For over 6 months I hadn’t been on The Bourbon Road to do an in person interview. Sure Jim had been to Virginia to see Randy and plenty of people had been to our houses to cut episodes but nothing is like getting in the truck and hitting the pavement. That’s were I feel that Jim and I do our best work, so I was very excited about getting back out there. Unfortunately Jim was unable to go on this Bourbon Road Trip and boy did he miss out.
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You see I was traveling 2 hours east to visit Donnie and Teresa, AKA The Beattyville Hillbillies. They are famous for their moonshine and for appearing on Discovery Channel’s hit tv show Moonshiners. I know how Jim loves the whitedog straight off the still and calls it hot buttery popcorn and Donnie’s Rye Whiskey is just that. Now Donnie and Teresa don’t really live in Beattyville Kentucky, its more like they live on the side of a mountain overlooking the headwaters of the Kentucky River.
Driving the winding back roads of Eastern Kentucky was just what this country boy needed, Just taking in the pure beauty of this region was enough for me, but I was on a mission, so I followed Donnie’s directions to get to his cabin which went something like this. Go to where the road forks, take the fork that goes up hill, pass the second tree with a hole in it, turn left up hill and turn right at the giant bolder that looks like a bears behind, go another stones through and holler my name and I will come running to fetch you.
So with my wife reading the directions I drove my truck straight up the mountain and was meet with the smell of whiskey in the air. You know that smell right? It was like being home for me. Donnie lives in a hand hewn log cabin that is absolute beautiful. Donnie and Teresa greeted us with that down home affection that I have grown accustomed to in the whiskey business. As they showed me around their still sight I could tell that this Kentucky gentleman was anything but a hillbilly. He is a true artist, both in his stills and his whiskey.
As we sat down to record the episode my mind was racing on what the moonshine would actually taste like. Now I have had moonshine before and I was expecting that punch in the mouth at the first sip, but Donnie’s is the smoothest shine to have ever touched my lips. Hell, this stuff could get a man in trouble. Well, enough about my first on the Road interview in six months. I will leave you to it.
Grab a glass or a jar and some whiskey being it clear or dark amber. Oh hell, for this episode just drink straight from the bottle and listen as I take another trip down The Bourbon Road exploring the true art of whiskey making with my new friends Donnie and Teresa, The Beattyville Hillbillies. Cheers
Mike (Big Chief)
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