216 – The Man Behind Peerless with Corky Taylor
There’s a new chapter in the history books for Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company. A thriving distillery that had been lost during prohibition is now reemerging right in the heart of downtown Louisville. Corky Taylor, CEO of Peerless, joins the show to share his story. After being bored with retirement, Corky decided to risk it on building a distillery and fighting with a team of lawyers to reclaim their original DSP-50 designation. We talk more about their rye, the recent bourbon release, and some stories from when he was roommates with the Allman brothers.
- Denny’s Bourbon Menu: https://vinepair.com/booze-news/dennys-bourbon-menu-pancakes/
- Sweet spot for aging bourbon: https://www.winemag.com/2019/08/12/ultra-aged-spirits-ripping-you-off/
- Can liquor go bad?: https://www.bustle.com/articles/99585-does-alcohol-go-bad-yep-so-heres-how-long-you-have-to-finish-off-your-favorite
- This week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick talks about marketing to children.
- Tell us about growing up in Hawaii.
- Where does the name Corky come from?
- What is the history of Peerless?
- What happened during prohibition?
- What made you decide to bring the brand back?
- Why Louisville?
- Tell us about getting your original DSP number back.
- Was it hard to make such a big investment?
- Why was it important to wait to release your own product vs. sourcing?
- What differentiates you from other brands?
- What systems are you investing in?
- If you were younger, would you have focused as much on quality as you are now?
- Tell us about the bottle and the price point.
- Why does rye age quicker than bourbon?
- Is the price of the rye going to go up when it is older?
- Tell us about the small batch and single barrel.
- What is your definition of small batch?
- Were your recipes trial and error?
- What other ryes do you like?
- Who are you teaming up with for barrels?
- How did you chose your Master Distiller?
- What’s your connection to General Patton?
- What about the Allman Brothers?
206 – What Impact Will Marijuana Have on the Bourbon Industry? With David Ozgo, Chief Economist at Distilled Spirits Council, and Clay Busch, Vice President of Heavy Grass
You can’t discount the impact marijuana is currently having on states that have legalized recreational use. There’s now more research and funding looking at the impact of marijuana not only from a medicinal use, but also economic footprint that funds many city and state government initiatives. Of course, liquor industries are curious and want to make sure this doesn’t hurt sales. Will it? I don’t know, but today’s guests do. David Ozgo, Chief Economist at Distilled Spirits Council and Clay Busch, Vice President of Heavy Grass join the show to talk from their respective sides. Those advocating widespread legalization helps everyone, and those taking precautions for its hurting sales of the spirits business.
- This week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick talks about Kentucky state pride.
- What’s your connection to bourbon?
- Give us some background on your organizations.
- Do you encourage smoking weed to harness creativity?
- Is there a concern from the Distilled Spirits Council with the combination of marijuana and spirits?
- Let’s discuss consuming responsibly.
- Should brands try to align themselves with marijuana?
- Tell us about the research the government is doing on marijuana?
- How would spirit companies use marijuana in their portfolio?
- What is CBD compared to marijuana?
- Do you think marijuana has an impact on the spirits industry?
- Are people worried about marijuana impacting spirits?
- How do national companies handle marijuana use with employees that live in legal states?
- What do you think about experimentation of marijuana in spirits?
- What is your goal in regards to marijuana?
- What are your thoughts on hemp?
- Are they worried about the spirit or their pocket books?
- How can you pair marijuana with whiskey?
201 – Old Forester’s State of the Union with Campbell Brown, President of Old Forester
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Campbell Brown, President and Managing Director of Old Forester is back on the show. If you’ve been a long time listener, you may have remembered him back on Episode 98. As the President of Old Forester, he oversees a lot of the brands momentum and strategy. We get his take on bourbon tariffs with international expansion along with his hope for future movie partnerships. Anyone interested in a business background, you’re going to find this one entertaining.
- This week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick talks about Marianne Eaves.
- Talk about the Brown influence on our city because you’ve got the Brown Hotel, The Brown Theatre, the Hot Brown, etc.
- Is there pressure to keep the Brown tradition going?
- How did you work your way up at Brown-Forman?
- What got you into the Old Forester category?
- Talk about the building and distillery.
- What about the fire in 2014?
- What chapter are we in right now in Old Forester history?
- Let’s talk about international markets and tariffs.
- What was the international growth plans for Old Forester prior to all the tariffs? Did they change or are they staying the same?
- Where do you see the Old Forester brand?
- What are you doing to elevate the Old Forester brand into a premium category?
- Talk about your team and what goes into the bottle.
- Do you take a Bill Samuels approach about not interfering with what goes in the bottle?
- Is there a brand rivalry in the company?
- Do you have to fight Woodford for barrels?
- Will you ever have 100% of production here?
- What impact did the Kingsman movie have on Old Forester business?
- Do you have a strategy to do more than Statemans?
- If you could do a movie tie in, which movie past or present would you do?
- How far down the gene pool are you to George Garvin Brown?
185 – Famous Staves with Brad Boswell, CEO of Independent Stave Company
A Bourbon Pursuit exclusive! Brad Boswell, CEO and 4th Generation Cooper at Independent Stave Company, rarely does any media coverage so we are ecstatic to not only capture his family story, but how they take customer service to the extreme and continue to invest in research and development to push the bounds of today’s bourbon. If you’ve ever wanted to know the extent of oak influence on whiskey, this one touches every aspect from types of wood, the building process, charring, and finishing.
- Learn more about Pursuit Series
- The week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick talks about Bourbon at Great Wolf Lodge
- How did you grow into this business?
- When you were young did you have a feeling of your family’s legacy in the cooperage industry?
- Did you family ever lobby to have the law put in place for new charred oak barrels?
- How has your family been able to maintain business all these years?
- What other side business have you had in the past?
- Have whiskey barrels always been the hallmark for your company?
- Talk about the size of your operation.
- Has the waiting list died down a little bit? Any issues meeting demand?
- What’s the process look like for bringing on a new client?
- Tell us the story of Maker’s 46 from your perspective.
- Talk about the process of making a barrel.
- What are the differences between various oaks, French vs. American vs. Japanese?
- Do you have customers that prefer KY barrels vs MO?
- Why do you keep innovating?
- Are there any other core states you are harvesting oak from right now?
- Tell us about Oregon oak.
- What’s the wackiest spot you’ve gotten an oak tree from?
- Tourism has changed over the years, what has that been like for ISC and what is the future?
- What experiments are you doing with the barrels?
- Do customers ever get upset about other companies copying their barrel finishes?
- What’s a barrel experiment that ended with a bad result?
- How can you control the variables?
- How long can you char a barrel?
- How many times can you reuse a barrel?
- Where are we in the growth of American Whiskey?
164 – Blending Barrel Proof with Joe Beatrice and Tripp Stimson of Barrell Bourbon
Why there is an extra L in Barrell Bourbon? Well, today we find out. Joe Beatrice and Tripp Stimson join us to talk about all things Barrell and how this brand is really one for the bourbon geeks with unfiltered barrel proof expressions. We then dive into the newest releases of the Infinite Barrel Project and talk about their plans for sourcing, distilling and blending as they have made Louisville KY their headquarters.
- This week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick talks about sexism with Master Distillers.
- Do you remember you first bottle of bourbon or first memory with it?
- Talk about the history of Barrell. Why did you want to start it?
- What is it about barrel proof that consumers like over 90 or 100 proof?
- Would you rather blend than distill?
- What’s the size of a Barrell batch?
- Which do you think is harder because we’ve had both master distillers and master blenders on the show?
- How does scale play into this bringing in more barrels?
- What’s the release schedule and idea about numbering the batches?
- Why is there an extra L?
- Give us a run down of the line up products you offer
- Why rum?
- New year edition. Let’s talk about what this is all about.
- The Infinite Barrel Project is super unique.
- Why keep doing new ideas and not sticking with the staples?
- Tripp are there any ideas that Joe comes up with and you’re like “this is never going to work”?
- What’s a rejected idea?
- Are you able to continually able to source good whiskey and are you able to turn it away?
- Talk about the operation now. Are are you contract distilling? straight sourcing? bottling?
- So are you itching to start distilling?
- Why distill when you haven’t had a problem getting barrels before?
- Would you take your own distillate and mix from sourced goods?
- Why build a distillery that’s a pure factory that doesn’t look at making it a tourist destination?
- Why Louisville? You can build a distillery anywhere.
- What about storage? I know you’re at Castle and Key right now but where can you go?
- Do you think you started a revolution of brands following suit?
137 – The Most Famous Name in Rickhouses, Donald Blincoe of Buzick Construction
- First let’s give an overview of the company and then we will dive into the history.
- So do yo know about the history of storing barrels before the idea of rick houses?
- There’s all different kinds of ways to store barrels. But you all are pretty much renowned for it. Talk about how that came to be.
- Why wood?
- Talk about the design of the rick itself
- Why is your design better than pallet? More economical? Does it make it easier to move barrels in and out?
- Is a rackhouse made to survive acts of nature?
- What sort of maintenance is involved?
- You also have a patented process, right?
- Give us the basic idea of why a rick house is constructed the way it is
- What man power is involved? I hear you all have a machine that is beginning to automate a bit?
- How long to get one stood up?
- What’s the sustained weight?
- Why is there hardly ever electricity ran to these?
- Do people ask for other amenities like running water?
- How has the engineering of the construction changed over the years or are they just getting bigger?
107 – Reviving Michter’s in Kentucky Instead of Pennsylvania with Joe Magliocco, President
Joseph Magliocco, President of Michter’s Distillery and CEO of Chatham Imports, joins the podcast to talk about the rebirth of an American Whiskey brand and how he used to sell it growing up. He talks about why he rebooted Michter’s in Kentucky rather than Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania and we talk through each of their whiskeys and ryes including their extreme high end expressions and whether or not the barrel proof bourbon will be a line extension.
- Lets talk about the beginning because you’re an odd type of guest for us. We’re typically getting Andrea Wilson or Pam Heilmann on to talk about brands, but you my friend are the business end. Talk about how you carved your path in this wine and spirits world
- I’m glad to hear you call it Michter’s because i hear people call in “Mishters” and i cringe.
- Talk about the history of Michter’s and where you come in
- What legal hurdles did you have to overcome when taking the name?
- You could have created a new brand. You didn’t need the name. But why use the Michter’s name anyway?
- Why did you decide to revive the brand in Kentucky vs the history in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania
- I mean, that distillery in PA had one of the greatest iconic runs of all time with AH. Hirsch. Can you comment on that?
- You are also reviving other brands like Bombergers and Shenks.
- All of these brands have origins in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania
- You know I wish I was smart enough to get my hands on M25 Rye and even more bottles of M10. Those older vintages are out of this world
- I’m going to put you on the hot seat here for a minute. How do you justify the price tag of your Celebration bourbon?
- What’s future expansion looking like for Michter’s?
- Where are you planning to take the brand next?
- During the week of the KY Bourbon Affair you released a barrel strength Michter’s. Is this going to be a line extension?
- Listen to all the Michter’s Podcasts.
098 – Campbell Brown, President of Old Forester, at the Derby Museum Legend Series
Campbell Brown, President of Old Forester Bourbon, is interviewed by Fred Minnick at the Kentucky Derby Museum’s Legend Series.
- Fred gets more information about the corporate side rather than the distilling side.
064 – Investing in Horse Racing and Bourbon with Vince Roth, Partner of Final Furlong Racing & Chad Butters, Co-Founder of Eight Oaks Distillery
Chad Butters, Co-Founder and CEO of Eight Oaks Craft Distillery, and Vince Roth, Managing Partner of Final Furlong Racing Stables, talks about a new partnership to invest in a horse and get bottles of bourbon in return
- Tell us a little about yourselves
- Talk about the offering to invest in a horse and get bourbon in exchange
- Talk about the horses
- Talk about the distillery and what makes it unique
- How much longer until the bourbon will be ready?
- Follow @GoFinalFurlong and @eightoaksdist on twitter
039 – Maker’s Mark Bleeds Red with Rob Samuels, COO
Rob Samuels, COO of Maker’s Mark, talks about the operations behind Maker’s and holding almost every job at the distillery since he was 9.
- We kick off the show talking about bourbon tourism numbers from 2015
- Talk about your childhood and growing up in the family business
- What does the phrase mean “blow your ears off?”
- Maker’s has a great relationship with Keeneland, talk about it.
- Where do you see Makers as a part of the growth of bourbon?
- What do you think kept Maker’s alive 20-30 years ago when vodka was king?
- What are some your favorite ads Maker’s has had over the years?
- This is a family business. What was the best piece of advice your father ever gave you?
- You started at the distillery at 9 years old. Talk about holding all those various positions over the years. Best and worst job
- How do you get on the tasting panel at Maker’s?
- Back in 2013 was the great proof reduction debacle. Talk about that.
- What are some of toughest decisions you’ve had to make as COO?
- Let’s talk about life outside of bourbon. Do you have any other hobbies?