You’ve probably heard of the legendary Stitzel-Weller distillery. Getting a taste of whiskey created by this famous place is nearly impossible for the average person. But, there is one opportunity that remains where you can get just a hint at the greatness. Doug Kragel joins the show to give us the history and in-depth breakdown of Blade & Bow. As a brand educator he knows all about the products in the Diageo portfolio and we try and dig into more about the identity of these whiskeys. And to make everyone jealous, we even get to drink the limited 22 year old release.
- Above the Char with Fred Minnick (@fredminnick) talks about distribution markups
- How did you get into a role of an ambassador or brand educator?
- What was the George Dickel brand like when you started?
- How do you determine criteria for an accelerator program?
- Why was Blade & Bow created?
- How does a partnership form to get whiskey to make this brand without revealing sources?
- What’s the difference between fractional blending vs solera?
- Is there a team or a single master blender?
- What if I challenged you and said are there really 20 year old barrels being dumped in the blend?
- Why only have a small still at Stitzel-Weller and not try to recreate the magic it once had?
- Why have partnership with Garden & Gun at the distillery?
- What is the next phase of growth for Blade & Bow?
- What does a membership to the Five Keys Club get you?
- Why do a 22 Year Blade & Bow vs another Orphan Barrel?
- Will we ever see Bulleit distilled whiskey go into Blade & Bow?
- @bladeandbowwhiskey @stitzelwellerdistillery
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Fred Minnick interviews Tom Bulleit of the Bulleit Distilling Company for the Kentucky Derby Museum’s Bourbon Legends Series.
- Listen as Fred tries to pry information out of Tom about family history, stitzel-weller, age statements, and more
076 – History of Stizel-Weller and IW Harper with Kevin Didio, Manager at the Bulleit Frontier Experience
Kevin Didio, Manager of Kentucky Visitor Experience at Bulleit Frontier Experience, talks about his career in bourbon with multiple distilleries, dives into the history of Stitzel-Weller and IW Harper, and talks about the visitor attractions you can see at the reinstated Stitzel-Weller Distillery.
- Talk about your role here at the Bulleit Frontier.
- Before we talk about some of the other positions you’ve held, Talk about how you got into bourbon. I found my calling in college, what about you?
- Talk about your career with various players in the industry
- Talk about more about your time at Jim Beam and what you were doing
- This is also the historic site of the Old Fitzgerald / Stitzel-Weller Distillery. Now, we do have a lot of people listening for the education, so talk about the history of the distillery itself.
- Can you comment on what you think made people Stitzel-Weller crazy?
- Talk about what’s happening on the grounds here today. Distillation? Aging? Bottling? Brands?
- Is there a possibility that Bulleit can have the same product as the famed Stitzel-Weller?
- Talk about the bottling happening here
- Give people the small run-down of Bulleit history
- Talk about Blade and Bow
- It’s a bit of an odd duck here because this is owned by Diageo. You’ve got a whole heap of brands that you can talk about. Bulleit, IW Harper, Orphan Barrels, blade and Bow etc. Talk about which one of those you have a bigger fascination with and why
- At this point, I guess we never talked about some IW Harper history. Can you school us there?
- Talk about a typical tour done here?
- How can people schedule tours?
Tim Judge, Global Ambassador for Bulleit Bourbon, dives into the Bulleit Bourbon origination and all the new expansion taking place.
- Tell us about your journey into whiskey
- Why did you choose Bulleit as your spirit of choice in the portfolio?
- What lessons did you take away from Tom after meeting him?
- We’ve had plenty of ambassadors on the show that talk about going around to different places and telling bartenders about their bourbon or attending events and handing out cocktails. but you’re a “global” ambassador, what more does that entail?
- You also have passion outside of spirits, talk about that
- For those folks who are unfamiliar, which I think would be pretty hard to do at this point, tell people about Bulleit bourbon.
- Also let’s talk individually about the different expressions that are available. and what makes each unique or special. sort of the pitch that you would do during a tasting event.
- Bulliet Bourbon has the tagline that says “Frontier Whiskey”. The thing of it is, you would probably never want to drink Frontier Whiskey
- And marketing plays a heavy role in the label positioning as well, talk about that.
- Bulleit is now owned by Diageo and is hypothesized to be distilled by Four Roses. However, mistake me if I’m wrong, I believe that the agreement or contract with Four Roses is going to be coming to an end and distillation is going to be moving to the Bulleit Frontier experience at the acclaimed Stitzel-Weller Distillery.
- Do you see a change in the flavor profile coming as new operations come online?
- We had Carol Perry back on the show back in episode 23 and you had the opportunity to meet with him. What did you think?
- Back to you, a lot of people here in the states are starting their own bourbon and whiskey collections, trying to round up as many as they can for the fun of tasting and even for potential profit, do you have a big collection yourself?
- This is a question from Blake @ bourbonr.com – if you want to make some classic bourbon cocktails, what are some of the ingredients you should always have on hand?
Carol Perry, or just Perry, is a legend in his own right. Perry has worked at the Stitzel-Weller distillery in Shively for 45 years. He has held about every job you could possibly have and is currently working security and head greeter for the Bulleit Frontier Experience.
- Give us an idea of what you have been doing here for the past 45 years
- Talk about what life is like working at the warehouse
- Why did they have windows open only during the day?
- What other kinds of experiences did you gather from working at warehouse?
- Drinking your own product on the job probably wasn’t uncommon back then
- How automated were the processes back then?
- What do you mean by dumping the glass?
- Did you ever have any interactions with the Van Winkle family?
- Wasn’t there a break room incident with Julian?
- What were you doing when the distillery closed its doors?
- Any security incidents in your time?
- You’ve seen the ups and downs, is this the craziest time you’ve ever seen?
- Is there a best memory that sticks out for you during this time?
Ewan Morgan, National Director for the Diageo Masters of Whiskey, joins us from DC to talk about his past with whiskey, scotch, and bourbon. We dive deeper into the Orphan Barrel releases as well as the latest, Blade and Bow.
- Tell us about your love story with bourbon. How did you get into the industry?
- Give us an idea about the differences you see in scotch vs whiskey vs bourbon
- Talk about your role at Diageo as a Master of Whiskey
- How would you even begin in that career path?
- Talk about how Diageo started getting into pure bourbon?
- Give us a little bit of history and the inspiration behind the Orphan Barrels
- How did Diageo come up with the bottle designs?
- Can you talk a little bit about the Diageo Orphan Barrel releases? Old Blowhard, Barterhouse, Lost Prophet, Rhetoric, and Forged Oak. What makes each unique?
- Some Orphan Barrel series such as Barterhouse are seeing new batches show up while some others such as Lost Prophet are pretty much done. Can you give an indication of which releases we can expect to see more of? And which ones are done?
- Diageo recently released Blade and Bow. Talk to us a bit about both releases
- What is solera aging?
- Talk about the marketing of the key and the name “Blade and Bow”
- What does it mean to call the old Stitzel-Weller distillery “home”?
- How much Stitzel-Weller juice do you have on hand?