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Issue 68 - Kentucky's finest

Whisky Magazine Issue 68
December 2007

 

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Kentucky's finest

After our Icons of Whisky America lunch we decided not to waste the opportunity of having some of the finest bourbon makers in one place.

PANEL
Greg Davis – Barton Brands
Larry Kass – Heaven Hill
Nick Nelson –Woodford Reserve
Fred Noe – Jim Beam
Dave Pickerell – Maker's Mark
Jim Rutledge – Four Roses
Julian Van Winkle – Old Rip Van Winkle
Preston Van Winkle – Old Rip Van Winkle

How the industry is shaping up?

JIM
For the first time across the industry people's inventories are filling up, and the future is looking good for growth.

NICK
We are all seeing record growth rates with new consumers coming to our products all the time. There is a raised awareness about bourbon among drinkers, especially through the cocktail scene and the premium bourbons.

FRED
The ultra premium bourbons are getting people to look at the category again. There are certainly exciting times ahead.

GREG
Despite a recession people are wanting to drink premium products.

LARRY
The American whiskey category has finally gotten it right since the mid 1990s and we have generally succeeded in educating and energising a new audience of younger legal age drinkers who actively seek out and pay for super-premium expressions, discuss their passions on dedicated websites and on-line forums, and enthusiastically attend events, tastings, and visit the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

All signs that the current market and future domestic and international expansion are at all-time highs.

Does the industry feel constrained by the laws dictating the production of bourbon?

PRESTON
The laws only limit how we make it but not how peo...

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