On this week’s podcast episode Jim and I answered several questions on our Epic Bourbons and Listener Questions Episode. One question centered around distillery expansion and which ones we were excited about, but this led me to think of another question. Are the big distilleries going to flood the market with bourbon and cause this current bourbon boom to collapse? Of course this question is timed perfectly with Heaven Hill breaking ground on their $135 million dollar Bardstown Distillery on Monday. So let’s start there on this Epic Bourbons and Listener Questions Episode.

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The new distillery is expected to produce 150,000 barrels annually, add to that the over 400,000 barrels a year they produce now and you might see what I’m getting at. That’s a 37.5% growth and while that growth will take some time to age, a person has to wonder when the ceiling will crumble. You see, Heaven Hill isn’t the only distillery banking on this bourbon boom that we have been experiencing for the last several years. From Buffalo Trace to Woodford it seems that every distillery wants in on the boom and who can blame them.

Are we seeing history repeat itself? Whiskey has fallen before and it could happen again, especially with consumers always wanting the newest of everything. Americans and the world are in love with our native spirit at the present time but how long will that last? Like every boom I fear this one will come to an end at some point and who will suffer the consequences of it. Will it be giants like Heaven Hill or the craft distilleries that Jim and I have come to love so dearly? Will the glass required for production become more of an issue in the future or will it be the oak that is required for those beautiful aging barrels?

Only time can answer all my questions but we should enjoy the boom while it roars. Remember when the boom does end though, to not give up on those craft distilleries that have risen from our need of a whiskey that is something new, different and exciting from what the giants can produce.

Make sure to grab that glass, hopefully one of ours and one of your favorite whiskeys as we travel down The Bourbon Road answering listener questions while drinking some mighty fine bourbons. Cheers

Mike (Big Chief)