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!
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 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 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 [...]
Posted on October 17th, 2014 in Whiskey 201 with 1 Comment
What’s The Difference between Whisk(e)y and Bourbon? It’s still the most asked question I get traveling around the country. And now after my trip to Europe this past summer, it was a biggie there too! So what IS the difference between Whiskey and Bourbon, and what’s the deal with the (e) in Whisk(e)y? First, the [...]
Posted on September 24th, 2014 in Whiskey 401 with 0 Comments
Click in the link below to view The Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits – American Whisky (Corn Whisky, Bourbon Whisky, Rye Whisky, Wheat Whisky, Malt Whisky, Rye Malt Whisky, Bottled In Bond, Canadian Whisky, Scotch Whisky, and Irish Whiskey. CLICK THE LINK BELOW: TTB Standards_BIB_IrishETC
Posted on September 15th, 2014 in Whiskey 101 with 0 Comments
Happy Kentucky Bourbon Festival y’all! To those of us who live in Kentucky and are in the Bourbon Business, this is our Super Bowl, our World Cup! If you haven’t come before, I suggest that if you’re a bourbon lover, or a whisk(e)y lover in general, you should make it sometime. Many folks ask me, [...]
Posted on August 15th, 2014 in Whiskey 301 with 0 Comments
In 1879 a man by the name of Frederick Stitzel applied for and received a patent on an improvement in Racks for Tiering Barrels. Here is a copy of a portion of that patent: fi Zm’ Snares PATEN FREDERICK STITZEL, OF LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY. Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 22 L945, dated November 25, [...]
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