (@JackRoseinDC), tells his history of turning a passion for whiskey and 20 years of dusty hunting into the single largest collection of epic bourbon that is available for sale at Jack Rose Dining Saloon in Washington D.C.
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066 – Tim Hagan and Ethan Pardieu, Kentucky Bourbon Boys Distillery Tours


Tim Hagan and Ethan Pardieu, Kentucky Bourbon Boys Distillery Tours, give insights into their customized tours and how they learned about bourbon themselves.
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064 – Vince Roth, Partner of Final Furlong Racing & Chad Butters, Co-Founder of Eight Oaks Distillery


Chad Butters, Co-Founder and CEO of Eight Oaks Craft Distillery, and Vince Roth, Managing Partner of Final Furlong Racing Stables, talks about a new partnership to invest in a horse and get bottles of bourbon in return
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060 – Kelly Ramsey, Bourbon-Certified Chocolatier and Owner of Art Eatables


Kelly Ramsey, Bourbon-Certified Chocolatier and Owner of Art Eatables, talks about her delicious bourbon truffles and the difference between bourbon balls.
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057 – Jason Brauner, Bourbon’s Bistro

Jason Brauner, Owner of Louisville-based restaurant Bourbon’s Bistro, talks about his family history at National Distillers and running a full serviced bourbon-themed restaurant.
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053 – Chef Edward Lee, Cooking with Bourbon


Chef Edward Lee, 4-time James Beard nominee, TV Show host, owner of 610 Magnolia and Milkwood, dives into culinary arts and cooking with bourbon while sharing his philosophy on bourbon with dinner that led to the creation of Jefferson’s Chef Collaboration.
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050 – Ray Perryman, Spirits Manager at Liquor Barn


Ray Perryman (@LBSpringHurst), Spirits Manager at Liquor Barn (@LiquorBarn) in Louisville, shares an insider view to carrying over 400 bourbon and whiskeys, how to deal with the allocated ones, and keeping transparency.
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048 – Adam Johnson, 2016 Kentucky Bourbon Affair


Adam Johnson (@CamperJohnson), Director of the KY Bourbon Trail, comes back to gives us the scoop on the 2016 Bourbon Affair and a more about Senate Bill 11.
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046 – Andy Treinen, Prohibition and more at the Frazier History Museum


Andy Treinen, the Director of Marketing at the Frazier History Museum (@FrazierMuseum), talks history of prohibition, the future Bourbon Museum for “bourbonism”, and the Old Forester Speakeasy Series.
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043 – Patrick Hutchens, Promotional Wood Products


Patrick Hutchens, Owner of Promotional Wood Products, shares his company’s story of giving premium bourbons the extra edge.
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038 – Turner Moore, Whiskey Obsession Festival

Turner Moore, President of Whiskey Obsession Festival, joins the show to talk about the festival and what to expect this year. It takes place 3/30/2016-4/1/2016 in Sarasota Florida.
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035 – Seth Thompson, The Bourbon Classic


Seth Thompson, of The Bourbon Classic, chats about all the awesome events being held from Feb 23-27th, 2016 and how you can get last second tickets.
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030 – Robert Mohr & Tom Johnson, Aroma Academy Sensory Training for Bourbon

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

029 – John Kowalczyk, Bourbon Christmas Gift Exchange


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

028 – Matt Jamie, Founder and Owner of Bourbon Barrel Foods


Matt Jamie, Founder and Owner of Bourbon Barrel Foods, talks about how he started a company with Bluegrass Soy Sauce into a brand that does everything to promote “Eat Your Bourbon”. (more…)

026 – Mikael Mossberg, Co-Founder and CEO of Distiller


Mikael Mossberg, Co-Founder & CEO of Distiller, talks about his whiskey recommendation app and how his whiskey passion led him to be in the startup world. (more…)

019 – David Mandell, CEO of Bardstown Bourbon Company


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

015 – Sean Higgins Mint Julep Tours

Sean Higgins, Chief Fun Officer of Mint Julep Tours, talks about the array of tours they offer with customized trips with their tag line “the purpose of fun is to have some”. From bourbon to horses to zip lines, Sean is your Louisville concierge. (more…)

014 – Adam Johnson, Kentucky Bourbon Affair


Adam Johnson, Director of the KY Bourbon Trail & Bourbon Affair, joins us as the first ever two-time guest! This time we talk about the Kentucky Bourbon Affair that will be taking place June 3rd-7th 2015.
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008 – Adam Johnson Kentucky Bourbon Trail


Adam Johnson, Director of the KY Bourbon Trail & Bourbon Affair, talks about tourism, the places to visit, horse country, and craft distilling.
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