#28: Adam Spiegel of Sonoma County Distilling Company

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The Beast Masters traveled to Sonoma, CA for a private tour and tasting with Adam Spiegel, founder and distiller at Sonoma County Distilling Co.

Adam was kind enough to show us around his distillery and warehouses and give us a behind the scenes peek at how Sonoma County produces their unique take on a variety of pot distilled whiskies. From their Alembic Hoga stills hand crafted in Portugal and modeled on the original, ancient Arab water distillers to their method of slightly down proofing and  finishing their whiskies in first fill barrels, there’s a lot of interesting distilling craft at work in Adam’s world. These unique approaches have certainly produced some very tasty craft whiskeys and great success Sonoma Distilling. They are currently expanding the operation from a 6000 to a 12000 sq ft footprint to meet demand for their West of Kentucky Bourbons and Sonoma Ryes. 

Tune in to hear the story of a truly passionate, dedicated craftsman devoted to creating whiskies using time honored, traditional methods and local, sustainable ingredients. Sonoma County Distilling is really a grain to glass operation where every step of the process is treated with love and devoted attention. 

#27: Jimmy & Bruce Russell - Wild Turkey Barrel Picking

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Beast Masters Club and Wall Street Journal Plus bring you an interview and private barrel selection from Wild Turkey's legendary bourbon-maker Jimmy Russell.

Beast Masters Club and The Wall Street Journal Plus bring you a rare treat: an interview with Wild Turkey's Jimmy Russell and the chance to pick a private barrel of bourbon! With over 60 years of whiskey making experience running Wild Turkey, Jimmy Russell is a true bourbon legend. Jimmy and his grandson Bruce, now the fourth generation Russell at Wild Turkey, sit down with the Beast Masters to pick a private barrel of Wild Turkey Bourbon.  

#26: Dusty Battle Royale - Josh Feldman vs Josh Richholt

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Once again, the doors to the Beast Masters battle arena were flung open to see two true masters of the dusty whiskey hunt engage in combat. The treasures they unleashed were truly epic, but only one could leave as champion!

These two expert dusty connoisseurs fought bravely to own the title of Champion Dusty Hunter. Each brought forth a serious bounty of dusty whiskey treats for the Beast Masters audience to judge. 

Josh Feldman came strong with a John Gibson & Co. Rye which was distilled prior to Prohibition in 1917 but bottled as medicinal whiskey during Prohibition at 11 years old in 1928, and a 1955 Jim Beam, Old Grecian Urn special glass decanter.  Josh Richholt brought some serious heat with a 1976 Bourbon de Luxe and a 1978 Wild Turkey 101, 8 Year "Limited Edition Ceramic Strutting Turkey" decanter labeled as, "No. 8 and Final in a Series." So we were all set to face off with some excellent old hooch and some super badass limited edition funky decanters!

It's safe to say we were all winners on this night of dusty love, but tune in to see who emerged to claim the title of Champion Dusty Hunter... At least until next time a worthy contender wants to rise to the occasion and see if they can etch their name in the annals of Beast Masters lore.

 

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#25: Four Roses Barrel Picking with Al Young

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Legendary Four Roses Distillery Manger, Al Young treated the Beast Masters to an incredible Kentucky bourbon barrel picking session.

When we arrived at Four Roses on a sunny morning in March, Al had a number of casks laid out for our day’s picking endeavor. Under Al’s expert guidance we tasted through six barrels pulled from a variety of Four Roses’ rickhouses and spanning a nice cross section of their different recipes. When all was said and done, our crack team of Hot Pickle Society inductees landed on the High Rye OBSV BEAST of a bourbon that has been dubbed, “It Must Have Been The Roses.” This 121 proof bad boy stuck out immediately in the tasting as a deep, rich, spicy, flavorful bourbon with a gorgeous finish that goes on for days.  

We sat down to chat with Al following our epic barrel picking session to review the barrel pick and get a bit of Al’s perspective on the world of whiskey and how we’ve come to where we are now in the industry. We also discussed Al’s special limited edition 50th Anniversary bottling and how they came to formulate the blend of Four Roses selections that went into it. We hope you enjoy cracking open a bottle of It Must Have Been The Roses and sipping along with us. We’re very glad to be able to share this with you all.  

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#24: One Bourbon, One Scotch & One Beer Battle - Nate Woodruff vs Shane Helmick

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Once again two intrepid contenders step into our Whiskey Thunderdome - this time to decide who will be named the first ever One Bourbon, One Scotch & One Beer Champion by our Beast Masters Members!

Enter the worthy contenders: Nate Woodruff of Whisky With A View and Shane Helmick of How to Drink Whisky. Each brought the eponymous, One Bourbon, One Scotch & One Beer. Each listened to George Thorogood records nonstop for a minimum of two weeks.

Enter the esteemed Judges: Dana “Mrs. Beast” Zeller, Jake “The Whiskey Warrior” Cahill and Ben "The Nicknameless" Paluba. Each has taken a solemn vow to guide the Beast Masters through this epic battle and inform the club wisely in casting their votes to ultimately decide who will reign as One Bourbon, One Scotch & One Beer Champion. Remember, the judges will certainly offer their evaluations and criticisms in spades, but ultimately, the audience decides the fate of our two hopeful prospects.

Enter our wise host and master of ceremonies: Steve “SmokyBeast” Zeller. Keeping all these players in line and sober enough to do their jobs is no easy task.  

Who will be vanquished? Who shall prevail to hold and defend the title of OBOSOB Champion? Draw near, listen and be amazed by this tale of skill, courage, bravery and beverages.

Don’t miss our next Dusty Whiskey battle on October 27th between Josh Feldman of The Coopered Tot and Josh Richholt owner of The Well in Bushwick, Brooklyn. 

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