During certain times of the year, if you walk into The Brandy Library in New York City, you’ll see a number of high-end spirits lined up on the bar. They range from ultra-aged scotches, Pappy Van Winkles and dusties, to high-aged rums, japanese whiskey and other highly sought after gems. You’ll also notice that these and the other rare whiskeys lining the walls aren’t listed in their whiskey menu. If you’re curious enough or you think you have deep enough pockets to order one of these rare whiskeys and ask for their prices, you’ll simply be given the answer, “They aren’t for sale.” Well, not in the traditional sense at least.

There was a time not that long ago when whiskey bars only needed to have a few dozen bottles to satisfy customers. As more and more traditional bars re-branded themselves as whiskey bars or lounges, and whiskey selections started to number into the triple digits, it has become harder to stand out from the crowd. With whiskey supply always struggling to meet demand, some whiskey bars are experimenting with different tactics to grab whiskey drinkers’ attention and find creative solutions to the always increasing cost of a glass of whiskey at the bar.

Where most whiskey bars love to display their high-end whiskey much like the average collector does, they’re always willing to part with it for a certain price. As anyone who has stepped foot into a whiskey bar in the past few years can attest to, prices are sky high simply because there isn’t enough supply to meet demand.

The Brandy Library introduced their Passport program in 2014 as a new and creative way to reward their regular customers with a great selection of spirits at their fair market value. At certain times of the year - usually during the first few months of the year - The Brandy Library selects a handful of high end spirits (January 2017’s selection included 25 Scotches, 13 U.S. whiskeys, 5 Japanese, 1 Canadian, 3 Cognacs, 3 Armagnacs, 1 Calvados, 1 “other” brandy, and 3 Rums) and offers their customers a chance to buy-in. The program runs four weeks and patrons get to choose 14 ounces from the selection during that time. The last edition fetched $650 a ticket and included all taxes and gratuity.

“For the first two years we didn’t make money for the purpose of entertaining our regulars and mak[ing] a statement that we’re not into abusing [whiskeys] like so many other people. Our prices are high enough due to our rent and labor costs, and we wanted to reward our regulars with something well priced,” says Flavien Desoblin, owner of The Brandy Library. “The first edition was very successful so we kept on going. We increased the price last year and we generated a little profit, but that isn’t the idea here. The idea here is we’d use whatever we don’t get enough of [for the Passport program]. If there’s a limited edition, whether it’s Four Roses or Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, or these things we only get one, two or three bottles of, instead of putting them in the menu and having those bottles consumed by silly spenders who just want to splurge and not even appreciate it and just want to show off.”

Located in lower Manhattan, The Brandy Library often sees a fair share of silly spenders, and while there’s nothing wrong with people spending money in whatever way they see fit, Desoblin has a high appreciation for spirits and hopes his patrons do too.

“We’re not into catering to people with an attitude or sense of entitlement. There’s a lot of that amongst the collectors. People who are so crazy about saying how many bottles of Pappy 20 they have at home,” Desoblin says. “We definitely want people who understand value and we want people who value the brands that aren’t taking them for a ride [simply] for the sake because they can. We want people to put sense into it and actually nurse the drink. Be curious about it and try to understand why it tastes like this and why it smells like this. We don’t cater to the very fancy people. We don’t have an attitude and we certainly don’t cater to people with an attitude.”

This is the reason why there is a bottle of Hibiki 30 Year sitting behind the main bar. In what could be considered a cruel joke to some, but further proving Desoblin’s commitment to the honor and understanding of rare spirits, the bottle’s purpose is simply to tease. The bottle is not for sale. Even as Desoblin gets more and more ridiculous offers for the bottle, he never wavers. The bottle, he says, is not for someone who doesn’t appreciate it and is simply trying to buy it to declare on social media that “they had it.” The bottle will likely get opened one day and be put to a different use in The Brandy Library’s other service they offer to their regular customers.

The Brandy Library hosts a number of educational classes every year called Spirit School Seminars, with the goal being to teach whiskey lovers of all levels more about the spirit. Unlike a traditional classroom, in this class you’re allowed and asked to drink during the class. There are introductory 101 level classes that go over the basics of whiskey, but as Desoblin is finding, more and more people are requesting and signing up for the higher level classes.

“This may sound pretentious but I know this because our customers keep telling us it, we’re still the only ones who bring the mix of real technical education and entertaining talks on spirits,” Desoblin says. “A class’s [whiskey] selection is based on variety, distinct points. It’s not just a neutral education. It’s also entertaining. We break down all the  myth and all of the brand ambassador BS that they may have heard.”

In one class, Desoblin focuses on the importance of age statements in the world of whiskey and for bourbon in particular. As more and more whiskeys all over the world are losing their age statements at an increasing rate, Desoblin has his classes taste brands that once had statements versus their newer versions without them.

In another series of classes called Progressions, participants are asked to taste bourbon of increasing ages. One class will start with a 4 year old Old Grand-Dad Bonded and go up to a 10 year old Russell’s Reserve. Another starts with a 11 year old bourbon and goes up to an 18 year old bourbon. In level three, participants will start with a William Larue Weller 19 year old, and continue with Mitcher’s 20 Year, Elijah Craig 21 Year, Blade and Bow 22 Year, Vintage Bourbon 23 Year, Parker’s Heritage 24 Year, and end with Jefferson’s Rye 25 Year.

In an upcoming class, Desoblin will highlight the Evan Williams brand with 30+ bottles, many of which will include older vintages of the brand’s Single Barrel line. In another class that's still a few years away, he will highlight a particular brand and have students taste how the same brand has changed over time by offering 10-30 marks of that single brand.

Whiskey education classes aren’t new, and many whiskey bars offer them.  However, few can offer their patrons the same depth of selection with their actual “hands on” tasting. The Brandy Library is located in New York State which is known to be stingy with their special release offerings to bars and restaurants. That’s not to say The Brandy Library doesn't get as much as the next bar or more, but their decision to save bottles for their Passport program or their classes and not put them on their menu at a high markup allows them to offer the programs they do. For example, The Brandy Library got two bottles of Parker’s Heritage 24 Year in 2016. One bottle went to their sister bar Copper & Oak, and because one bottle isn’t enough to offer in their Passport program the other was set aside exclusively for a future class.

Being located in New York City also means The Brandy Library sees a fair share of out-of-towners who come in expecting the typical high-end whiskey bar selection. These patrons often can’t take full advantage of the Passport program or the classes the bar offers. While The Brandy Library has an extensive whiskey menu, it tends to lack Pappy Van Winkle and some of the ultra high-end whiskey that are typically found at a whiskey bar of this caliber. For these customers, The Brandy Library offers a whiskey flight like many bars do, but once again features whiskeys that aren’t always found on most whiskey menus.

“[If customers are looking for Pappy Van Winkle] we tell them the only Pappy you’ll have is within this tasting flight. The Ultimate American Flight. It’s six half ounce [pours] of really special stuff and there usually is a Pappy in it,” Desoblin says. “Because for us it's the occasion to show them when you put Pappy, whichever Pappy it is, next to other great bourbons, all of a sudden they get it. They understand that, ‘What’s all the hype with Pappy?’ When it comes down to the taste of it, it’s no better than others or it is definitely better. They can put things into perspective.”

A recent lineup for The Brandy Library’s Ultimate American Flight included Black Maple Hill 14 Year, Jim Beam Distiller’s Masterpiece PX finish, Blade and Bow 22 Year, 2015 Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year, and Elijah Craig 21 Year (which when the bottle ran out was replaced with 1970’s Old Taylor 4 Year). This flight also included a mystery pour of either Thomas H. Handy, Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection 14 Year French Oak Chardonnay Cask, or a 1980’s Rebel Yell.

As with everything Desoblin does at The Brandy Library, it comes back to a respect for the spirit; an understanding of where it came from, valuing the work that went into making it, and an appreciation of what it’s trying to accomplish. This is somewhat of a hard contrast to what you’d expect to find in the high-rent district of lower Manhattan, where profit is king and time is money. While Desoblin is clear some profit is made on whiskey sales, the majority of his moneymaking business comes from hosting private parties, private tastings, and whiskey classes. As The Brandy Library holds high company with other high-end whiskey bars in New York City, it’s the bar’s fresh take on whiskey culture and who and how people consume it that makes it stand out. If you’re not also learning while you’re drinking, you’re not going as far as doing it wrong, you're just missing out on half the fun.

About New Riff Distilling

Breaking Bourbon: I know that a lot of the crew does not come from necessarily a whiskey background. Was that accidental, or was that deliberate for some reason?

Mostly that was deliberate. Talking to Larry Ebersold, because first of all we needed a consultant, a master distiller to teach us what to do, and I had a lifetime of knowledge and learning about alcoholic beverages and spirits, but I’d never made them before. I wish I could tell you, yeah, I had a still in my dorm room, man, you know, I never did that. I never owned an illicit still. And so when we opened New Riff, all of us put together had made zero whiskey, zero spirits of any kind. Larry’s advice was...and Ken and I felt this way too...we didn’t necessarily want to just recruit someone out of the Kentucky industry who would come in with a lot of perhaps good preconceptions and foreknowledge and assumptions and practices. That might have been just fine.

But it was Larry’s advice that said, you might just think about hiring a brewer. Hire someone who knows fermentation, because that’s where the flavor is made. You don’t make flavor in a still. Stills don’t make flavor. Stills can...depending on the use of them and everything...they can shape flavor, but they don’t create the flavor. And the flavor is all made in the fermenter. And so we were looking, in fact, to hire a brewer, and we wound up with Brian Sprance our head distiller and production manager. Brilliant guy, came to us out of the craft beer industry. He was probably a master level brewer, more or less, at Boston Beer, and came to work for us, and he had not distilled a lick of whiskey in his life. He didn’t know anything about making whiskey, but he knew all about fermentation. And having him then trained to run the distillery by Larry, that was very much a deliberate act that we didn’t just hire someone…we wanted to find our whiskey, find it ourselves, so to speak.

Breaking Bourbon: How integral was the O.K.I. brand both from a learning side...and development in bringing New Riff to be? Did that inspire [the New Riff concept], or was it always the idea to get into the distillation side?

Yeah, good question, and particularly to the point of education or our experience. So the story of O.K.I. was as Ken Lewis and I were spinning up this distillery in the formative days, we were starting the process, I guess. I said to Ken, you know, we should go and buy a few barrels so that we have an aged whiskey to work with now, you know, to work with not in 10 years or 4, 5, 6 years, but to sell now. And it can be a standard bearer. We didn’t make it, but we did bottle it and we put it together and we vat it together, and moreover we made quality decisions that govern how it plays out, namely to be un-chill filtered and to say, this is how we think whiskey ought to be bottled. And it was a standard bearer. It was a little bit of a placeholder, certainly to the point of meeting people in the industry, bars and retailers and restaurants, and stuff like that.

We did a few picks with various stores and stuff. It was a way to get to know those people. But internally, I don’t think I appreciated when I proposed it to Ken how much of a huge learning platform it would be for us. We did some we haven’t done that at New Riff, and we’re not likely to do that anytime soon...but we did it, and we learned how to do those. We made a sherry-cask finish, that for me, a lover of single malt scotch since the age of teen years old, I loved sherry-cask stuff. So that was just a tremendous learning platform for us both in the vatting and the selecting, but very much in the bottling, packaging, bartending…we had great material to work with. And finally, it was not just any old whiskey. To most people, oh, that’s an Indiana whiskey. Ok, another one of those. I get that. But for us, they are sort of our big brother neighbor distillery. They’re right here in greater Cincinnati. They are a high rye distillate, you know 35% rye with O.K.I., and we were going to be that as well.

And furthermore, we were trained by their emeritus master distiller, Larry Ebersold, he was the master distiller many years there at the Seagram’s plant in Lawrenceburg, IN, and he was serving as New Riff’s consultant, and so we were trained and taught the black arts of how he made whiskey. The 95% rye, his precept, his quality goals, and tricks of the trade and stuff like that. So, we were taught to make a whiskey like that, sort of. I wouldn’t have wanted barrels of wheated whiskey from [another distillery], for example. It was something right here that attracted us to the Indiana stuff.

So O.K.I. was always meant to die. It was not intended to persist as a brand. Perhaps if the supply of aged whiskey had been available later in our careers, we would have continued it, but the fact is it was not available. That whole market dried up. You couldn’t go and get 5, 6, 8, 10 year old whiskey anymore, and we always intended for O.K.I. to die. What we were not going to do is this switcheroo where Indiana juice is in the bottle and suddenly Kentucky juice is in the bottle. We wanted it to be a clean break and a different design.

Breaking Bourbon: And thinking about your size...I know you guys position yourself really mid...I mean you’re a big craft facility...but you’re a small, large producer...a mid-range producer. So tell me about that.

Some people call it the mid-major. We’re the biggest of the small but the smallest of the big. Frankly, I don’t even know if...we probably don’t really consider ourselves a “craft distillery.” We were definitely inspired by that movement, and we’re friends with all those people and we know them well and love them, but we are sour mash whiskey producers in full size barrels for 4 years. Most of what we have done is not the business practices of the small craft distilleries, for better or for worse, I think we can agree, sometimes for the better.

When you have whiskey in a six gallon barrel that’s six months old and they’re pushing it out for 50 bucks a half bottle, we’re not part of that milieu. That said, we are…yeah, a mid-major. We make whiskey just like the big boys, but we make a lot less of it. But we’re cognizant of how much we do make. We make 80,000 barrels a year, and that’s not small potatoes, you know?

Another reason why we want people to come here and see in person what we’re about. I do underline a little bit the commitment to Bottled-in-Bond, why we do it. We had not… what’s the word… agreed, or… we didn’t plan to do that in the early days. We kicked it around, should we do Bottled-in-Bond? And we thought, well maybe, we could do a Bottled-in-Bond, maybe we should do that, I don’t know. We were going to be un-chilled filtered for a certainly. That went without saying. And that was at least one early quality commitment. And we promised ourselves we would go at least four years. If the whiskey wasn’t ready at four, I had to explain to Ken Lewis we got to go to five. Happily, it’s pretty good at four.

So we were always going to be un-chill filtered, but we weren’t settled in the early days on Bottled-in-Bond. And then internally, we started asking ourselves, and we realized, hold on a minute. Bottled-in-Bond is not just a category for old men and bartenders. It is the world’s highest quality standard for an aged brown spirit, full stock, the highest quality standard. Higher than the standards in scotch. Higher than the standards in Cognac.

You know that they add caramel color to those spirits, but also in the case of Cognac, you can add sugar, you can add oak flavoring, you know this? Look at Canadian whiskey, you can add any damn thing you want, practically. Japanese whiskey doesn’t even have to be distilled in Japan to be called Japanese whiskey. A lot of what’s in the bottle of Japanese whiskey...I’m speaking very broadly here...comes from [Scotland]. Sometimes it comes from America. Anyway, it’s the highest standard in the world for any aged brown spirit and since 1897. So when we realized that and we say to ourselves, if we really are putting our heart on our soul about being quality-first...and every single drinks company in the world would tell you they’re quality-first...and you and I know that’s really not the case. At some point, the piper gets paid, and the shareholders put out their hand and a decision gets made.

Breaking Bourbon: You don’t have many with “poor quality” in their advertising. That doesn’t come off so well...

That’s a good way to put it. Anyway, we really, really, mean that, and we do. It is really our goal to be...and this is our goal, Ken and I...and we reiterate it to each other all the time. If our goal truly is to be one of the world’s great small distilleries, than how can we not not only Bottled-in-Bond, but make everything peg to that highest standard in the world.

On top of that, by being un-chill filtered, we don’t even do the one thing that the federal government allows that you could do. If you read part of the Bottled-in-Bond regulations very closely, the only thing you can do to change the whiskey from its native state is to filter it, what they call chill-proofing. Because you have make a long story short...we don’t even do that. So we are taking the world’s highest standard and putting a New Riff on that and taking it to an even higher restriction. And with all this kerfuffle about the private barrels and the single barrels, and oh my gosh, this is so amazing, we love your barrels. For me the much bigger import is the fact that we bottle everything in bond. Nobody else does that.

About the Single Barrel Selection Process

Breaking Bourbon: You guys are, from my experience, doing things a little bit differently in terms of the starting point selection of your tasting notes from a lot of different barrels, get it down to a smaller number, and then go from there. [Editor’s note: New Riff first has you choose from approximately 25 pre-selected single barrels via barrelling date and tasting notes to narrow down to 5 options to taste, then provides a very well thought out environment to conduct the tasting. For an in-depth explanation, read about our experience here.]

We did an awful lot of intimate work with Kentucky’s finest distilleries back when we were retailers with barrel picks and other products, things like that. We launched at The Party Source, for example, Four Roses private barrels for that distillery, among other things. And so we knew well how that all works at the retail level, at the experiential level. And when we go to offers that to people in our now distillery, we wanted to do it right. We hope we do everything right, but that’s kind of how we went about that. I hear from other groups and stores and our customers, things like, you know, you hear horror stories about where this wound up at other institutions or distilleries. Like, they go to a tasting and they’re all tasting out of a common glass. They pull it out of a barrel and pass a glass around.

I’m pretty sure you guys can afford getting some glassware, you know? It’s just uncivilized and things like that.

But the notes that we put out, these tasting notes...look, back when I was doing these, I never wanted notes. Don’t give me the note. Just give me the whiskey and get out of the way. In fact, honestly, at The Party Source, I almost never went to the distillery to do a pick for one thing. It was long enough ago that they were fold-over thrilled-happy at distilleries that someone wanted to do a pick, and they didn’t care if you came there or something. Today, many distilleries, including in a way, New Riff, although we’re not absolutely dogmatic about it, to constrain somewhat. I know Four Roses does this, again. Places require you to come to the distillery, they’re not just going to send out samples. And by the way, one reason they don’t like to do that so much anymore is it chives up a lot of the barrels. If you have 100 barrels, and you want people to pick 5 barrels out of them, and you start sending out 4 barrels at a time, what happens? Suddenly you’re waiting on people to get back to you, and they take a long time, or they blow you off, or whatever they do. So there is that. I never wanted a tasting note though.

And I have some sort of our…how do I put it…more evolved or more sophisticated bar- restaurant retailer clients who are extraordinarily experienced and bourbon-experts, they sometimes pick them at random, you know, give me that one and that one and that one. I had one retailer in Louisville say, “Ehhh, just give me four barrels, from, let’s say, even numbered dates.” Ok. 10, 12, 14, 16, like that. That’s a great way to randomize what you’re tasting.

Breaking Bourbon: And how do you get to those barrels that are going to end up in the single-barrel program, at this point?

We taste every lot of whiskey, by which we mean, at New Riff, fermenters...and this is an interesting point, really, it’s the more important point than other aspects of single-barrel or private-barrel programs...most larger distilleries have…so you distill a batch of whiskey. A fermenter full of whiskey. It goes through the still you get the white dog, etc. Most places, that goes to a ginormous tank, big as your house, and all the whiskey pours into that and they cut it and they start filling barrels. And by this, means the batch-to-batch, fermenter-to-fermenter difference...there’s a slight difference between each one. This one get that flavor or that one gets this flavor…is largely ameliorated and kind of blended away if you will, which is great for consistency, and that’s a very smart way to make whiskey.

We happen here to not really be able to do that. Well, we distill a fermenter whiskey, and it goes to a gage tank, and that gage tank is only big enough to hold the output of one fermentation. That’s not absolutely discreetly dogmatically true. We have...perhaps you saw on your tour...a beer well. So a fermenter goes with the beer well, and we distill it out of the beer well. It takes about 7 or 8 hours to go through a whole fermenter in the beer well. Well we top that beer well off from other fermenters through the day. So there is a small amount of combining or mixing together different fermentations, but there’s least in a relative sense...there’s a more concrete, discrete line between each fermentation than at many distilleries.

The long and short of this is, Nick, that we see a difference not only barrel to barrel, but lot to lot. So we always give people advice when they’re picking...don’t pick stuff all from the same lot. I don’t care if you really like this note and that note and this sure and pick some from different lots, because we get to see a flavor, not only a difference in flavor, not only barrel to barrel, but lot to lot. So we change each lot of whiskey, and based on that, we go into that lot or not and pull out some single barrels.

About New Riff’s Future

Nick: Is there anything on the horizon that you’re able to talk about at this point with upcoming releases or upcoming experiments or projects that you guys are working on?

Well we make three what we call “main” whiskeys, by which I mean we make them every month - bourbon, rye, and malted rye. 100% malted rye grain, right? And we only make three fermenters a month of malted rye. We made it very sporadically in the early the early days. At any rate, we make those three. So the next sort of official, if you will, whiskey to come out will be malted rye. That probably won’t hit the market until fall of 2020.

Breaking Bourbon: Little ways off, yeah, I saw that one a little bit, we talked about that one a little bit [when visiting New Riff].

Yeah, we’re going to give it a little extra time to age and let it be a solid 5 years old, not 4, and kind of make a little exclamation point out of it. So that’s coming down the pipe.

And then as well as that, we make...perhaps you appreciated on the we have the ability to digest different grains.

We can dump any bag of grain we want to into the process. For one thing, that’s how we make 100% malted rye. We have the ability to go outside of our silos and dump in 2,000 lb. bags of whatever grain we want and then that takes its malted run. So we’ve made a whole bunch of different things. We’ve made wheated bourbon, we made heirloom-grain bourbon, we’ve made heirloom-grain rye, we’ve made chocolate oatmeal stout bourbon where we were inspired by our background as brewers, beer lovers, to make a bourbon so it’s mostly corn, but there’s oats in it and malted oats and things like that. So those things will come out, I don’t know when, but in the future, as special limited editions. And for what it’s worth...but just so you know, those are not accessible for private barrels. And in fact will not be bottled as single-barrels, probably, they will just be Bottled-in-Bond.

Breaking Bourbon: To go forward for New Riff, what’s on the more immediate horizon? What’s on the long-term horizon? What might we expect New Riff to look like in 10 or 20 years from now, all things going as you guys kind of envision them today?

Well, I don’t think I can say really with accuracy here. But I would say that we do hold that 20-30% of our output every year to become older. That still is not a lot. 20% or 30% of what we made 4 years ago, in 2015, years from now, still is not a lot of whiskey. I hear from folks a lot, I can’t wait until it gets older. And it will get older. I don’t know how old, 7, 10, 8, I don’t know. But there won’t be a lot of it. So I hope that by 10 or 20 years from now, we have simply more whiskey to share with the world.

Furthermore, maybe, more whiskeys to share with the world. Right now we have bourbon and rye. What does malted rye do? What do our specialty, as we call them, for want of a better term, the speciality whiskey do? What is the perception of our version of wheated bourbon? And I’m not necessarily saying it’s the cat’s meow but we have the opportunity to change perceptions in the future with other risks, if you will, that we will do.

Breaking Bourbon: And you don’t have any plans to become, or ideas to become, larger on a scale of say...let’s open another distillation location or something of that nature? I know there’s another warehouse that’s in the works, at least, as we toured the warehouses, and were speaking about that, from a distillation and production standpoint. Or would you grow into demand, do you think...or do you think you’d want to keep it in the tighter kind of way you have it right now?

One thing I can say with certainty is, we’re going to remain independent. As we’re in this business now and I start to work inside the bourbon industry in a totally different way than we did when we were retailers, you can start to see people’s business models. And these are all criticism of anybody...they’re all viable ways to do your business, what have you...but I can see places making decisions for an eventful outcome. And sometimes that outcome is to remain independent and often that outcome is to someday be bought up. Sell it to someone.

I can look at someone now and see that they’re making decisions to do one or the other. Nothing wrong with that, but if Ken Lewis’s intention is to get bought up someday, he’s doing it wrong. We are not doing the kind of know, putting the money where the mouth is...that would lead us to be bought up. We are making decisions that are for long-term independence and quality. So that I can say with a certainly is what you will see in 10 or 20 years. Will we be owned in 10 or 20 years by, take your pick of Diageo, Sazerac, William Grant, Brown-Foreman? No. We’re not going to be sold. I don’t know that we would ever expand with another distillery. It’s doubtful. We think that you are not wanting to get too big.

One thing that we are not really concerned about is the very thing that all these big companies are concerned about, which is two words - the words are market share. Market share. What’s our market share in San Francisco? How we doing in London? What’s our market share? We don’t really care about that. We don’t have stockholders. We don’t have shares out there. We have one brilliant owner who’s a fantastic guy to work with.

You know how you hear of such and so entrepreneur is just the most amazing boss to work for, but it’s never your boss.

Well, Nick, it is my boss.

Working with Ken Lewis is tremendous. And I think that’s not going to go away, so. We don’t need to get really big. Our goal here is not to get rich. We’ll have nice lives and we’ll make our money, and we’ll be successful, but the point is not to gain market share. The point is to be a great small distillery. Which if you think about it, is an amorphous goal. How do you know if you’ve made it? What do you do every day to get there? If your goal is market share, it’s simple. You need to make and sell more booze. But that’s not the case when your goal, your stated goal, that you remind yourselves in every meeting every week, is to become a great small distillery of the world and to do it in sour mash Kentucky whiskey. If that’s the goal, how do you go about it? How do you know that you do it?

You just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other with confidence and skill and commitment to quality. That’s what will go on. I’m sorry that sounds corny but its the truth.

Written By: Eric

July 6, 2017
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