Bourbon History


Bourbon Whiskey

The Search For The Ultimate Bourbon

I would make a lousy owner of a distillery because I would be more interested in experimenting with making the whiskey than selling it. I would quickly go bankrupt! Still, I like to think about what I would do to... Continue Reading →

Bourbon’s Unsung Heroes – The Quality Control Department

Back in 1992, when I was hired full time by United Distillers as their archivist in North America, I was fortunate enough to become involved with the Quality Control Department at the Stitzel-Weller Distillery. That is where I met Mike... Continue Reading →

Maker’s Mark’s Community Batch And The Lee Initiative

Maker’s Mark has always been a good corporate citizen in Kentucky. They have been issuing special bottles of Maker’s Mark with the profits going to charities for decades. Maker’s Mark, like all distilleries, also recognizes the importance of on-premise sales... Continue Reading →


The distilling industry and its tools have evolved over the centuries of whiskey making. Most people think of this evolution in regards to the still, when it gained a worm for cooling vapor and then into a column still. However,... Continue Reading →

Age Is Not Everything

Whiskey is like a lot like people – some mature quicker than others. The passage of time is not the only thing that determines how good a whiskey is going to taste. In fact there are six sources of flavor... Continue Reading →

Bill And Mike’s Excellent Adventure – Part Five

Another summer has passed and it is time to taste the four barrels of Bourbon Bill Thomas and I had Kentucky Artisan Distillery (KAD) make for us. The barrels will be three years old on January 4, 2021 but this... Continue Reading →

Blind Tastings

Blind tastings are difficult and humbling to those who feel they can name a brand from the taste. I always do a blind tasting at the end of my Bourbon Country Institute as a way to show students how difficult... Continue Reading →

Bill And Mike’s Excellent Adventure: Part Four

Bill Thomas and I worked together a couple of years ago to make four barrels of Bourbon at Kentucky Artisan Distillery. The barrels were filled on January 4, 2018. Last year I tasted the barrels on Halloween day when they... Continue Reading →

Bulleit Distillery, Shelby County, Ky.

Rosemary and I were invited to visit the Bulleit Distillery in Shelby County as part of the soft opening of the new visitor’s experience. The distillery is located a few miles from Shelbyville on a country road in an idyllic... Continue Reading →

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