What’s shakin’, cocktail fans?
Welcome to Episode 229 of The Modern Bar Cart Podcast!
This time around, I chat with spirits expert OJ Lima (@neatrockscocktail), one of the co-founders of Taste Select Repeat – a modern liquor store that’s bringing more people into the fold with a focus on diversity and transparency, as well as a heavy emphasis on special barrel picks.
In this single-barrel conversation with entrepreneur and spirits educator OJ Lima, co-founder of Taste Select Repeat, some of the topics we cover include:
How OJ and his business partner Pierre battled a pandemic and a notoriously thorny government bureaucracy to found and scale their modern liquor store concept.
The historical and social forces that contribute to an unwelcoming culture for women and people of color within American Whiskey, and how Taste Select Repeat is working to open things up by emphasizing transparency and healthy discourse.
Then we dig into OJ’s bread and butter: single barrel picks. Many of you have heard this term, and for some of you, it may be new territory. We give you the basic rundown and then talk about how OJ and his team partner with different distilleries to select these barrels from a warehouse full of options.
Along the way, we cover some of the new spirits categories TSR is beginning to explore, how a single barrel whiskey is like a performance of a Shakespeare play, what to drink on a beach with Bob Marley, and much, much more.
This is one of those episodes where you kind of need to think of the American whiskey world as a microcosm that can be used to examine the larger world we inhabit. OJ and the team at Taste Select Repeat are completely dedicated to giving you an excellent experience in the glass, but a lot of the real work they’re doing involves directly addressing systemic problems derived from power structures embedded both in the three-tier system and in our own minds. Fortunately, these and so many other problems are always easier to contend with when you’ve got a lovingly selected single-barrel dram in your glass!