Welcome to my site here on the web! I’m Bernie Lubbers and I’m known as The Whiskey Professor. I wrote a book on bourbon titled, “Bourbon Whiskey-Our Native Spirit”, and I’m also the Ambassador for American Whisky for Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown, KY. My job is to sit on airplanes, and stay in hotels…but it’s my honor and privilege to promote great brands like Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, Larceny, Old Fitzgerald, Bernheim Wheat, Rittenhouse Rye, Parker’s Heritage, Henry McKenna, a TON of Bonded Bourbons in the Heaven Hill portfolio. But something you’ll learn is that all 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. I travel over 100,000 miles each year educating folks about out native spirit; BOURBON.
This is not a daily blog (I have twitter and facebook for that) but since I’m a Whiskey Professor, I will go in depth here on this site with many articles and diagrams to educate folks on the different aspects of bourbon. From Mash Bills, production, aging, everything from grain to glass. You should always enjoy what you like, but know WHY you like it too. You can take Whiskey 101 course levels, 201, on up to Graduate courses if you will. There’s also a few fun puzzles and quizes so have at it!
You’ll also be able to see my calendar and where you can join me for a tasting, or book signing – and OH, speaking of that, like i said 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!
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.
Congrats to Liquor.com for winning the 2013 James Beard Award for How to Cocktail videos!!! http://youtube.com/liquor
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 have a son, Freddie, but he needs to get out of college before he can even think about joining the family business. Bourbon is so popular now that we couldn’t wait for him to graduate, so we brought in Bernie Lubbers to help promote Knob Creek and our other bourbons. Now Bernie’s not from a distilling family, but he caught on pretty darn quick. I had heard Bernie’s name and voice on the “Bob & Tom Show” radio program in the morning, so I knew he’d have a leg up, as a lot of this job is being able to talk to just about any type of person around and to communicate a fairly complicated topic like bourbon.
I guess he had 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 May 2nd, 2013 in Whiskey Quiz's and Puzzles with 0 Comments
Here’s another quiz to test what you know about The Spirit Of America 1. What major role does MALTED BARLEY play in the whiskey making process (for American Whiskey)? 2. What is the main advantage of CORN in the whiskey making process? 3. What type of whiskey was George Washington making at Mount Vernon from [...]
Posted on April 16th, 2013 in Whiskey Quiz's and Puzzles with 0 Comments
1. TRUE or FALSE BOURBON WHISKEY must be spelled with an “E” 2. What does Ushka Beyha mean? 3. Where was the Old fashioned created, also known for creating Henry Baines Steak Sauce? Bonus for the city it is in? 4. How does Tennessee Whiskey differ from bourbon? 5. Crown Royal is what type of [...]
Posted on April 9th, 2013 in Whiskey 101 with 0 Comments
This is a nice illustration of basic distillation, hopefully without getting too technical, MILLING: We get truck loads of corn, rye, wheat, malted barley in and we put those grains in silos. Depending on the recipe of the whiskey we are going to make, we grind up the grains and weigh them to the [...]
Posted on February 20th, 2013 in Whiskey Quiz's and Puzzles with 0 Comments
What makes a whiskey “straight’? What is the definition of the broad category of “whiskey”? What is a small batch bourbon or whiskey? How do you make an Old Fashioned? What is the difference between a wheat bourbon, and a wheat whiskey? What does the grain RYE bring to the final flavor of a whiskey? [...]
Posted on February 15th, 2013 in Whiskey 201 with 0 Comments
Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, Jim Beam, Pappy Van Winkle, JW Dant, JTS Brown, Basil Hayden. Who are/were these guys? Ever wonder? Well wonder no more…I’ve done, and am still researching, and if you would help me out, and if you have anything to add please put in the comments, or email me, and I’ll add it [...]
Posted on February 15th, 2013 in Whiskey 101 with 2 Comments
Visiting the Distilleries In Kentucky…And You Will! In 2012 we broke the 500,000 mark of folks that visited the Bourbon Trail here in Kentucky! That number is just going to go up, and up, and up in the years to come. There’s always confusion and frustration on some people’s parts when they get [...]
Bernie sings a song he wrote about the Native Spirit of the U.S. – Bourbon. See if you can pick out the 18 bourbons mentioned in the song as well as famous bourbon icons, and other bourbon “stuff”.
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