This episode begins with a keynote presentation by Eric Kozlik, unofficially entitled, “It’s All On Fire.” Presented at the 2023 American Distilling Institute Conference & Trade Show, this brief spoken essay examines the connection between creativity and thermodynamics in the distilled spirits world. You can view the full video of this keynote intro over on the ADI YouTube Channel.
The main portion of the episode features a panel discussion about the nuances of blended whiskey, featuring three expert distillers: Lauren Patz (Redwood Empire), Stephen Gould (Golden Moon Distillery), and Dave Schmier (Proof and Wood Ventures). Each brings a unique perspective to bear on the theory, technique, and art of blending delicious American whiskeys, as well as larger musings on the role of blended products in the fraught U.S. whiskey market. Some of the topics covered in this discussion include:
- What we mean when we say a whiskey is a “blend” (and why most whiskeys on the shelves technically fall into this category)
- How to think about blending as a means of asserting consistency in a whiskey portfolio
- Why premium, one-off blends are beginning to make a case for themselves in a world dominated by bourbon
- How to deploy component tastings and other educational tools to help consumers grasp the value of the spirits in the bottle
- What the future may hold for the blended whiskey market
- And much, much more