Smoke Wagon felt as if it came on to the bourbon scene like it was fired out of a cannon. In the past 2 years, they have become one of the most highly sought after brands. However, the story of Smoke Wagon began over a decade ago. Aaron Chepenik started in the bar scene in LA that expanded into Vegas, but he got burnt out with the late nights and partying. That led him and his investor friend to start a vodka business which eventually opened the door to bourbon. Aaron had dreams of distilling his own whiskey, but quickly had to face reality when he realized that the equipment he purchased to distill whiskey couldn't scale after a visit to a little distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. When he was at MGP, he ended up buying as much aged product as he could and had the foresight to begin putting down new fill barrels as well. As fate (or government restrictions) would have it, he couldn't release his first bourbon for almost 4 years after. He's built a cult-like following with his overly transparent personality on Instagram which makes him even more genuine to us bourbon enthusiasts.
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- Where did you first hear about Smoke Wagon?
- Tell us about your background.
- When did you get your first taste of whiskey?
- Why did you start a bar in LA?
- Tell us about your vodka business.
- How did you decide to get into the bourbon business?
- How is Smoke Wagon different than other MGP brands?
- Take us through the design of the bottle.
- Tell us about the stolen barrel.
- Where can someone get one of your hats?
- @smokewagonbourbon @aaron_from_nvdistilling
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