All Podcasts

037 – Bourbon Has Badges with Bernie Lubbers, Brand Ambassador for Heaven Hill – Part 2

(Part 2) Bernie Lubbers (@BernieLubbers), The Whiskey Professor and Brand Ambassador for Heaven Hill, continues in Part 2 talking about Heaven Hill bourbon brands, the removal of the 12 year Elijah Craig age statement and breaks out the guitar for a Bourbon Pursuit first.

Show Notes:

  • Let’s talk about some of the brands from HH, because there are quite a few of them. But we will focus on the bourbon, of course. I’ll give you a name and you give us a fun fact or tidbit. (this is awesome! must listen part!)
  • The cat is out of the bag. And it’s been the hot topic for the past week Elijah Craig is dropping the 12 year age statement and it’s going to be a blend of 8-12 years. You have a pretty firm stance on age statements. Talk about what that means to you
  • What are the pros and cons of keeping and removing the the age statement?
  • We wrap up the show with Bernie playing an original tune that has lots of different bourbons.

036 – Bourbon Has Badges with Bernie Lubbers, Brand Ambassador for Heaven Hill – Part 1

(Part 1) Bernie Lubbers (@BernieLubbers), The Whiskey Professor and Brand Ambassador for Heaven Hill, talks about his past, catchphrase, and overview of bourbon badges in Part 1.

Show Notes

  • Talk to us about how you first got into whiskey.
  • You signature catchphrase or tagline is “Stay Bonded”. Tell the folks what you mean by that.
  • Bernie talks about the history of Bottled-in-bond
  • Bernie talks about words on labels and how those are badges
  • You do a lot of bourbon-related research. Is there something you’ve found that has fascinated you?
  • Bernie talks about flavor profiles and how they are attained through distillation, aging, and yeast. How each distillery does something different.
  • What’s the day in the life of Bernie for being a Brand Ambassador?
  • Give us a 101 level rundown of why a bar needs three different labels of the same stuff.
  • Stay Tuned for the next episode where we talk about the removal of the Elijah Craig age statement, dive into the individual brands, and also a solo guitar performance.

035 – What’s Fun at The Bourbon Classic with Seth Thompson

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.

Show Notes:

  • Tell us your story of how you got into bourbon?
  • If your house is on fire, what’s the one bottle you grab?
  • Give the high level pitch of The Bourbon Classic
  • How has the event grown over the years?
  • Let’s dive into the events. Talk about the key events on Friday and Saturday
  • It’s awesome because consumers can take away knowledge about food pairings
  • It looks like Saturday is the big day. Friday is the pre-game. Talk Saturday’s all day extravaganza
  • Bourbon and ham pairings sound very intriguing
  • If you’re coming from out of town, you can learn about Louisville’s Whiskey Row in a session with Mike Veach. Talk about that.
  • Talk about The Classic Taste
  • How much are tickets and how many are left?
  • Talk about all the events leading up to the main events on Friday and Saturday
  • Talk about the Van Winkle event that is sold out
  • What are the added benefits of VIP tickets?
  • Talk about the brands and distilleries that are going to be a part of the event.
  • Any ideas for the 2017 event?

034 – Upcycling Bourbon Bottles in Candles at ReWicked with Chad Hartsfield, Owner

Chad Hartsfield, Owner of ReWicked Candles, discusses the process of turning old bourbon bottles into works of art.

Show Notes:

  • Tell us your story of how you got into bourbon?
  • Tell us about ReWicked Candles.
  • What was the inspiration?
  • How do you get around legal issues with brand names?
  • Explain to us the process.
  • How do you experiment with the scents in the wax?
  • Where do you get all your bottles?
  • What’s the reaction you get from bars or distilleries when you’re asking for empty bottles?
  • How do you plan on keeping up with demand?
  • Talk about the light fixtures and display cases your getting into
  • What are you always on the look for when your picking or hunting?
  • When did you start collecting bourbon?
  • Any tips for dusty hunters?
  • Do you barter for higher-end empty bottles?
  • Where can people buy your products? Etsy Shop or [email protected]
  • Lets talk about the cost of the candles.
  • What are the most popular candles?

033 – Time to Meet the Maker’s Mark Master Distiller, Greg Davis

Greg Davis, Master Distiller at Maker’s Mark, talks about how is continuing the tradition that has been set and more about day to day operations.

Show Notes:

  • Today. we go on-site to Loretto to Maker’s Mark Distillery
  • Breaking News: Users claim there is a bad batch of 2015 Elmer T. Lee. Barrels 256, 264, 266 and 267 are the “defective” barrels but Buffalo Trace has already responded.
  • Tell us about your story
  • What was your background before coming to Maker’s Mark?
  • What are some of the key things you remember from your mentorship?
  • Can you talk about your wheated mash bill and how it came to be?
  • Talk about the difference between Makers and Makers 46
  • Why go with French Oak?
  • Are there other kinds of experimentation going on?
  • Talk about the motivation behind the Cask Strength offering
  • Talk about what you are doing different with your barrels compared to others
  • How do you pick the barrels that are going into the batch?
  • Do you sample every barrel?
  • Are you able to go to different warehouses and taste the difference?
  • How do you detect “must”?
  • Can you explain what still you have and why you prefer it?
  • What is the average bottle count that comes out of Makers?

031 – The History and Psyche of Bourbon with Reid Mitenbuler, Author of Bourbon Empire

Reid Mitenbuler (@ReidMitenbuler), author of Bourbon Empire, joins Ryan and Kenny to talk about the history and psyche of bourbon, “a distinctive product of the United States”.

Show Notes:

  • The Frazier Museum has a new Prohibition exhibit that will become a new or even a first stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
  • Reid, what’s your coming to age tale of bourbon?
  • What made you so fascinated that you took the time to become an author on the subject?
  • Talk about the misquote of bourbon being a “distinctive product of the United States”.
  • Talk about the beginning with the “Big Bang of Bourbon”.
  • In the book, you talk about myths behind the labels.
  • Let’s jump ahead in history, there was a lot going on in 1964. Can you talk about what was going on during that time period?
  • What was the result of The Bourbon Institute in overseas markets?
  • There is a concept of marketing that has changed the way in what you think you’re drinking.
  • You said (paraphrasing) “Rosenstiel presided over vicious consolidation rounds that made many distillers and brands extinct, but is also a part of the reason why many bourbons today taste as good as they do”. Talk about that. How come his name isn’t as prominent as EH Taylor for Bottled-in-Bond?
  • How come we don’t see a bourbon or whiskey brand named Rosenstiel?
  • Within the prologue, you talk about bourbon being a “comfort food”. Talk about that.
  • If you want to buy Bourbon Empire, it’s available on Amazon.

032 – Chasing Bottles and Secondary Markets with Erik of @BourbonSeason

Erik of @BourbonSeason joins the show to talk about the infamous bottle chase and the growing secondary market.

Show Notes:

  • Before we get started, there is a new December release coming from Kentucky Owl so be on the lookout for red, blue, and green ink bottles soon.
  • Erik, how did you get into bourbon?
  • Tell us what you do with your twitter handle, @BourbonSeason
  • There’s a lot of ways to get allocated bourbons, have you found a good formula for getting special release bourbons?
  • Have you seen special hunting groups that have formed?
  • Have you seen more camp out situations in other parts of the country?
  • There’s camping, lotteries, and being a “best” customer but is there a fair way to distribute allocated bottles?
  • In Louisville the secondary market is starting to take its effect. Small shops are selling bottles for secondary prices. Are you seeing this in other parts of the country as well?
  • When you think about the secondary market there are fingers to point. Are people flipping the bottles or buying the bottles the culprit of the problem?
  • How do you feel about seeing the flipper “crotch shot”?
  • Some people on forums are selling 2 or 3 full verticals of Pappy or BTAC, so how are these people feeding the secondary market?
  • In Louisville, we have a few restaurants that have fantastic selections, but they are price gouging. No question about it. Do you see restaurants as contributing to the secondary market as well?
  • Are the distilleries going to start charging more to combat and make more money for themselves?
  • This week, Buffalo Trace sent out an email responding to the mass inquiries about secondary market pricing and they intend on trying to shut down secondary markets. Can Buffalo Trace successfully shut it down?
  • Would you like to see Buffalo Trace crack down on stores and restaurants that price gouge since the three-tier system is the only way a consumer can get a bottle?
  • Quick PSA on breaking your empty bottles
  • Is there such a thing as “bourbon karma”?

030 – Bourbon Sensory Training using Aroma Academy with Robert Mohr & Tom Johnson

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.

Show Notes:

  • How do you store your extensive bourbon collection? Is it like storing wine?
  • Give us a quick intro about how you are and how you got into bourbon
  • The tagline is “a sensory training for DRINKS PROFESSIONALS” so talk about what is Aroma Academy
  • Are the smells common between everyone or does everyone smell something different?
  • What are some of the key aromas we get from bourbon?
  • Has there ever been a bourbon, scotch or wine that you’ve nosed and you said, “I’m not even going to drink that”
  • Talk about your blog post on creating a Pappy Van Winkle nosing sample
  • Have you found two particular brands of bourbon that are two polar opposites of one another?
  • If someone purchases a kit, is there a 24-hour turnaround time or how long does it take to better develop your olfactory senses?
  • Do aromas change based on density levels depending on the type of glass its in?
  • Talk about letting the alcohol dissipate after pouring it in a glass before nosing and tasting
  • Special 20% discount for Bourbon Pursuit listeners on the 24 Aroma Kit – When checking out, just use the coupon code “Pursuit”.

029 – A Bourbon Christmas Gift Exchange with John Kowalczyk

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.

Show Notes:

  • Overview of the past few bottles to come out and Ryan is becoming a dusty hunter after attending Whiskey Pig at Willett Distillery.
  • What’s your bourbon story? How did you get into it?
  • Tell us about your Bourbon Gift Exchange
  • Are there rules to your gift exchange?
  • Throw out some of the names of the brands you had your first year
  • How did more people find out about it and spread?
  • Is there a certain bottle that stands out among the crowd?
  • How did you get sponsorships from local stores and even distilleries?
  • What are the plans for this year? Are you trying to step it up?
  • After the exchange is over, do people just immediately open their bottle and start sharing?

028 – Eat Your Bourbon with 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”.

Show Notes:

  • We’ve taken a hiatus and we apologize. Sometimes life just gets in the way… and bourbon hunting. lots and lots of bourbon hunting.
  • What’s your bourbon story? I know you are a Louisville native, has bourbon always been in your blood like ours?
  • Tell us the story of Bourbon Barrel Foods and how it got created.
  • Talk about some of the products and what makes them special
  • I notice that you also have a lot of products from Woodford Reserve. Can you talk about their products or the partnership you have with them?
  • Talk a bit about Kentuckiaki and Bourbon Vanilla Extract
  • I was also reading about a sponsorship you received in 2013 to help build a Kitchen Studio. Can you talk about that?
  • Do you have any of your favorite recipes?
  • If people in louisville and traveling for the bourbon trail want to find a retail store, where do they go?
  • What entails the Eat Your Bourbon Class and the Chef Series?
  • If you want to learn more, you can visit the online at or follow them on twitter @bourbonbarrel

027 – Revitalizing the Family Brand of Kentucky Owl Bourbon with Dixon Dedman, Partner

Dixon Dedman, Owner Operator of Beaumont Inn & Partner in Kentucky Owl, joins us to talk about his family history and how they revitalized a brand that died during prohibition.

Show Notes:

  • Fantasy teams are now using high valued bourbons as entrance fees
  • Let’s talk about you. Who are you and what have you been doing up to this point?
  • Let’s talk about your bourbon. What got you into dealing with the brand?
  • Why the tag name “The Wise Man’s Bourbon”?
  • What made you go with a barrel proof bourbon?
  • How many barrels went into the particular batches?
  • So you take the barrels, and you dump them and put them into new charred barrels?
  • Is there a big difference between Batch 1 and Batch 2? What about Batch 3?
  • This is a KY only release. Why only KY?
  • How does it feel to have this craze happening?
  • Talk about the Old Owl Tavern on your property
  • Where do you sit on the Bourbon Trail?
  • For anyone still looking for a pour of KY Owl, can they get it at the tavern?
  • Adam Johnson asks, What is the secret to the General Lee cake?
  • How can people get in touch with you?

026 – Intelligent Whiskey Recommendations from the Distiller App with Mikael Mossberg, Co-Founder and CEO

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.

Show Notes:

  • Kick off the show talking about Parker’s Heritage Collection #9, The Malt Whiskey Release
  • What has your past been that led you up into Distiller?
  • Tell us more about the app, what would you categorize it as?
  • How did the idea spawn?
  • We really like the “trending bottle”, how did that idea come about?
  • Walk us through the recommendation engine
  • Where do you find your expert reviewers?
  • The reviews are like Amazon reviews, short and to the point.
  • What sort of glasses do you drink out of? I found a good tidbit of information from Marianne Barnes about density and nosing.
  • How many people are on the platform?
  • How do you get all these bottles and samples for reviews?
  • How did you come up with the tagline “The Whiskey Companion”?
  • Shout out to our new audio engineer David Isreal

025 – Forming the Largest Whiskey News Site at with Nino Marchetti, Founder

Nino Marchetti (@WhiskeyWash), Founder at, joins us today to announce a new partnership between us. We talk about his news outlet, the authors, products, and most importantly, his bunker!

Show Notes:

  • Starting the show off by drinking Kentucky Owl Batch #2. Add it to the collection if you have the money to spare
  • Talk to us about the
  • We’re proud to announce a partnership between our two brands
  • Nino has an offsite, undisclosed location, for his bunker
  • Talk about the authors on the site
  • Talk about some of the most popular articles
  • One of the most popular articles is about the $75,000 Whiskey
  • In regards to reviewers, what walks of life do they come from so we trust them?
  • There are lots of reviews on food pairings
  • Your apartment is on fire, what’s the one bottle you grab?

022 – We are 21 Episodes in So Far, What Have We Learned?

Your hosts, Kenny and Ryan, take a look back on the past 21 episodes. We talk about the guests and what is still to come with the remaining part of the year.

Show Notes:

  • Have we had some guests that have stood out more than others?
  • Great history lesson with Brian Haara of Sipp’n Corn
  • Learned a great deal about pot still vs column still with Brent Goodin of Boundary Oak
  • Have you had any favorite bourbon releases this year?
  • Lots of distilleries are having unique and rare releases for big money
  • If you think you are going to visit Louisville for bourbon hunting, you’ve come to the wrong place
  • Did you ever open your EH Taylor Cured Oak?
  • Are people looking to get price for proof now?
  • Take a look back on the Orphan Barrel releases with Ewan Morgan
  • What other guests did you find interesting?
  • We also get to visit some interesting places such as mansions to record our podcasts
  • Jim Rutledge’s retirement made us thankful he recorded a show
  • An Easter Egg… you have to listen to find out!!

024 – The Secret to Great Packaging and Marketing at Buffalo Trace with Kris Comstock, Bourbon Marketing Director

Kris Comstock, the Bourbon Marketing Director at Buffalo Trace, talks about how he made his way to Kentucky and gives us insight into the brands and even the new 2015 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (sorry about the horrible audio on this one).

Show Notes:

  • Firenado/Bourbonado
  • Tell us your bourbon story
  • What led you to Buffalo Trace?
  • What do you do in your current role?
  • Give everyone a bit of insight on how you do forecasting for production?
  • Since you are in charge of packaging let’s talk a bit about some of the labels we see today.
    Can you talk a bit about some of them and perhaps some backstory. Maybe even give the listeners an understanding why Buffalo Trace is even called Buffalo Trace?
  • Now I know Blantons has the collector series of caps. Am I right?
  • You’ve also had a hand in developing some of the other brands like EH Taylor, Experimental, Stagg Jr and Single Oak. talk about each one of those a little bit and the roles you played
  • The Antique collection was just announced. Talk to us about it a bit
  • Follow Kris on twitter at @BUFFALOCOMSTOCK