Today’s episode features one of the largest spirits companies you might not know much about. You’ve heard of brands like Ezra Brooks, Rebel Yell, and Blood Oath, but there is a lot to discover about Luxco. We sit down with Philip Lux, Global Brand Ambassador at Lux Row Distillers and son of CEO Don Lux, as he guides us through the family history of the Lux’s along with their acquisitions of bourbon brands. Then we also get the inside scoop on what’s happening at Lux Row Distillers. After sourcing whiskey for many years, it became apparent they needed to build a distillery and they did it right in Bardstown, KY. We discuss the future of the brands and how they plan to grow and evolve. Don’t sleep on this location during your bourbon trail visit because the facility is incredible.
- Black Market Liquor Sales: https://www.forbes.com/sites/fredminnick/2020/03/19/wholesalers-warn-of-black-market-liquor-if-liquor-stores-close-amidst-coronavirus/#3b5445042e88
- Supporting Spirits United: https://p2a.co/JRoHtT8
- Bourbon Pursuit USBG Fundraiser: bourbonpursuit.com/usbg
- Bourbon Crypto: https://www.coindesk.com/wave-financial-to-tokenize-20m-worth-of-bourbon-for-new-whiskey-fund
- Pat Heist on TedX: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSLWEnz-1mc
- This week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick talks about supporting craft distilleries.
- What was your introduction to bourbon?
- How did you get into the business?
- What stands out about bourbon when you are traveling?
- Talk about the difference between Luxco and Lux Row.
- Did your dad ever tell you about how he had the foresight to acquire all these brands?
- Tell us the story of David Nicholson.
- Talk about Blood Oath.
- Was Rebel Yell acquired the same time as David Nicholson?
- Tell us about your bourbon portfolio.
- When did you break ground on the facility?
- Why did you decide to build in Bardstown and not St. Louis?
- What is the difference between regular David Nicholson and the reserve?
- Tell us about your still and capacity.
- Any worries about your bourbon being ready in 4 years?
- Are you trying to replicate the existing flavor profiles?
- What is your storage capacity?
- What is something that people might not know about your brands?
- When is the Lux Bourbon coming?
- Any plans to use this facility to support Luxco?
- What issues have you had starting a distillery?
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Let’s kind of talk about you know your history your your upbringing, because because you’re you’re young strapping lad your last names luck, so obviously you have something to do around here. Yeah.
Welcome back, everybody. It’s Episode 246 of bourbon pursuit. I’m Kenny, one of the hosts. And here’s your Cova 19 updates because a lot has changed since last week. Texas has temporarily adjusted its laws to be more lenient on the drinks industry and are now allowing alcohol as a part of to go orders. This is pretty big news because we know that anything in Texas that is regulated by alcohol is very, very hard to change. And they are also in listening distributor trucks that are designated for alcohol only delivery to support grocers and delivery needs during this time for roses distillery will temporarily suspend their operations of us distillery located in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, and that began on March 20 of 2020. And based on the current situation for roses expects to commence operations once again on April 6 of 2020. A new statement by the wine and spirits wholesalers of America or known as the W swa their CEO and President Michelle Cosmo warns that in a crisis
consequences are major concerns for industries and private citizens. And they implore all governors to keep Wine and Spirits retailers open as to not encourage bad actors to pop up black market liquor operations. Other industry partners including the distilled spirits Council of the United States, otherwise known as discus has made a similar statement. And Fred MiniK recently published an article on Forbes, referring to the actions taken by the state of Pennsylvania, where they closed the doors of all alcohol stores in the state that the same thing could happen to them, as it did during Prohibition. And you can read more with his article to the link in our show notes. Right now, many other distilleries are making hand sanitizer. Back on March 20 of 2020, the FDA issued a new guidance for the temporary manufacturing of hand sanitizer by companies and entities that are not currently regulated by the FDA as a drug manufacturer. The TTB or the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has found that it isn’t necessary and desirable to waive provisions of internal
Revenue law with regard to distilled spirits, and therefore is providing certain exemptions and operations to distilled spirits permittees who wish to produce ethanol based hand sanitizers to address the demand during this emergency. any existing DSP can immediately commence production of hand sanitizer or ethanol for use in hand sanitizer without having to obtain authorization first. These measures are generally authorized under authorities that apply in disaster situations, and are right now approved through June 30 of 2020. There are now over 50 distilleries across the US that have switched to making hand sanitizer including big ones like wilderness trail, smooth Ambler town branch, rabbit hole, old Forester, and there’s many more craft distilleries across the nation like co vault, Illinois, Coursera in Tennessee, and Caledonia spirits in Texas. I would love to be able to give everyone a shout out on here but you can contact your local distillery to see if they had any available Republic purchase in a day.
There’s a lot of giving going on by bigger corporations. And here’s some of the highlights. Beam Satori and southern Glaser’s are donating $1 million to support the impacted bar and restaurant employees. Beam centaurea is also working with other distributors across various states, including major brands, badger liquor, Fenway associates, Allied beverage Corp, Empire distributors, best brands, horizon beverage group and more to provide donations to local organizations that will further help to support in the trade of their respective communities. biagio has also pledged $1 million to the US VG or the United States bartenders guild and their emergency assistance fun for Cova 19. biagio is also doing another million euros to support bartenders in the United Kingdom with a million million pounds. Brown Forman is donating $1 million to us big the restaurant workers Community Foundation and one level is separating between those three different organizations. gallows, New Amsterdam vodka and barstool sports
created a new t shirt highlighting support your local bartender program, where 100% of the net proceeds will go to us bartenders guild foundation. And additionally New Amsterdam will donate $5 for every t shirt purchased. Jamison donates another 500,000 to the US big mixers distillery in Philadelphia have made a $10,000 donation to the US BG patrol is donating $1 million to three different organizations. You have the children of restaurant employees otherwise known as core, another round another rally and the James Beard Foundation. Sasa rack and fireball Have you started a GoFundMe called the world’s biggest tip jar by starting it off with $100,000 donation, and it will match all contributions up to $400,000 donations with everything going to tax exempt organizations. Tito’s is donating $1 million between four organizations focused on those in the industry. We have the core, US big Southern smoke and the world central kitchen. They’re all
pledging another additional $1 million as further needs are seen. Zamora is donating 400,000 euros to charities such as Caritas, the Red Cross and the food bank foundation. Yelp, who you all know the app is providing $25 million in relief in the form of waived advertising fees and free advertising, products services and more that during this period.
In addition, we’re trying to do our part as well. bourbon pursuit we have our own fundraiser going to help support the US BG or the United States bartenders Guild. So at this time, you can go and you can win bottles of pursuit series and our latest peril picks from will it go to bourbon pursuit.com slash USB G to get entered into our raffle? We appreciate all the support.
Discuss that we talked about a little bit early before the distilled spirits Council of the United States is now asking the government to include distillers in the Cova 19 Relief Fund. distilleries across the nation have close tasting rooms suspended to
And cancel large events to limit the exposure of Cova 19. As a result, the Steelers have been forced to make difficult decisions, including in some cases shutting down production in laying off staff. As a result, many distilleries may not be able to survive during this crisis. distillers right now employ 1.6 million people across the country and generate 180 billion dollars in economic activity for the United States. You can help take action by supporting spirits united with your name and vote with the link in our show notes. This story poured out a little bit over last week, and I’m sure many people know about it, but we need to report on anyway because we all know about jack rose. It’s that iconic whiskey bar in DC that’s owned and operated by Bill Thomas. But you’ve heard back on episode 67 and 127. They’re putting up all 2700 bottles for sale. In response to the escalating health and economic crisis. The public can now search through their treasure trove by stopping into the bar
browsing their whiskey Bible menu which is also available online and talking to Bill Thomas himself, you can order anything you want. That could mean 20 or 30 year old pours in our bag or MacAllan hard to find bullet family estates or jack roses own private barrels that are made in collaboration with Blanton’s and other distilleries. The drums will be packaged in little sealed bottles that could be kept on your home bar in pours of the rare stuff or anything that’s $100 plus an ounce will be 50% off while all other pours are 20% off. Thomas says he plans to offer the spirits at a lower price than what consumers would find on the secondary market. If you’re in the area, they also have to go cocktails available from all three of their company bars, jack rose, Imperial and DRAM and grain and classics like old fashions a Manhattan’s two visible creations that they all have starting at $10 each. The story is spread and when it broke, people were lined up for around five blocks. Their website crashed and they had to use Facebook and Instagram to let everyone know
Know how to contact to them. So please check out the jack rose social pages for the latest and up to date info on how to get your hands on anything. All right, let’s change subjects for a minute. Let’s get out of the coronavirus talk. Wave financial has finalized an agreement with Danville Kentucky based wilderness trail distilleries to tokenize between 10 and 20,000 barrels of whiskey worth up to around $20 million that will be made publicly available through a specialized digital asset fund. Now if that didn’t make sense, this is turning bourbon inventory into cryptocurrency. So known as wave whiskey 2020 Digital fund, investors are able to purchase asset backed tokens linked to an inventory of whiskey barrel this year, that will represent as many as 4 million bottles of bourbon by tokenizing. It wave says that investors can gain exposure to Bourbons value appreciation and can also share some of the proceeds from when a whiskey is sold to wholesale to merchants and three years after the whiskey is first
Still, and the tokens are then issued to investors, users will be able to trade their tokens at whatever price they wish. And wave is also in discussions with some security token exchanges to develop an official secondary market infrastructure to facilitate better trading in the whiskey back tokens. A wave spokesperson added that the token was available for accredited investors from all around the world. And what they first closed at the end of March and a second at the end of June, a final close expected to take into place in September. You can read more about that with the link in our show notes. And didn’t more wilderness trail news. The yeast and fermentation doctor from wilderness trail that we all know is Pat heist, who we had back on episode 121. That blew everyone’s mind, had his first TED Talk published. It talks about the effect of climate on production and the quality of bourbon. And this was done at TEDx at the University of Nevada. Give it a listen on YouTube with the link in our show notes. All right for today.
Today’s episode, we feature one of the largest spirits companies you probably don’t know much about. You’ve heard of brands like Ezra Brookes, Rebel Yell and blood oath. But there is a lot to discover about Lux CO, we sit down with Philip Lux, the global brand ambassador of Lux ro distillers and he’s also the son of the CEO Don Lux, as he guides us through the family history of Lexus, along with the acquisitions of their bourbon brands and labels. Then we also get the inside scoop on what’s happening at Lux ro distillers. After sourcing whiskey for many years, it became apparent they needed to build a distillery and they did it right in Bardstown, Kentucky. We discuss the future of the brands and how they plan on growing and evolving. Also, don’t sleep on this location during your bourbon trail visit because the facility looks incredible. Let’s get on with the show. Here’s Joe from barrel bourbon. And then you’ve got Fred minich with above the char
it’s Joe from barrel bourbon. Tasting whiskey straight from the barrel was truly alive.
changing moment for me. In 2013 I launched barrel craft spirits so everyone could have the experience of tasting whiskey at CAST strength. Next time ask you bartender for barrel bourbon.
I’m Fred medic, and this is above the char. I have some very, very staggering news. This just in from ACS a or better known as the American craft spirits Association. According to a survey of a CSA 150 craft of 150 craft distillers 67% will be forced to close within three months. 32% of those respondents said it, they won’t even last a month 87% of all craft distillery tasting rooms have closed and 60% of the distilleries making craft spirits has already laid off employees or furloughed staff.
This is absolutely staggering to thousand small distillers across the country. And that survey tells us, we may very well lose two thirds of them in a matter of months. Those are people who have put it all in the line to do something that they love and, you know, want to really push the envelope. And this just breaks my heart. This just absolutely breaks my heart. The distilling community right now is trying to get federal support, you know, so they’re basically looking for the same kind of federal funds that’s going to be given to the airline industry in the hospitality industry. And here we are.
amidst this coronavirus scare, and we’re about we’re about to see a lot of a lot of great people lose their dreams. And that’s just fair.
I think about what we do you know, Kenny Ryan and I, you know, this is, yeah, it’s it’s my job. But let’s face it, I have a dream job. I talk and write about whiskey for a living like all the time. And I have some time said some things that are not so nice about craft whiskies. It was never anything personal. It’s just about their whiskey. But never in a million years. What I wish this upon anybody in the industry, I can’t even imagine, to begin to think of like, what it what it must be like right now to be a craft distiller and to know that if things don’t change, you’re going to have to shut down for good. So let’s do what we can. Let’s, let’s do what we can Let’s buy their products. And you may push back here and say, Hey, well, Fred, we can’t go to the liquor store. Our governor is shut us down. We have to stay inside. You know, that’s very well true. But get this. There’s a
A lot of delivery services out there right now. That will bring a good old DRAM to your doorstep. You can go to silver box comm craft shack is another one you can go to drizzly calm, and these are all delivery services that will buy from a local retailer and deliver to you. Another one that you can join is called spirits network comm go to spirits network comm I actually have a lot of shows on there, but you can, you can buy booze, and then watch booze TV. So there’s a lot of options out there that you can go to and buy craft whiskey or any kind of craft spirit. But listen, we have to band together we have to do what we can to help these small distillers because we can’t lose them. We just can’t. It’s not.
It’s very scary. It’s absolutely very scary. And so let’s do what we can let’s band together. Hello
Let’s save a distillery or two.
And that’s this week’s above the char. Hey, make sure you are checking out my YouTube I am dropping content every single day, in hopes of helping you get through the boredom. You can go to YouTube and just look for my channel. Just search my name Fred MiniK. Until next week, cheers
Welcome back to another episode of the bourbon pursuit the official podcast of bourbon. Kinney and Ryan back in Bardstown on the road again often, but this is fun, we love going on the road. And today it’s funny because, you know, we drive around bars and we do a lot of these interviews. However, this is one place that I had never driven up and we drive past it quite frequently especially if you’re a frequent are over at Keystone liquors. Yeah, you drive by where the cinemas you have the movies in. It’s right across the street. It is and but this is it’s one place where I drove up and I was I was amazed like
How beautiful the grounds are here at Lux row distillers and being able to in the first thing that we saw a was like some house that you said your buddy grew up in that owned the land here. And then we saw their their resident peacocks. Oh yeah, yeah, this. I’ve been up this driveway many times. You know, it’s a running joke that I say that I’m from Bardstown. But I am from bars town and grew up hanging out here with my buddy john and his family. So
it’s a beautiful property got a bunch of old farmhouses gold house and some peacocks and they were like Kenny walked up and they kind of spread their feathers out I think they’re excited to see Kenny And so yeah, maybe maybe see us Who knows? Yeah, but I’ve kind of been you know, just being in town seen the construction and everything but never really seen it till now. And man it’s an it’s an impressive property with all the distillery and everything. So it’s all about the property. But you know, this is also we’re getting a chance to talk to
About a company that’s kind of like a unknown Titan in the industry, you know, it’s they’ve had a lot of established brands that have been out there. For the longest time, it had been a sourcing product and now that they are sealing the light, they’re like, Hey, we got to grow, we got to expand, we got to we got to start pumping out our stuff too. And so we know when we start talking about these brands, a lot of them are gonna start ringing a lot of names like Rebel Yell, like Ezra Brooks, like these are all the labels that these are all the names that you’re probably very well familiar with and probably didn’t know much about the the distillery and the people that are behind it. So guilty. I don’t know much. But now I do know, because we just did the tour got the family history, and it’s like a really cool story. So I’m excited to share that with our audience. Absolutely. And that’s a good way to kind of segue into our guest today. So today we have Philip Lux. Philip is the global brand ambassador for Luxor distillery. So Philip, welcome to the show. Thank you. Thank you, Kenny. Ryan, thanks for having me on. Absolutely. So
Before we kind of get into this and start talking about the whiskey in the tour and the grounds and all that sort of stuff again, let’s kind of talk about you know, your history your your upbringing, because because you’re you’re young strapping lad, your last name is luck. So obviously you have something to do around here. Yeah.
So, you know, the and you kind of talked about like, your family’s been in this business? What 40 years now something like a almost 60 years, almost 60 years. Wow. So talk about your first run in with bourbon. My first run with bourbon honestly, was was pretty recent, over the past two to three years when we decided to build this and that so your mom and dad and like
and now I mean, it’s really was you know, as personally my my first run with bourbon was was recent, but as a company, we’ve been in the bourbon industry for over 40 years doing some private label stuff with my grandfather back when you know, he was still still around. And David Sherman, who originally started the business with my grandfather, Paul
Whenever you know it’s doing that private label bourbon just for four different grocery stores or, or convenience stores, stuff like that around the country. And then we we bought our first bourbon. And I believe 93 with Ezra Brooks from from Glenmore distillers, who’s now owned by Sam’s rack and has just kind of grown from there. And, you know, that was a little over 20 years ago now and we’ve grown. We’ve had award winning brands and grown our brands over the past 20 years and into into big, big names that allowed us to now break off from sourcing and start our own distillery and have everything distilled in house verse, you know, sourcing our bourbon from somebody else. Okay, so let’s get back to the original question. What was your first my first run with bourbon was was probably three years ago. In you know, Colorado when I was when I was living there and decided I wanted to get away from kind of the, the vaca vaca scene so I started to drink some different stuff and my mom actually came
To me and in said that’d be a really good opportunity for, you know, to maybe have an idea of getting into the industry as we’re getting ready to build this so I jumped kind of head over heels into the bourbon industry and
kind of ran with it from there went to moonshine University in Louisville and where I really got introduced to bourbon and whiskey and that kind of helped me in golf myself in the industry and in golf myself and what bourbon really is, especially here in Kentucky in Louisville, where it’s you know, American spirit and in most popular spirits, so, huh, so she kind of was like the catalyst you didn’t really you were like, that’s your thing. I’m gonna do my own thing. Yeah, I’d never even really wanted to be in the industry. My I was always not necessarily pressured. My dad always said Do whatever you want to do. Yeah, he was never pressuring me at all. It was always his friends are my friends asking when when are you going to get in the industry? When are you going to do this? do that so because I’m sure your friends are like, hey, yeah,
I mean, I would take boxes of boosts.
to college with me, whether it be vaca Yeah, you’d be Ron knock that probably we just got in the house, we used to own Admiral Nelson. So that was a pretty cool product for us. And that was a fun product in college. And everybody enjoyed that. But, you know, on the bourbon side, I really didn’t know much about it until I started taking classes and really engulfing myself in it with Stephen thief, like I said, as well, with moonshine you and you know, my mom is said, you know, take a chance this is something that’s different, it’s something that’s new, it’s gonna be something that you can help grow and you can be a part of, I was working in a ski shop in Colorado two years out of school, and you know, love in life, but it’s hard to work in a ski shop for the rest of your life. Right? Well, I guess I work in a ski town so I need to find something a little different. And I you know, I’ve I’ve used my dad in different people in the company, and then the industry is kind of stepping, you know, stuffing box to help me work into it and learn more about it and I feel
That I’ve, I’m learning, you know, every day, whether it be with our products or the distillation process or the supplier versus distributor side. And, you know, with my job, it really allows me to learn, you know, frequently and, and continue learning and traveling and seeing different how bourbon and whiskey is viewed in California versus in Kentucky versus in New York. You know, I like to call you know, the bourbon trail like the Napa Valley of the Midwest now because you guys probably see it firsthand as well where everybody’s flocking here now for that burden. Even the peacocks even though
they’re they’re always here and they’re, you know, they love it here. So kind of talk about what you do see the difference in in bourbon, whether it’s the community or culture as you’re doing these travels, you know, just across the US like what is what’s something that kind of stands out to you? You know, I think something that really stands out is the, the recognition of the bigger
You know, you go to California where, and I went up to Seattle for Seattle cocktail week and people had never heard of Lexapro but they had heard of, you know, they heard of heaven, hell and Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam. And, you know, being, for me my passion and what I really strive to grow not only our brands, but our brands are part of a bigger name now of Lux. Lux row. So I think you know, to answer your question, Kenny, the The major difference that I see is how quickly a brand like Lux row catches on in Kentucky, because, you know, we’re a year and seven months out from, you know, putting juice in our first barrel. And people recognize those brands like you know, they, they have, you know, throughout time and they recognize Lexapro now, as in you go to San Francisco whiskey Fest, those are all whiskey, you know, enthusiasts, so they’re gonna, you know, they’re they’ve probably been following those brands, but they’re not super familiar with it. Maybe they’ve seen that Lux ro logo somewhere and now they’re gonna be you know,
Gonna be there and they can, you know, learn more about it on a first hand basis or up in New York, I was up there and personally introduce David Nicholson reserve into the New York in the Boston Market in front of all the distributors so just different brands that aren’t necessarily recognized throughout the country or are and don’t have a lot of backing to them that need help you know, growing and with the distillery it’s allowed us to help grow those brands in a different way where we can one bring customers here and you know, they can see that product we have people from all over the country if not the globe coming here. When they come to see heaven Hillary Jim Beam or Maker’s Mark or limestone branch down in Lebanon, they drive right past us now. So we’re in a very unique spot here that
it allows us to help grow. Yeah, I mean, go ahead, right. Oh, no, good. All right. Well, I’ll keep going. I mean, cuz i was i was talking about like his Yeah, I mean, we talked about
Kind of beginning to show that you know, the rebel gal David Nicholson blood oath like Ezra books like these are these are pretty iconic names in in whiskey like they’ve been around for a long time but people didn’t really know a lot of the background. And so Lux ro is also is it underneath the umbrella or an extension of Lux co as well? Can you kind of talk about the differences what you have there? Yeah, absolutely. So Lux CO is I like to call it our parent brand. But Lux Lux row is actually technically a supplier of Lux Co. You know, we own it as a family. My dad, you know, is the chairman CEO still of Lux row, but we act as a supplier for Lux, COEs Bourbons. But we’re also you know, owned and operated family operated out of St. Louis with my father. myself my brother my mom. My brother’s not in the industry. he’s a he’s an aerospace engineer, but he’s the winner. Yes, James. He’s a one a little bit of a different path than myself But no, to each its own. Yeah.
I found you know, a niche here but yeah, I mean Lux CO is is a worldwide supplier of spirits. We own a multitude of about 100 different brands everclear probably being the biggest my grandpa Paul purchase that, you know, way back in the day that was his first popular guy in college. And to this day I’m proud to admit I’ve actually never drink and everclear Yeah, it really is brutal. Yeah, never drink and it was like hooch or something.
So it’s, it’s, you know, everclear is you know, the biggest one but then we’ve got you know, provoq arrow cordials we own three different two kilos, whereas tequila, which is our mixto which you can find in you know, like a Texas Roadhouse Well, it’s you well Margarita is usually whereas tequila, we have LA or tequila, which is our ultra premium as well as exotic tequila. All based out of Mexico. But it all you know, we’re the supplier for that. So we we’ve been partners with the Gonzales family over there for
3040 years my grandfather worked with Rodolfo Gonzales his father so so very family oriented. And then over on locks row even you obviously can’t get to locks row if you don’t have locks.
And so we’ve over the past 20 years we’ve purchased all of our bourbon brands as your Brooks been the first and 93 from Glenmore distillers. And then we had Rebel Yell in 99. We purchased from Stetson Weller, David Nicholson is one of my favorite brands to talk about because it started originally started in St. Louis, Missouri, and we can go into that story. You got a little bit of a soft spot for St. Louis don’t I do I do St. Louis born and raised my hometown. Got to give a shout out to our blue Stanley Cup champions. But you know, all of our brands have a very unique backstory to them very unique roots. That’s why here at Lux row we are I guess motto is real roots real family real products. We have the roots not only with the products, but the real roots here in Bardstown with the Ballard
farm. They’ve lived there and and Ryan you know this but
big john Ballard lived there for 40 years raised his kids there, his grandkids there. I mean, this was their family farm. So we have the real roots with the products as well as with the farm. We’ve got the real family with myself, my dad, my mom being the creative director. So she worked her butt off, you know, getting this place up the top notch, you know, within two years, and then we’ve got the real products and the drinkability obviously speaks for themselves when you when you let them touch your lips, but each one has different wards. As what to say cuz the ezard Brooks barrel proof kind of went off gangbusters this year. Yeah, we’re going crazy. It was crazy. Yeah. So we’ll right when we introduced it wherever we reintroduced it, Fred.
Fred MiniK, who’s never heard it never had that. But he called it he called it his,
his 2018 everyday sipping whiskey of the year, which absolutely blew it off the rails, all the allocations from across the country. We’re going to
Wire. And so people you know we’re in love with it and then somehow some way it one in San Francisco 2019 straight bourbon of the year 2018 straight straight whiskey of the year, which was absolutely huge for us once again. But then David Nicholson reserve back to back 2000 back to back double Gold’s in San Francisco and in 2017 2018 as well as straight bourbon of the year 2017 Rebel Yell 10 year old single barrel was top 20 whiskies of the world it was number 12 there were only three American whiskeys on that. So we were really really fortunate to you know to have that one it’s also very delicious product as well as won some some gold medals. So each one you know that real roots, real family real products, you know really comes into play with Lux row as well as Lux CO and St. Louis. But you know, very family oriented but Lux Lux row is what we that’s what we strive here. So he says your dad ever told you about how you had the foresight to like start buying up these brands like before the you know, the big boom
Like, has he ever talked about that? Like, why did he get why did bourbon interesting, I guess from in the early 90s? When no one cared? Yeah, it’s a great question and I’ll need to, to pick his brain about that. Because, you know, I should definitely know that I know that. He’s always looking to acquire and sell different brands, whether it be bourbon or, or rum or vodka, or tequila, stuff like that. But,
you know, he’s, he sees an opportunity, and he’ll jump on it. I mean, David Nicholson, he literally bought that product from the Van Winkle family. He was on the phone with Julian Van Winkle, which is pretty cool story, especially. I mean, if you guys want I mean, I can go into you know how David Nicholson 1843 came about, do it. Let’s hear it. But so my favorite This is my favorite story to tell about our Bourbons because it hits home for me, it goes back to 1843. I’ve looked it up on Google, and actually found it. Actually, it actually found David Nicholson’s grocery store that I’m about to talk about in St. Louis. Okay. He was a great
grocery store owner back in 1843 in St. Louis, Missouri. So he made that four year old weeded bourbon in his basement of his grocery store 50 years later as well, it’s like you can do that 50 years later in 1893, some guy named Pappy Van Winkle. Never heard of them might know something about we did bourbon. I’m not sure. What’s that? Yeah, exactly. He purchased that product continued that Nashville and then in 2000, my father, Don purchased that product from from Julian Van Winkle. So which means we’ve now brought that full circle from 1843. Back to St. Louis, where it originally started, which is a really cool story to tell. It’s 100% true, and it it puts that family you know, atmosphere that family feel back in that product that has been there throughout time but might not have been recognized. And then we introduce David Nicholson reserve that won a bunch of awards. It’s not it’s a seven year ride bourbon at 100 proof so they they interact with each other very well.
They’re different taste profiles, one’s very creamy, one’s still a little bit sweeter because of that we did bourbon.
So that you know, that’s David Nicholson is a really cool story with with roots dating back to 1843, but also roots a back to the Van Winkle family. So where was blood oath made? Not a grocery store, right? How not to talk about that, and how it got its name and how it made it wait made its way to your portfolio. So blood oath was a product that were our head distillers very, very fond of john rappy. We wanted something that he could put his name to, and that it could be his in that he could continue to create, you know, delicious blends, you know, year after year. So, you know, john goes to different places and different distilleries and finds very unique barrels that he can blend together. And what we wanted was three extra age Bourbons blended together with a unique bourbon that’s finished in something different. So packed, one was
three extra age Bourbons blended together not finishing anything unique barrel after that and pack to three extra age Bourbons, one of which was finished in a pork barrel from Meyers winery in Cincinnati.
also failed and operated with my cousin Paul Lux who owns Meyers winery. Pack three was finishing a Cabernet 70 on barrel for an extra six months. JOHN actually went out to Napa Valley and pick those barrels from the the smiley or the head wine guy you know at Swanson vineyards Napa Valley pack for was finished in Rebel Yell 10 year old toasted oak single barrel. So that was a 10 year old, a 12 year old and a nine year old and that nine year old was finished for an extra six months. So you got very dark chocolate notes. So these are all things that you know, john, personally, you know, puts that bourbon in those barrels and tastes them month over month to make sure that they’re at that flavor profile that he wants. So when I tasted that blood oath, or that that nine year coming out of
Those old 10 year old toasted oak barrels It was very dark chocolate tasted not like chocolate milk, but kind of cocoa almost. It had a very, you know, chocolatey taste to it and then pack five you know, everybody’s looking for that extra aged, super high proof, very unique Bourbons these days, so pack five, it’s a,
an eight year old 12 year old and a 13 year old and that the eight year old rize actually finished for an extra six months and Caribbean rum cast. So that’s what we’re drinking right now. Nice. That Caribbean rum casks you get
you get very sweet and sweet. Yeah, Ryan signs empty, sweet sugary notes on the front end. You get like dark fruit banana, you get that okayness coming through from that extra age that you know 13 and 12 year old coming through there. So blood oath is something that
you know, the but the blood of the tests is that you know, nobody knows where he finds his barrels or his bourbon but you know, he puts together
product that is very unique and is for the the bourbon enthusiast. And if you’d like I can read you know what the actual blood oath label says on there. But it’ll, it’ll, it gives the whole story but if you think about it, you prick your finger with a buddy, and you make a blood oath, you know, you don’t tell, you know, tell those things. Only you guys know where it’s from, and tell you get on the podcast and
reveal everything. It’s all we do. We sit here and poke and prod until you run out mash bills and ages and where your source your barrels, we save our blood.
So that’s cool. I mean, that’s, I think that’s a side of, of, at least that particular brand that most people don’t know about. You know, for I mean, I can remember when I think blood was packed, one came out, and there was just kind of this, like, what is this? Where do they come from? It’s in a box like, what, what is this stuff? And so now we kind of have a little bit more of the information and really kind of what goes into it now. Now I know that each pact is uniquely different as well. It’s not so
supposed to be this
similar creation over and over and over again? Yeah, the main similarity and that’s only three barrels yet another thing to three three extra age Bourbons is the main submit similarity, excuse me, and, you know, each year, different box different label different flavor profile completely. And it’s something that that john can really get behind and put, you know, a lot of his passion to it as well, other than, you know, all the other Bourbons, but he loves the blood oath, and it’s growing in popularity, you know, year over year, we’ve continually made more of it. It’s still allocated.
But I believe we made
I think it’s 5003 in cases for this one, so about 15,000 bottles, maybe a little bit more might be vitamin 17,000 bottles, but it’s allocated bottles for three barrels. You know how you’re doing that?
Well, it’s not three barrels total. Oh, yeah. Okay.
I thought it would be different. I literally thought it was like three barrels. No, no, so like, math as well.
All right, we’ll take about we’ll take about 40.
About 40 barrels. So like with the pack for we had 40 to 10 year old barrels that we sent back to the cooperage, they took them apart, scrape the number three char off, put them back together, suck a flaming hot rod in the middle for about an hour, put a very deep toast on them, put it back together and send it back to us. And then we aged that nine year old or finished that nine year old for an extra six months in those barrels. So it wasn’t all three Bourbons finishing those barrels, it was only that one. So then john will blend them together in whatever way he finds, you know, best so that he gets those flavor profiles that he’s looking for. So it’s more than just it’s three, three types of barrels. But it’s not three barrels total. Gotcha. And so it was was Rebel Yell acquired at the same time as David Nicholson. About a year before but right around the same time. Yeah. Yeah. Because that’s, that already has a pretty historic past, you know, being something that was at Stillwell or stuff like that, you know, it’s it’s good to kind of get the background of
What these are and I’m assuming this is this is the the line that you have right now in your Bourbons. Yeah Miss Rebel Yell at her Brooke split oath and David Nicholson, the Rebel Yell we just reintroduce, or we just new label on it, which you know pops much better than the old one, you can really read the lettering. So we’ve reintroduced that to the, to the market.
You know, we’re coming out with new bottles and new new products eventually, as you know, as we get going.
There’ll be there’ll be something along the lines of you know, a regular or just like a distillery product from Lux row.
So definitely look look forward to seeing that at some point.
But yeah, this is this is our line. These four products are two mash bills. I ride Nashville and our we did Nashville, we can get to all of our products from those. Hmm. And so I guess let’s talk a little bit about the distillery here because
Cuz we mentioned when we were walking and talking, breaking ground around 2016, which was, you know, for us, I remember doing the podcast and we’re like, oh, what’s this place that’s getting ready to start and we didn’t really, really think anything of it now, a couple years later, we’re here finally doing a podcast. Yeah. And then you realize they make you know, they have Rebel Yell and all those brands, all the big brands, yeah, I’d never heard of before. And so kind of talk about the the timeline of breaking ground. When you first started distilling, getting everything online, first barrel, everything like that. Yes. So see, we broke ground, January 2016.
The ballers lived in that house pretty much two weeks until we broke ground on the property. So it was still their family farm pretty much up until then, I mean, we obviously haven’t get out.
So yeah, we broke ground, January 2016. We’re on about a two year you know, we wanted it to be you know, up and running in two years. So
January 2018, I think January 10. We filled our first barrel, January 5, we turned the steel on.
And then April 11, we opened up to the public. So that was our grand opening. And that was a huge day not only for our family, but for our company. It was the largest investment that we’ve ever made for our company. But it was really big in nursery, more morale, but just for the whole team, I mean, my dad shut down our whole company in St. Louis and bust about 350 of his employees out here so that they could stand out on this front lawn while we had bagpipers walking, you know, taking my mom and my dad and David Bratcher, the president of our company down to the flagpole to, you know, to raise that Lux row flag for the first day. So you got people that, you know, have worked have driven a forklift in a warehouse in St. Louis for 30 years, with a smile on their face coming to work every day for my dad and my grandfather. That got to come out here and see firsthand where they’re, you know where that Rebel Yell or that Ezra Brooks is that they’re pushing every single
All day unloading trucks they got to see firsthand where that’s made with with their co workers. And it really spoke volumes you know who our family is and what we’re all about and just to have everybody out here is just a really cool experience. You know, April 11 2018 we’ll remember that day is you know, the day that you know we we cut the ribbon on this place and open it up to the world and that really is what you know what what we did you know, not only here in Bardstown but i mean i’m going to London next week to you know, work in the market with our with Ezra Brooks and rebel yo with our, our international reps over there. So
to see a grow over the past, whatever it is year and a little over a year and a half now from where it was to where it is now and then just envisioning where it can go, you know, over the next two 510 years and past that is really special and just to see, you know, everybody in the company, really get behind
Everybody in you know, in our bourbon
section of Lux co get behind it and all the events that we’re doing, we’re now going to be at at every whiskey fest around the country. So Chicago, San Francisco, New York.
I’m missing a couple nights, but there’s no whiskey fest whiskey in the winter in St. Louis. We’ll have a booth there. So you know, the everybody’s really getting behind it, especially here in Bardstown. I mean, you got to tell better mommies, they’ve got our products and they love it and they’ll they’ll sell it or
you gotta love Manny’s Gotta love nannies you can’t go wrong with the country cooking there. Yeah, we had one actually. We had a group that came here. I was like a VIP tour or something. And they went to mommies for breakfast. And they were just like, That was crazy. The pancakes are huge. And I couldn’t even like we’re bloated. Yeah. secondaries. Yeah.
So talk about why did you all decided to do the distiller here and not kind of do a footprint
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Why did you all decided to do the distiller here and not kind of do a footprint you know in St. Louis, you know you got a bunch of breweries here
They’re, you know, a nice big city like, you know, in your bottling they’re still currently why not do it there and instead of kind of putting your foots down here or not your foot putting making your stamp here in Bardstown? Yeah, definitely, I mean, I think I think that you know Bardstown is the heart of bourbon country. And we found that I think we wanted to be around everybody else. I think it definitely helps us being here. Versus you know, being in St. Louis. We have our other our plant in St. Louis, where everything else is made. But you know, this is bourbon country and we wanted to be by by the other distilleries, and we wanted to be right in the heart of it. Like I said earlier, you know, the, the Napa Valley of the, you know, of the Midwest is that bourbon trail right now, and yes, people are going through St. Louis to you, but they’re gonna go there and see beer when they’re coming through Kentucky. They’re coming for bourbon and we needed somewhere that could be you know, 100% about our Bourbons that we could, you know, really get behind and, and we
been, you know, we’ve been sourcing for 20 years so we’ve been driving our barrels from Kentucky back to St. Louis for 20 years and it’s been working for us why change anything now? Why not you know break ground in the heart of bourbon country where we have that limestone filtered water. I mean, we just still we cook we ferment with Bardstown city water, this limestone filter we don’t do anything with you know, with it when we’re putting in the cooks or anything like that. Well, you know, we’ll reverse osmosis, purify it when we’re, you know, we’re proofing down everything, but to be here in Bardstown in the heart of it is what it’s all about, and that’s where the most traffic is. That’s where people want to want to come to see that bourbon, and also, in Kentucky in it’s the same weather as Missouri. You just get it about a day later, but you get all four seasons. You get all four seasons, very hot summers, very cold winters. So that aging process is really unique here in Kentucky,
and is probably the best agent process for bourbon.
So I mean
We’re right in the home in Lebanon, Kentucky is not far away so independence Dave it’s easy to get barrels from them. Everything very centrally located here in Kentucky. selfishly I like being in Kentucky because it’s close enough to St. Louis Right. You can drive back for a few hours and one hour drive. Yeah, it’s not bad at all. But I think this is where the majority of people know what they’re talking about here in Kentucky for bourbon. And you know, when I got started I in the industry I it was a little challenging for me because I was kind of just cold calling on different bars and restaurants and stuff like that and the saturation of bourbon in in Kentucky. Louisville is just insane. I mean, you go into any bar and there’s more than 100 Bourbons on there. So
to be able to get our name behind something that can compete directly with those big brands. With Lux ro but also you know, Rebel Yell is growing as her Brooks is growing. David Nicholson is growing. David Nicholson reserved
The biggest you know our top skew coming out of the distillery here you know it’s it definitely speaks to the location that we’re in. I guess I forgot to question about this so what’s there between this the regular David Nicholson and the reserve the 1843 is a four year old we did at 100 proof so for us we did bourbon in the reserves a seven year old ride burn out 100 proof There we go. Yeah, so once we add ones ride, Alright, so now our listeners know exactly what you’re looking at when you’re perusing your store shelves.
So I guess, you know, as we kind of keep talking about the the distillery here and everything like that, what’s the I mean, it’s a massive still so kind of talk about the relationship you have with Vendome and and the size of it and kind of like how much product you’re pumping out to. Definitely so yeah, we got are still 43 feet tall. 36 inches in diameter handmade custom copper still from Vendome in Louisville. So family operated with the Sherman family.
They are the best when it comes to still making this obviously, other stills hillbillies.
Try it instills. I would think Vendome is up there with, you know, the best in the industry.
But yeah, so Ours is a 43 foot column still, which then feeds the low wine into our doubler, which is also made by Vendome. I’m not 100% sure the capacity of the doubler. But once it gets into that double, there’s a slide on that one.
pure, pure alcohol in there, no more grains or anything. And we’re going to pump out about a million million gallons a year, which is about 70 barrels a day with the capacity to do about what we do about 20,000 barrels a year and we have the capacity to do about 50,000 barrels a year. If we add a couple fermenters
down the road when when we need that to production to jump up. Is that based off like what you’re kind of seeing sales in the marketplace, either current brands or more is that kind of like we see this is the growth of what this company is going to be. Yeah, a little four to five years. Obviously, there’s projections and I don’t see those projects.
firsthand, but I think you know, we deplete about 20,000 barrels a year. So maybe a little bit less. But as as those projections and stuff as we get rid of some other barrels that we have at other distilleries will, you know, by the time those are finished, we’ll be ready to dump our first four year old barrel here and we can just kind of jump right into it same seamlessly and that’s what was kind of unique about us building building here as well is that you know, we’ve been in the bourbon industry owning our own Bourbons for over 20 years and and we’ve been doing it you know, we’ve we’ve had it it working very well and very good relationships and to have those those products. We’re doing the same thing that those other distilleries had been doing for us, except now everything’s in house and we can just, we were able to have have barrels aging,
continue producing those products and having them in the market. Why
We’re building our distillery. So whereas you know, a smaller craft distillery that’s just popping up out of the ground, they’re either going to source their product off the start, or they have to wait, you know, a year or two years for their first product to come off the still or to be dumped out of the barrel for us, we could just jump right into it.
And they’re not too much of a leeway. And in you know, getting that still turned on pumping out juice and just jumping right back into that, that process of putting bourbon in, you know, on the shelf. Yeah, I guess that that also kind of leads into another question is when you start thinking about when the day does come when your barrels are ready, until you said like 20 2022 2022 is kind of like the date that you all are aiming at. Is there ever any any worry because, you know, if you’re, if you’re sourcing and you’re buying and you’ve been buying at a consistent product, and you kind of know exactly like what it’s going to be at that age, you have a little high confidence and then now you’re kind of like Okay, now we’re working with our equipment.
Is there any sort of thoughts or worries to say like, God, I really hope it’s gonna be ready in four years. Personally, I don’t have any worry. But people in the industry I’m sure will have worry.
For I don’t have any worry for a couple reasons. One, I’ve tasted our year juice that came out of our first make barrels. And it’s absolutely delicious at 125 proof very calmly, very dark for a year, which gave me a lot of confidence into what we’re going to be taking out of those barrels, you know, three years down the road, but also when when we’re doing the exact same thing that those other distilleries you know, had been doing for us for 20 years, our head distiller was, was you know, we were deciding what that Nashville was going to be stuff like that. But when we pull our barrels, you know, especially for our Rebel Yell, and our Ezra Brooks, as well as some for the David Nicholson, but mostly the rebel Jonas for Brooks, we’re going to pull in a cross sectional method from the Rick house, so we’re not going to rotate any of our barrels so when we pull those barrels, we’re going to pulled 200 barrels, maybe 250 barrels at a time and blow
those all together to get to that consistent, you know, flavor or proof that we’ve had for the past 20 years that’s been, you know, award winning or that we’ve been putting on the shelves year in and year out. So, and that’s all tested by our head distiller and some people back in St. Louis to making sure those flavors are there. But me personally, I don’t really have anywhere because we have the best in business, you know, doing what, what they do here, but I’m sure that’s going to be a thought of some people once we get our first product, you know, that we actually distilled here, you know, into the market. Y’all trying to kind of replicate the existing profiles you have now with the existing brands is that kind of what your match bills are geared towards is kind of replicating the agenda now. It’s gonna be the same Nashville, we’re using the same corn we’re using the same wheat or rye, we’re using the same yeast, everything like that. We’re just doing it in house now. So gotcha. You know, it’s, it’s hard to I would think that would be the smart way to do it.
Yeah, I mean, it’s it’s hard to it’s hard to kind of replicated
offer, you know, a year and seven month old barrel shirt. As we get closer and closer, I’m sure that replication process will become more in depth and taking a couple different barrels and mixing them together and proofing them down to see if we can get to that exact proof
for that exact flavor profile, which I know we will.
But yeah, I mean, there’s definitely, I’m sure there’s definitely some worry or thought into if it’s going to be exactly the same. Mm hmm. I mean, I think that’s always a always a concern when you’re doing this and figuring out Okay, do we do we keep the sourcing do we start blending a little bit, that sort of thing as you start going down that path? Even more?
And so we kind of went on the tour kind of so we have what 1212 fermenters here 12
I’m already testing my knowledge here. 12 fermenters a massive still doubler what else am I missing that we kind of solve on our little tour here?
We talk about think tanks. So you got some proofing tanks, we’ll we’ll put, we’ll put juice in the proofing tank said 140. And we’ll prove it down to 120 4.9. For it to be bourbon can’t go in 125 or higher. And so we’ll talk about the storage capacity we have here too, because we were able to go inside there you have this beautiful wall of barrels, anybody that missed you can always check out Instagram scroll way, way, way back and you can probably find it but there was a an idea that they had of being able to make an impact when you come into a particular warehouse
to kind of talk about what that is. Yeah, so my dad Don and David Brasher, the president of the company had a really good good really great idea honestly to take out first couple Rick’s and and Rick house and just make a big wall of barrels that people could see and, and allow people to really, you know, see what a wreck house looks like see the magnitude of a wreck house.
See how many barrels are in a wreck house from floor to ceiling instead of just being in a confined claustrophobic area and and leave you know a lasting impression on on people that come to the distillery
I don’t don’t quote me on this but I believe it’s probably the number one picture people take at our distillery once they get in there the wow factor is definitely ducks. Yeah number two speaker blend them together and make one
you know the wow factors you know definitely there we have we have in that Rick house will all of them were are built by bucyk construction here in Bardstown also family owned operated. But you know, they were kind of skeptical about it at first until they did some engineering on it and they found a way that it would work. And so we were the first ones to do it. We’re one of you know that Rick house is one of a kind in the industry. So they’ve bucyk is brought other people you know, that are maybe interested in it to kind of look at that, but all of our rec houses aren’t like that. So that one holds our first one Rick house, one holds
19,200 barrels, and then all of our other Rick houses hold about 20,000 barrels. So if my math is right, about an 800 barrel sacrifice about 800 barrel sacrifice and we definitely think that that sacrifice you know paid off an aesthetic purposes.
I’m hoping that those barrels stay on that wall for a very long time, at least like 10 years. Me personally, but I’m not the one calling the shots when it comes to what barrels are being pulled. But, you know, we’ve got some special barrels on that wall that people can see and hear the story about.
And you know, those brick houses, that’s where the magic really happens. I mean, in my mind the barrels most influential aspect of the bourbon process, see 70% of the flavor or 70% of the flavor 100% of the color. So it’ll be interesting to see how a little bit of that extra airflow kind of affects the barrels in a positive or negative way. We hope all positive Yeah.
Either absolutely, hundred percent. But, you know, it’s it’s just we tried to be differentiate ourselves from other distilleries in a few different ways through visuals, whether it be the video at the start of the tour, the artwork throughout the tour, or, you know, the Rick house, you know, very, very visually appealing that people you know, it sticks with them when they when they leave here. Yeah, it’s one of the first warehouses we’ve been around to recently that doesn’t have like the black fungus several or Yeah, so we don’t have that yet. We’ll get better. I think it’s starting to grow on a couple of the small trees out there. Yeah.
It’s like every tree bars on the black like, like you brazenly like what’s wrong with your trees? It’s like, I’m worried. It’s just the
tree. It’s just the bourbon. It’s just the bourbon talking. Yeah. So you know, last thing I want to kind of talk about because I think the brands are a very sort of focus for what you do in all the ambassadors
centering. I think that’s a word that you that you do around the globe, sort of what is what has been like the one thing that people latch on to when you talk to them about their brand or about your brands? Like is there one thing in particular each one of these that they’re kind of like, oh, wow, like, I didn’t know that, or that’s a pretty cool little factoid. I think there’s there’s a couple things. I think the roots behind each one of our brands is very unique. And people don’t realize the roots that you know, each brand has come from, I mean, you mentioned if you mentioned stitz, a Weller to anyone that you know, drinks bourbon, they know that it was a very prestigious distillery back in the day that you know, has amazing juice that we’ve continued that you know, that process or you mentioned, the Van Winkle family.
Everybody knows who you are, most people that drink bourbon, know who, you know, the van winkles are so I think that the, the, the roots of each one of our Bourbons is very unique. The flavor profile is very unique, but what I really enjoy about this job
is telling our family story and how we’ve grown throughout the past 60 years, starting as just a small you know, private label distribution company in modeler all the way up to one of the top suppliers and you know, in the country, if not the world of spirits and to be able to grow that family name into bourbon is very special for for not only myself but for our family as a whole. I mean, I’ve my mom, and it was absolutely a job to raise me over, you know, 25 years but she put her heart and soul into this distillery for two year process and, you know,
the tasting room the visitor experience that was all her so to see, to be able to tell our family’s story and put it behind not only the brands but the whole distillery in general is very special and I think people will actually latch on to it.
at, you know, whiskey fests and stuff like that. Because
no, okay, like you’re saying, some people do know the brands, some people don’t know the brands and, and if you can give them something to latch on to that reminds them of that brand. I think it’s it helps them, you know, one they’ll drink it, they’ll maybe ask for that over a different product and at the store after, you know, they go from San Francisco whiskey fest drinking all day and night and the next morning, they’re like, oh, what was you know, what was that? What was that product from Lux, Rhoda. Still it was that thing I can’t remember. And then maybe, maybe they remember it. Or maybe I was just in the liquor store that they go to. And they walk in there. And I was just, I personally had just been talking to the owner and talk to them and explained all of our brands. So they walk in there and they say, Oh, do you have any brands from Lexapro, distillers? Oh yeah, we have Rebel Yell we have as Rob Brooks. We have these great
Are any of those ringing a bell and they can kind of relate to, you know, not just those products whereas in you know, Maker’s Mark is its Maker’s Mark. Yeah, you know, that’s why we didn’t want to call this distillery rebel distillery or as your Brooks distillery. We didn’t want it to be like a legacy distillery we wanted it to have. We wanted to be able to distill all those products under one roof have four or five, six brands underneath one big brand of locks row. So once once the Lux bourbon coming,
you could probably look forward around bourbon fest time. Yeah, there you go. It’s gonna happen. So you guys are in like you said, Lux kosan part. got their hands and everything. Like is there any plans to use this facility to kind of support those brands as well or just not? Focus? Yeah, strictly with egos Not that I’ve heard of. I mean, definitely not for tequilas, obviously. Go but we’ve got a distillery out in Mexico.
We’ve worked with for over 40 years.
You know, people have actually asked me that are you going to use a silver vodka or gin, stuff like that? As of right now it’s strictly bourbon focus and whiskey focused.
Not to say that there’s not something down the road that need be, we might need to do some grand neutral spirits or something like that. But right now, it’s strictly bourbon. Like if you got the equipment. Yeah, why not? Enough? We’ll talk about some of the like the kinks or like, troubles with starting a distillery what’s kind of been like, because it can’t all just be like, easy peasy smooth. rainbows. That’s something that’s something you’d have to ask Tony or Aaron about, mostly, but I mean, I’m not I’m out here two or three times a week, when I can be when I’m not traveling.
You know, just getting getting everything dialed in. Seems like everything in the whiskey business takes three times as long. Yeah. And we were we were lucky enough that people from other distilleries applied for jobs here. So
There wasn’t a huge training process other than just getting used to our facilities, which was awesome. And everybody that works here is is fantastic.
You know, obviously capital is probably one of the biggest, biggest things when coming, you know, coming to building building the property, or building a distillery, finding the land this was the last piece of property we looked at this is my dad, David Bratcher looked at about 10 to 12 different pieces of property. So this was the last one
which definitely worked out the best. I think
it’s like distillery hunters. Yeah.
I know. This is
I need three bathrooms. Yeah. I mean, I really tell you the truth I really don’t see see a lot of the stuff that’s kind of the kinks in it. I will tell you that we are, you know, firsthand exactly what you’re going to see going into the barrel is what you’re going to get four years down the road. We’re not trying to hide anything. We’re not
You know, our tours literally you’re walking through our facility. And you see the exact fermenters the exact cookers, the exact steel that we use, if a if a cooker is broken, for example, one of the first tours I ever gave, and when I was out here, there was one, one of the employees hanging off the cooker fixing it. I mean, if you’re on a tour, you’re gonna see that cooker being fixed, maybe we’re down a cooker. So we have to, you know, double up on that one cooker now. So you’re gonna see exactly what you know what goes into that process should be under warranty. It’s only been there a couple years.
What do they call it? Sometimes in the industry or working showroom? Yeah, exactly.
So Philip, I want to say thank you so much for coming on the show today and and really kind of sharing that family connection. I think you really hit home for a lot of it of really understanding exactly what your family’s been doing for all these years now and how they’ve built these products, how they built these brands and then the connection
But you also have with the other families around here and in Bardstown and other surrounding areas to help build the distillery in itself and really how the next iteration of this and next two years we’ll see, you know, when the product start getting dumped in their bottle, then you start seeing that that realization of all the fruits of the labor finally coming together. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it’s kind of it’s very cool because like when you say Lux co or electro, you’re like, Alright, some big corporation owns some brands and you know, their money but, you know, meeting you and, and just seeing your pride I guess, in your, you know, in your family’s, what they’ve done, you know, to get to this point, and like, see the family aspect behind it, like, all day long you kind of preach that, you know, this is really important as the family aspect with all the relationships we have with our vendors, with our suppliers, our employees, you know, it’s really kind of cool to see that that’s what’s really behind these products. It’s not just Rebel Yell and Ezra Nicholson and blood out, it’s the lugs family, you know, it’s not just
Some big corporation with bean counters.
There’s probably a few bees.
But, uh, it’s cool to see the, you know, the families involved, you know, so much so, yeah, I absolutely don’t I mean, I really appreciate it and I appreciate you guys, you know, giving me an opportunity to come on the podcast. I love your guys’s podcast, and, you know, we just while we show up for free, Barbara, any time right? Yeah, no, but I it’s just been a it’s been an awesome ride over the past, you know, two, three years for me personally really diving into it and seeing it grow. And my dad’s always told me since from a young age, you know, in the in the industry, it’s all about relationships. I mean, obviously, life’s all about relationships as well, but in the bourbon industry, you know, it’s all about relationships. I mean, he he known the Shapiro family for over 40 years, I mean, Max’s Dad, you know, age wise and I’m gonna use my hands but, you know, it was Max’s dad above my grandfather and then Max was right on
Under my grandfather, and then my dad was under Max and then Max’s son Andy is now under him and then I’m under Andy. So, I’m extremely, you know, you know, pleased and honored to be fourth generation coming into the business, whether it be like you’re saying with our suppliers, you know, like the young family out in Atlanta with you know, with their distribution company. His kids are now billion that the third billion Jr’s kids are now working in the industry. So I get to work hand in hand with another fourth generation. And
you know, it’s all about family and, and yeah, it’s our products. I think speak to that. The drinkability was if you come to the distillery even our tour guides, we’ve got a Ballard, Towner Ballard, that actually works at the distillery so you know, his second uncle was was john Ballard, who lived on the property like Alright, we’ll say exactly they got a Connor Yeah. someone’s life.
I mean, we’ve got you know, we’ve got people that are born and raised in Bardstown. One of the excuse me one of the
people that work in the distillery or name is ginger her husband actually hauls our slop so it’s like you know, in her mind intermingled family at aspect without even like thinking about it so
it’s just it was an honor it’s an honor just to be in it and just want to continue to grow our brands grow Rebel Yell, Azur Brooke split up David Nicholson
you know, keep striving the real roots real family real products because that truly is what we have here. If you come to the distillery and and get a tour You know, when you come when you come to the distillery exactly when you come to the distillery either get a tour from myself or one of our dark tour ambassadors, Connor, Kelsey, Annabel Landon there, Casey, they’re all fantastic. You know, either born and raised in Louisville or in Bardstown and, you know, they’re just here to help share our stories.
Share our Bourbons and, and enjoy some some damn fine bourbon.
Killer sign off.
bourbon. Yeah. So make sure you come you come visit Lux ro take a take a tour, I guarantee you’ll be you’ll be kind of bright eyed a little bit, you know, it’s got a little bit of a newer kind of vibe and angle to it. Yeah. And beautiful piece of land. Absolutely. I mean, it’s been like half the podcast talking about
shout out to the valley. So, so make sure you come visit them, but you can also make sure that you’re following us bourbon pursuit on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And please support the show by writing us a review, or maybe even financially on Patreon we’d love to we always like to have that be our main support of how we keep this show going and shout out to all our Patreon supporters that do so rank ahead and close this out. Yeah, like any said we love hearing from you. Also, if you have feedback, guests, suggestions, comments, we’d love hearing from you because we this is what we do. It’s for
You guys so keep them coming and we’ll see you next time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai