324 – Is Bourbon Broken? Part 1: The Consumer based off Bourbon & Banter


Welcome to the first part in a series of “Is Bourbon Broken?” where we take an in-depth look at a multi-part blog series from Bourbon and Banter. In these four episodes, we are going to look at the consumer, the secondary market, retailers and distributors, and then wrap it up once again evaluating the consumer. In this first part, we take a long hard look at the consumer. Are every day bourbon drinkers the ones to blame? What compels people to stand in line for Blanton’s? But ultimately, what can we all do as bourbon enthusiasts to educate the broader mass market?

Show Partners:

  • Catoctin Creek has been honoring that tradition of small craft rye whisky since 2009. Learn more at CatoctinCreekDistilling.com.
  • Smooth Ambler builds on the traditional roots of American whiskey in West Virginia. Visit SmoothAmbler.com to learn more.
  • Wilderness Trail is Sweet Mash Kentucky Straight Bourbon and Rye Whiskey distilled, aged, and bottled in Danville, Kentucky. Learn more at WildernessTrailDistillery.com.
  • You can now buy Barrell Craft Spirits products online and have them shipped right to your door. Visit BarrellBourbon.com and click Buy Now.
  • Spirits of French Lick is delivering the finest hand crafted Bottled in Bond bourbons. Check out SpiritsofFrenchLick.com.
  • Savor every drop of summer at Total Wine & More! You’re sure to find cool prices in-store or online at TotalWine.com.
  • Heaven Hill Distillery has been lifting America’s spirit since 1935. Check out educational resources and sign up for their newsletter at HeavenHillDistillery.com.

Show Notes:

  • This week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick (@fredminnick) talks about bourbon containers.
  • What has helped grow bourbon to where it is today?
  • Is Fred Minnick to blame?
  • Why are people still standing in line for Blanton’s?
  • Limited releases vs. every day shelf items.
  • How do we educate consumers?
  • What were your thoughts on Facebook groups in the early days?
  • What do you find exciting when doing tastings?
  • Is chasing bottles with specific dates or batches part of the problem?
  • What advice would you give to everyday consumers?


2 thoughts on “324 – Is Bourbon Broken? Part 1: The Consumer based off Bourbon & Banter

  1. I’ve been listening to bourbon pursuit for the last couple of years. I listen to this when I’m either mowing the grass or in the car (without my kids). This episode on whether Bourbon is Broken or not is really good. I appreciate you guys sharing your knowledge.

  2. I’m with Fred. Pricing is certainly broken. I live in the Bay Area, California. Line extensions and limited releases take forever to get distributed here, as compared to the rest of the country it seems. When we do finally get these items in stores, the secondary has already been established for these products. This leaves us zero opportunity to get these products at MSRP or even a reasonable markup. As I write this, the Russell’s Reserve 13 still hasn’t hit shelves here in California. Big box stores are even starting to hone in on the money being left on the table with allocated products.

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