Hi there everybody; I’m Bernie Lubbers and I’m known as The Whiskey Professor. I work for Heaven Hill Brands in Bardstown and Louisville, Kentucky where it is my pleasure to represent great brands like Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, Larceny, Old Fitzgerald, Bernheim Wheat, Rittenhouse Rye, Parker’s Heritage, Henry McKenna, & just a TON of Bottled In Bond Bourbons in our portfolio. I’m honored to work with our master distillers, Parker Beam, Craig Beam, Denny Potter, and Charlie Downs…but something you’ll learn is that all master distillers and their bourbons are pretty damn special in my world. I wanted to have a forum to share some of my insights from working the Bourbon/Whisk[e]y Trail. Last year I traveled over 150,000 miles preaching and teaching the world about BOURBON and AMERICAN WHISKEY.
As you go through my site here, you can navigate through different levels of Whiskey Knowledge I’ve arranged in “Courses” if you will. I’ve been doing this for only 10 years now, so I write these articles so that I can learn too. I’m considered an industry expert, with but folks like Parker Beam (52 years in the business) and Charlie Downs (39 years) and Jimmy Russell (60 years) I’m still on my journey.
These are articles I publish and I rank in terms of level of knowledge from 101 to 401 and Graduate Courses. you can also access my calendar here and see where you can join me for a tasting, or book signing – and OH, speaking of that, I wrote a book, “Bourbon Whiskey-Our Native Spirit” and you can order a copy from this site as well! I’d be happy to sign it for you too, so just let let me know how you want it made out, and I’ll do so. And if you’d like one in e-format, it’s now available for kindle and Nook!
I also have written and perform a show titled, “Bourbon Thru Bluegrass” which is the history of how bourbon evolved in to the bourbon it is today from the un-aged corn whiskey it started out in the 1700’s, and all throughout the tasting and performance, there is live Bluegrass Music being performed by Bernie and his bluegrass pickin’ buddy, Hickory Vaught.
Travel the Whiskey Trail and around the country with Bernie Lubbers as he reveals the history and process of making and selling America’s spirit.
Foreward to “Bourbon Whiskey-Our Native Spirit” by Fred Noe
Bernie asked me to write a foreword for his new book, so I figured I should tell ya’ll just who the hell I am. I’m Fred Noe seventh-generation distiller in the Beam family. My greatgrandfather was Jim Beam. He’s the one most people know of since his name is on the bottle, and he’s the one who started our distillery again after Prohibition in 1934. Pretty amazing for a guy to restart a whole distillery at 70 years old. But it was his great-grandfather, Jacob Beam, who started our family legacy by distilling and selling his first barrel of whiskey back in 1795. To think our family has stuck in this business for over 200 years is really amazing. I’m glad they did, because I don’t know what I’d be doing otherwise. It’s literally and figuratively in my blood.
My dad, Booker Noe (of Booker’s Bourbon), taught me all about the business, and I think he was one of the very best. I remember traveling with him on trips where we would promote the small-batch bourbons that Pop created in the early 1990s, actually creating a new category. He taught me not only about distilling, but also how to be a guardian and an ambassador for the brands he created. You see, brands have lives and live on way longer than us human beings. When Dad passed away a few years back, it was just me serving as the ambassador for these brands, and the world was craving more bourbon, more stories, more everything.
I guess Bernie has a lot of passion for it since his dad and grandfather worked in a brewery in Louisville, so maybe something rubbed off on him, or poured off on him somewhere along the line. Bourbon is something you don’t just learn overnight. It takes years—really it takes a life time—and even though there’s a lot more for us all to learn, I’d say Bernie knows his shit pretty damn good.
I think Bernie’s book brings some of that to life for you, and I think you’ll also learn quite a bit about bourbon, even if you already know a lot about bourbon. Once you finish this book, you may want to come visit us here in Kentucky at our distillery. Come on down and come thirsty and come by and say hey to me and Bernie. If you keep drinking it, I’ll keep making it. Here’s lookin’ at ya.
Posted on March 2nd, 2015 in Whiskey 101 with 0 Comments
The Best Whiskey Cocktail I’ve ever had occurred about a year ago and this just goes to show that the best cocktail you’ve ever had doesn’t have to be complicated or contain multiple creative ingredients. But the perfection and simplicity, along with presentation can just make it for you. My buddy David Danielson is the […]
Posted on January 19th, 2015 in Whiskey 301 with 0 Comments
Timeline July 4, 1776 – America declares its independence from Kingdom of Great Britain ruled by King George III May 27, 1778 – George Rogers Clark and his Kentucky Militia settle on an island at the falls of the Ohio River. The native crop grew so well there they called it Corn Island. 1780 – […]
Posted on January 16th, 2015 in Whiskey 101 with 0 Comments
Bourbon lovers look forward to the times of the year that limited release bourbons and whiskies come out. There’s Heaven Hill’s Parker’s Select, Buffalo Trace’s Antique Collection, Brown-Foreman’s Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, and a few others. Then there’s the 15+ year aged whiskey, the cask strength wheat, rye, bourbon whiskies. Of course everyone knows how […]
Posted on December 29th, 2014 in Whiskey 101 with 0 Comments
We are closing in to the end of 2014, and ringing in a new year. The Champagne will be flowing coast to coast with the cheap stuff, to whatever the bottle service choice of Las Vegas happens to be this year behind the red velvet ropes. 2014 was the year of Bourbon and American Whiskey, […]
Posted on December 2nd, 2014 in Whiskey 101 with 0 Comments
Bourbon Gift Ideas for the Holidays It’s that time of year. Everybody’s on the look-out for some special bourbons on the shelves. Single Barrel offerings, barrel proof, maybe an old 1970’s bottle with the tax stamp on it hidden away buried deep in the bourbon spread at that little liquor store near your office that […]
Posted on November 14th, 2014 in Whiskey Graduate Courses with 0 Comments
Timeline from Unaged Corn Whisky in 1700’s, to Single Barrel & Small Batch bourbons of today. July 4, 1776 – America declares its independence from Kingdom of Great Britain ruled by King George III May 27, 1778 – George Rogers Clark and his Kentucky Militia settle on an island at the falls of the Ohio […]
The History of Bourbon Whiskey As Told Through Bluegrass Music
OVERVIEW OF THE SHOW
Close your eyes and picture a Ken Burns documentary on bourbon brought to life through live bluegrass music. Then all throughout the performance, you actually experience the evolution of bourbon by tasting the whiskey and bourbon that folks were drinking starting back in the 1700’s; then move to what they were drinking throughout the 1800’s, all the way up through present day, and you have:
“The Evolution Of Bourbon Told Through Bluegrass Music”
Performed by the leading folks in bourbon and in bluegrass music.
This 75 minute self-contained performance stimulates all the senses. You will see, hear, smell, feel, and taste the history of the native spirit of the United States; literally drinking in the history of Kentucky’s fine spirit through it’s music!
Hickory Vaught is the face on the passports and advertisements for the Urban Bourbon Trail Account at the Blu at the Louisville Marriott Hotel where he hosts, “Bourbon & Bluegrass” every Thursday since it opened. Dubbed “The Bluegrass Music Ambassador of Kentucky” by the Governor himself.
Bernie Lubbers is The Whiskey Ambassador for Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown, KY and is known as the Whiskey Professor.
Just like bourbon whiskey, bluegrass music was born in Kentucky through Bill Monroe who took the old time mountain music and transformed it into a hard driving sound. His instrument (and Hickory’s) is the mandolin, once a background parlor instrument until Mr. Monroe made it a front instrument along with his “high lonesome” voice.
Tonight you’ll hear the old time music from Hickory that match the time lines on the evolution of bourbon. Hickory and Bernie will play and sing bluegrass tunes that match the history and/or the subject of that particular time.
Songs from Bill Monroe, Grandpa Jones, Flatt & Scruggs, along with their own originals.
Since the show isn’t 100% scripted you just never know what they might play next.
The Last Letter Home performed by Hickory Vaught and Bernie Lubbers
“Bourbon Street” Performed by Bernie Lubbers and Hickory Vaught
Great Whisk[e]y Debate Manhattan
Great Whisk[e]y Debate Manhattan Part 2
Watch the video by clicking continue reading! (more…)
BOURBON WHISKEY – OUR NATIVE SPIRIT***Updated and Revised 2nd edition is IN STOCK NOW!!!
There is SUCH an interest in Bourbon Whiskey, and I’m proud to say that the first edition of my book is
***still available on Kindle and nook!
Just like a fine dram, drinkers will savor Bernie Lubbers’ Bourbon Whiskey. It’s a personal and very enjoyable guide to America’s native spirit.
Noah Rothbaum, Editor in Chief of Liquor.com
What can I say, finally a book for the bourbon lover written by someone with the inside line. Bernie pulls no punches here but he is also the consummate entertainer and educator. I am actually amazed, given the amount of travel he does for his ambassadorial role, that Bernie has found the time to write a book. But I am glad he has. His liquid lessons have kept audiences thrilled across the USA and now those of us that cannot make his tastings can have his wisdom on our shelves. This is not just something to dip into, this is a book to delve into, soak up and appreciate.
Rob Allanson, Editor, Whiskey magazine
As the world takes more interest in whiskey generally, the world of bourbon has been crying out for a modern accessible book to tell its story. Bernie Lubbers has provided it. Its not just a solid account of what bourbon is, it is a work of passion, Lubbers love for Kentucky and its whisky flowing freely from every page.
Dominic Roskrow, international whiskey writer
“Ive drunk bourbon and hung out with Bernie Lubbers, and it’s always been a great time; lots of stories, lots of whiskey talk, and a whole lot of laughs. Pour yourself a shot of Knob Creek, and you can have the same great time, because reading Bourbon Whiskey is just like being with Bernie…without the hangover. You know, the book might be better than Bernie!”
Lew Bryson, drinks writer
Besides the entertaining stories about his life, the Bourbon business and up-to-date information about visiting the region, Bernie’ most remarkable contribution to whiskey scholarship is that bourbon, specifically Kentucky Straight Bourbon, is delicious by law. Production is so sctricly regulated, that many of the variables that determine the character of the final product can be verified by reading the label. After years of lecturing about the label, Bernie shares his methodology in print, giving the readers empiricle talking points to distinguish their favorite bottlings.”
Jim Meehan, General Manager, PDT (Please Don’t Tell) Speakeasy-New York City