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Steve Akley Presents...

This Month's Bourbon Zeppelin Feature Article

The 2018 New Orleans Bourbon Festival

by Colonel Steve Akley


Bigger, Better, "Amazinger" in 2018

Okay, admittedly, "amazinger" isn't a word. It should be though, and if the good people from Webster's Dictionary would simply attend the 2018 New Orleans Bourbon Festival I am guessing we have a decent shot at including it in this year's catalog of new words.

I attended the inaugural Bourbon Festival in New Orleans last year. The conventional wisdom is to avoid first year festivals. Organizers need a minimum of a year to work out the kinks. Let others suffer through the first year and then start going in year two or three once all of the bugs are worked out.

I have to say, I am so glad I attended last year. It was literally one of the most amazing experiences in my life and clearly at the top of my "bourbon experiences."

I'm a person in my group of friends who often organizes things. Parties. Outings. The fantasy football league. I do this for two reasons:

1. No one else does anything... anything! (Sad, but true.)

2. I'm busy and cherish my spare time. If I'm going to tear myself away from whatever it is I find myself so busy doing, I want it to be worth my while. I have a spare time set of standards if you will. Knowing this I always set the criteria for determining if something seems worthwhile by measuring is it being done as I would do it. For me, this is key.

Well, the beautiful part about what is happening in New Orleans is that Tracy Napolitano and his wife Barbara Hirsch are doing an amazing job. I always say the key to their success is they are organizing it as fans, but bringing the professionalism of event organizers. Yep, it's exactly how I would do it myself, if I could organize a bourbon festival.

In fact, it's exceeds my criteria. It's better. Tracy and Barbara stretch their imaginations to come up with the most amazing festival you can imagine.

Are you doubting me?

Well, there are several keys to the fun. Let's take a look at what I say makes the New Orleans Bourbon Festival the premier bourbon event in the country:
  • Bourbon Dinners - The festivities kick off on Thursday the 8th of March with bourbon dinners. Events, at amazing restaurants, hosted by key people from the distilleries. It's the perfect pairing of cuisine, bourbon and your first opportunity to rub elbows with some of your favorite people from the world of bourbon.
  • Bourbon Celebrities - There isn't an event like this where you can meet so many people from the Bourbon World in one place. They are so accessible, too! I'm talking Fred Noe, Freddie Noe, Trey Zoeller, Eddie Russell, Bruce Russell, Denny Potter, Bernie Lubbers, Greg Davis and so many more. In addition to those in the industry, the bourbon media is out in force as well. Carla Carlton, Maggie Kimbrel, Mike Veach, Fred Minnick, Susan Reigler and so many more.
  • Bourbon Education - There are 31 sessions at the 2018 New Orleans Bourbon Festival spread out over 2 days. What an amazing way to learn about your favorite distilled spirit from subject matter experts within the industry. By the way, most sessions involve tastings as well.
  • The Grand Tastings - Speaking of tastings, two evenings are dedicated to grand tastings where you can enjoy a nearly unlimited selection of bourbon offerings from distilleries spread out across the United States. Oh, by the way, there is food there from some of the best restaurants in one of the best cities to dine. Hello!
  • The City of New Orleans - One of the biggest draws is the city itself. There is so much to do and experience above and beyond what's happening at the festival, The Big Easy can't be beat, particularly in early March when most of the country hasn't yet thawed out.
Yep, it's true, I love the New Orleans Bourbon Festival. It's the perfect mixture of education, entertainment and opportunity to meet so many from the world of bourbon that I appreciate so much. 

I will be in New Orleans March 8-10. I hope to see you there as well. To learn more, and get your tickets, head over to
This time of the year may be slow in the bourbon industry, but, for us, we're rolling right along at Bourbon Zeppelin. We've got some great content here. In addition to the information on the 2018 New Orleans Bourbon Festival, we've got articles on a 45-year-old (not a typo) bourbon, liquor and the Catholic Church, Zelda Fitzgerald (written by ABV Network host McNew) and much more.

Just like I always like to say... I hope you enjoy reading this as much as we had putting it together.

Editor-in-Chief of Bourbon Zeppelin, Owner of the ABV Network, Podcast Writer, Producer & On-Air Personality, 30+ Year Bourbon Fan, Maker's Mark Ambassador (Ambassador #14,903/member since 2000), Four Roses Mellow Moments Club Member (2016), Author of the Best-Selling Cocktail Book Series Bourbon Mixology (Four Volumes, 2015-Present), Apprenticed at a Bourbon Distillery (2016), Completed the Bourbon Trail (2016), Executive Bourbon Steward (2017), Whiskey Warrior Award Winner (May '17), Founding Member Jefferson's Bourbon Ambassador Program (2017), Barrel Selection Committee Member for New Orleans Bourbon Festival (2018), & Kentucky Colonel (2016).
Table of Contents
March 8-11, 2018: Be there!
Plan on attending the 2018 New Orleans Bourbon Festival where The Bourbon Show will once again be the official podcast of the Festival. Steve Akley, Renee Howe, Evan Haskill, Andrea Holak, Jeremy Schell, Seth P. Brown and many more from the team will be in attendance from the ABV Network.

Historic Bourbon, 45 Years in the Barrel, to be sold at the Frazier

For the very first time a bourbon that aged in the barrel for 45 years will be available to bourbon enthusiasts. The Frazier History Museum, as the official starting point of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Welcome Center, is partnering with Final Reserve and its owner, James "Buddy" Thompson, in this introduction. Fewer than 250 bottles of Final Reserve, James Thompson & Brother Bourbon will be available for purchase at the Frazier on Thursday, March 1, 2018. 

The Frazier, in partnership with Buddy Thompson and the Bourbon Classic, is hosting an exclusive cocktail and tasting event on the evening of March 1st. Guest will be provided with the rare opportunity to taste history, when Final Reserve is made available to ticket holders for tastings. Tickets will be available shortly at

All profits from the sale of Final Reserve and the tasting event will benefit various veterans groups and the Frazier History Museum.

Jack Rose Dining Saloon in Washington, D.C will lead tastings of the rare Final Reserve Bourbon during the event on the evening of March 1, 2018. "We're excited to celebrate Final Reserve with the Frazier Museum," said Bill Thomas, owner of Jack Rose. Jack Rose Dining Saloon prides itself on being America's premier whiskey bar featuring over 2000 bottles of rare and exceptional whiskey.  

"This is one of the most fascinating project endeavors we've ever participated in," said Bourbon Classic Review organizer and Bourbon Review Publisher, Seth Thompson. "To represent this during the Bourbon Classic and take part in something so special and unique, is truly the honor of a lifetime!"
A select few Bourbon enthusiasts will not only get a chance to purchase a 750-milliliter bottle of Final Reserve, they will also receive a 100-milliliter tasting bottle, a crystal tasting glass, a piece of a stave from the barrel, and 12-page booklet telling Thompson's story, all packaged beautifully in a crafted display case. A second release of Final Reserve, in the barrel for 43 years, is scheduled for June 2018 as part of the Kentucky Bourbon Affair™.

The Story: Final Reserve - James Thompson & Brother
In the early 1970's Glenmore Distilleries was anticipating several anniversary events and thought it would be nice to have some really old bourbon for commemorative bottling, so a few barrels of the oldest recipe were set aside to rest a while longer.

Unexpected things happen and in 1991 Glenmore was acquired by the Guinness Company and it became a small part of a very large and successful enterprise. By then the old bourbon distillery had been dismantled and its unique configuration was destroyed, marking the end of an era and the end of a product and its tradition. Still, the selected barrels that had been set aside slept on for another two decades, their contents spending more time in the barrel than any bourbon available in the market.

Buddy and his friends tasted the aging bourbon every now and then and decided 40-plus years in the barrel is long enough. It was time! All of the barrels have lost a major portion of their contents to the Angel's Share, but a limited amount of the bourbon carried through in grand fashion. The strength has grown from 107 to an average of 115-barrel proof today. Final Reserve, James Thompson & Brother Bourbon was bottled at Strong Spirits in Bardstown, KY on Wednesday, December 13th, 2017.
James "Buddy" Thompson, the former President of Glenmore Distillery, is a pilot, an inventor, and builder. He is 86-years-old. After earning an engineering degree at Yale in 1954 Thompson worked a few years at the family distillery, then graduated from U of L School of Law in 1962. He was active in community organizations, such as the United Way, the Airport Authority and the J Graham Brown Cancer Center. Thompson has a been flying since the age of 13, earning his pilot's license when the law would allow, after the age of 16. He now not only flies airplanes, he also builds them, along with blimps and other airborne engineering marvels. In 1974 Thompson rejoined Glenmore when his brother was stricken with cancer. He remained in the management of the company until 1991, when Guinness acquired Glenmore. Thompson stayed on until his retirement in 1996. Final Reserve, James Thompson & Brother Bourbon, is a celebration of the Thompson family's great name in Kentucky and bourbon history. 
Taxes, Duties & Long Lines
Greetings and Cheers all! 

I hope everyone is having a great start to the New Year. January brings with it the usual deep freeze and snow in Canada but, also the hopeful trickle of some of last year's new releases up North if the brands have distribution. So far, one of the more exciting offerings has been the barrel strength Michter's Toasted Barrel Rye. It's like Christmas has come late. I sure hope many more can follow. My December didn't work out for any of the lotteries that I entered, so another year to wait until I might acquire a Van Winkle or BTAC, but, that is ok, for there are other bourbons to drink.  

It seems that the trend, in the US, for the best bourbons for the dollar, are quickly becoming store picks and hopefully that trend starts to become more common in Canada. A few stores in my area have been able to acquire a few barrels of both bourbon and Canadian ryes through the selection process and I have been quite impressed with the uniqueness over the standard offerings. Since the selection of bourbon in Canada is quite meager compared with the US, I feel that the unique and niche bourbons are going to lead the way for Canadian bourbon drinkers to expand their palates and try new things. Speaking of new things, the other hot growth in the bourbon section of stores in my area are smaller or craft distillery options.  

I am very excited about this move in the offerings since I am a big fan of what craft distilleries are putting out. Not everything is great, but everything is inventive and adventurous. I have seen distilleries from Washington, Colorado, Texas, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Wyoming, and of course Kentucky represented. The current move in the craft market of Canadian distilleries seems to be higher proof offerings and the growth of using a mash bill for fermentation which makes me look forward to what might come out of Canada as well. I am hopeful that a few of my favorites from the the US, Woodinville Whiskey, J. Henry and Sons Distillery, and of course Silverback Distillery will expand their distribution to Canada. Either way, I will keep drinking what I can find up North. 

It has been a rather slow month for acquisitions but, I was holding out for getting a lottery pick and didn't get anything new. The spring time is for trips south to get a few hard to get bottles that are not available here yet. As soon as the winter ends, I will be hitting the road. The holiday season was busy here but the bourbon selection didn't increase yet but in the coming months, the best comes our way. Looking forward to the new choices and sharing with you all about the hunt up North. Keep searching, keep drinking, and keep enjoying in this New Year. 

Cheers Y'all!!
About Thomas Springtson
Thomas Springston is a U.S. born and raised Southerner now living in Alberta, Canada 🇨🇦.  As a lifelong adventurer and bourbon fan, he finds the search for good bourbons up north a welcomed challenge. He would like to share the journey with y'all and spread the love of bourbon and the hunt up in Canada. He is honored to be able to write a little here in this great newsletter and cruise on the Bourbon Zeppelin with fellow #abvnetworkcrew members. Follow along on Instagram:  

Review of Two Bitch Spirits 9-Year-Old Pack Leader Reserve Straight Bourbon

Our own Colonel Steve reviews Two Bitch Spirits 9-Year-Old Pack Leader Reserve Straight Bourbon. He notes this one is something special and claims it's the first entry into the discussion for the 2018 Bourbon of the Year. He has a complete review on his blog. Check it out now by clicking here!

Colonel Steve also notes it's for sale on a website called for only $83.99! Pick up your bottle today by clicking here!
Like any business, Bourbon Zeppelin has expenses. While we've elected to go with a strict no advertising policy, those fans who enjoy reading BZ and want to assist in helping with some of these expenses now can since we have started a Patreon page. We've got rewards and recognition for those who can help us continue to deliver incredible and unique bourbon-focused content.
The ABV Network is the fastest growing podcast network on the web. Here's the latest news with this exciting group of shows, many of which are helmed by Bourbon Zeppelin contributors.

Donn Lux of Luxco
Featured on The Bourbon Show - Today!

by Colonel Steve Akley
We have some great programming coming up on the ABV Network. Here's a sneak peak at some of the upcoming shows:
The Bourbon Show
January 19 - We sample OBR which is a Luxco product (then David Sherman) that was made by Stitzel-Weller.
February 1 - Rob Samuels of Maker's Mark is joining us.
February 15 - The legendary Master Distiller Ed Foote of Stitzel-Weller will be interviewed. 

The Bourbon Daily
January 19 - We talk to Jonathan Blue, about his company, Blue Equity, about their acquisition of the Liquor Barn stores in Kentucky.
January 22- We have a great interview with Jason Brauner, owner of Bourbons Bistro in Louisville.
January 31 - We talk to our good friends, Joe & Lauren Luby of Two Bitch Bourbon.

Bourbon History
January 18 - Colonel E.H. Taylor with subject matter experts Marianne Barnes and bourbon historian Brett Connors
January 25 - The Rise of Four Roses with subject matter expert Al Young

Bourbon Bettys
January 15 - The Bettys share their favorite bourbon cocktails.
January 22 - The Betties talk about cooking with bourbon.
January 29 - The Bettys discuss their favorite people from the world of bourbon.

ABV Network shows can be found on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Libsyn and more. Just search for the name of the show!

Deals for Bourbon Zeppelin Readers
Save 30% off of your order on the TheBar2Go with the coupon code "ABVN".

Save 15% on your order at RoundTable Woodworks when you use the coupon code, "thebourbonshow".

Please support our sponsors so we continue to deliver incredible entertainment!
#ABVNetworkCrew - Join the Revolution
The ABV Network recently announced a listener loyalty program designed to reward fans of the network's programs. Win contests, get invitations to come onto shows, receive an insider's newsletter and much more. Joining is simple... just register on the ABV Network website and put the hashtag "#ABVNetworkCrew" in your social media profiles.
by Derek Haas
Breakfast Bourbon 


  • 1 cup brewed hot tea
  • 1 oz bourbon (High West)
  • 1/2 oz maple syrup (Dorset Bourbon-Aged)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 orange zest 

How to Make the Drink:

  1. Boil 1 cup of water for tea.
  2. Add tea bag, bourbon and maple syrup.
  3. Stir tea and add orange zest and cinnamon stick for garnish.
  4. Let tea bag steep for 2-3 min and remove.
About Derek Haas
Derek Haas AKA @spirited_amateur on Instagram lives in NYC where he is a Manager of Recruiting at a global fashion company. Derek has recently developed a passion for crafted cocktails after visiting the countless speakeasy and cocktail bars around Manhattan. Bourbon is always his first choice but he tries to experiment with other spirits as well.
Bourbon Nuggets
Did you catch our episode on January 1 with Bruce Russell of Wild Turkey? If not, you should. Click here to give it a listen!

Hosted this month by:

Zelda Fitzgerald

My first thought on this was F. Scott Fitzgerald; my favorite author and the creator of the man most known for elaborate parties, Jay Gatsby. Then I thought about who inspired Mr. Fitzgerald and that would be Miss Zelda Sayre of Montgomery Alabama, who would later become his wife. Many of Scott’s writings were taken right out of Zelda’s diary and characters such as Daisy Buchanan were modeled after Zelda with lines that were often her own quotes.

Zelda was an “it girl” in her home town. A judge’s daughter who never followed the family rules, a beautiful free spirit who won the heart of any man that crossed her path. She met Scott while he was stationed with the Army at Camp Sheridan and later married him at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. While in New York Zelda and Scott were the focus of many gossip columns due to their drunken shenanigans; most famously swimming at night in a public fountain. A dram with Zelda would surely turn into at least three more and lead to a fascinating night on the town resulting in great stories to be told later.

Zelda who appeared to be a reckless a party girl had many deep passions of her own. She was the ideal image of a flapper of the Golden Age of Jazz; but she was also a ballerina, a painter, and a better writer than her husband. I feel like Zelda is a kindred spirit; there’s much more to both of us than ever meets the eye. She has inspired me for years resulting in two tattoos of her quotes. My favorite being: “Parfois la folie est la suggesse” which translates to “Sometimes madness is wisdom.” I not only would have loved to spend a night on the town with her, but also to have a drink at brunch and find out her deepest thoughts on her place in the world. 

About This Month's Guest Columnist
Stephanie McNew is a co-host on The Bourbon Daily where she goes simply by the name: McNew. She's a bourbon fan who enjoys traveling to Kentucky to tour distilleries. She's part of the bourbon crew on Instagram where she goes by the name: @miss_mcnew.

People so awesome they are inducted to the Bourbon Zeppelin Hall of Fame

by John Edwards

Okay, okay, I’ve trolled you all long enough. In fact, I was able to hold out almost a year until the unrest from the readers was too much to simply ignore. I was able to last through releases, Bourbon Heritage Month, and the holidays; but, now, I simply must give you all what you want. You know who I’m talking about... the man everyone knows as Julian Preston Van Winkle, otherwise known as “Pappy”.

Van Winkle was born in Danville, Kentucky to a prominent family. In fact, his uncle was the Secretary of State for the Commonwealth of Kentucky and his father was a lawyer. This afforded him great opportunities, such as studying at Danville’s own Centre College.

In 1893, after finishing his studies, Pappy was faced with a real problem for new graduates: where am I going to work? Luckily for us, he stumbled his way into the business of bourbon, starting as a salesman for W.L. Weller. At the time, Weller was only a rectifier, meaning that he did not produce spirits himself, but purchased from others, blending, and re-sold those spirts to his consumers. Their primary supplier was the A.Ph. Stitzel Distillery. During this time, Julian was travelling from bars and other drinking establishments to share samples and get the party started. I wonder what swag they gave out back then?!
In 1896, W.L. Weller retired leaving the keys to the car to his sons while Van Winkle ascended up the corporate ladder. By 1915 Julian and Alex T. Farnsley, a co-worker, had horded enough stock to oust the sons as the owners of the company. Thankfully, his leadership was able to guide the company through Prohibition. Pappy merged Weller with Stitzel to create the famous Stitzel-Weller Distillery, which opened on Derby Day in 1935. At the same time, he did what others did during that time and sold medicinal whiskey. He also had the foresight for an acquisition, and took over the Old Fitzgerald brand, which became their crown jewel offering.
After Prohibition ended, the distillery faced a problem that many distilleries at the time faced. They didn’t have enough stock to meet the growing demand for legal whiskey. To solve for this, they did an interesting thing with a line they called “Carolina Club”. They ended up releasing a three-month version, then six months, then nine months, a one-year, and finally a two-year old version until they got back on track. It was at this time that they also had developed their wheated mashbill, deciding that it tasted better than a traditional mash when enjoyed younger.
You would probably be surprised that there was never a bourbon named after Pappy during his lifetime. Yes, Stitzel-Weller put out brands like Cabin Still, Rebel Yell, Old Fitzgerald, W.L. Weller, and Old Rip Van Winkle, but no Pappy (yes that’s right, Old Rip is not Pappy 10).
Julian retired at young age of 90 in 1964, but unfortunately passed the following year. His legacy lives on through his lineage, who resurrected the Old Rip Van Winkle line and added in the Lot B, Pappy Van Winkle 15 year, Pappy Van Winkle 20 year, and Pappy Van Winkle 23 year offerings by sourcing juice from Stitzel-Weller after they sold their stake to the company.
It was Pappy’s leadership, dedication, and drive that laid the foundation for the greatness of the Stitzel-Weller Distillery, the Weller line, and subsequently the “Pappy” line. If it weren’t for his decision-making abilities during and after Prohibition, many of us would never know his name or the Stitzel-Weller distillery. Without his groundwork, you wouldn’t camp out overnight or try your luck at lotteries. When you think about it, those experiences sometimes are better than the bourbon you may or may not get as a result. Talk about being awesome. 


The following individuals have entered the Bourbon Zeppelin Hall of Fame:

Elmer T. Lee -- George Garvin Brown -- Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. --
Jimmy Russell -- Al Young -- Dixon Dedman -- Parker Beam -- George T. Stagg -- You 
Julian "Pappy" Van Winkle

About John Edwards
John Edwards, otherwise known on Instagram as @subourbon_dad, is a former award winning sports broadcaster turned Client Engagement Manager and Project Manager for technology and healthcare companies. Although originally born in New England, it was his many years in Kentucky and eventually Nashville, Tennessee where he honed his appreciation for the finer things in life: horse racing, basketball, and bourbon. Most days he can be found spending time with his family, but you can find him most nights, after his wife and daughter go to bed, sipping bourbon, and talking to the good people of the bourbon community. You can find his bourbon reviews on and can also find him on his Instagram Live Show on Sunday nights at 9:30pm CST @dadsdrinkingbourbon

Liquor & Liturgy, Round Three:

The Rebel Preacher and the Catholic View

by Abby H.
Before we jump into a pro-liquor stance from another perspective, recent reading1 has alerted me to the fact that the namesake for one of the most well-known bourbons was himself Baptist. This discovery is part of what delights me about the interplay of religion and alcohol: it changes over the years. While I was raised to believe it was immoral, I was surprised as a kid to discover that religious holy men themselves brewed alcohol, sometimes at their own monasteries. Elijah Craig was such a man, and while he didn’t actually invent bourbon, he was a fascinating person, and a rebel in his own right. As a Baptist minister, he was jailed for preaching without a license, a thing that could happen in those days, when Anglicanism received state funding to maintain the status quo2. Thus, in the days when Baptists were the exception, rather than the norm, he pushed ahead.

In addition to his daring ministry, he started a distillery in the late 1700’s that led to great wealth. Today’s 
Independent Baptists are fiercely anti-alcohol, but one of their earliest predecessors in this country, at least, was not.
 * * *
Now, to the more historically pro-alcohol stance of the Catholic church. As a 20-year-old in Argentina, I was living with a family in Buenos Aires. Like most Argentines, they were Catholic, and took me along to Mass on occasions like Easter and Palm Sunday, where (gasp!) Communion (as I knew it; the correct term is actually the Eucharist— was served with real wine, albeit a holy one that changes form). I enjoyed getting their perspective, since I had not had a great deal of contact up to that point with the Roman Catholic faith; it was far from prevalent in the small Georgia town where I attended high school. Of course, many of my peers still drank at parties on Saturday while attending church on Sunday, yet I, for whatever reason, never heard about it. Okay, so this is why: I was a total goody-two shoes, and would’ve been more inclined to tell on ‘em than join in. 

How times have changed!

In any case, I finally realized what was happening when I asked a friend why the youth pastor was always talking about how bad drinking is, and he let me in on the secret. That, however, is the closest I came to linking alcohol and religion as a teen.

In Argentina, things were different. Usually, to be honest, the only people I saw drinking to excess at the bars in Buenos Aires were... Americans, who would sometimes behave in less-than-impressive ways. Meanwhile, teens in B.A. would hang out for hours sipping their wine or cocktails with practically European-level chill. The drinking age was technically 18, but not enforced. My two house-siblings drank with ease, both at the dinner table and when I occasionally went out with them. It seemed that drinking—in moderation, at least—was quite normal, though it did feature wine more heavily than liquor. I would have to return to the U.S. to discover whiskey and bourbon, but for an introduction to drinking without drama, it was a good place to start.

The Catholic view on drinking differs strongly from the Baptist one in which I was raised. Officially, the Church states that alcohol is “morally neutral,” an idea more fully fleshed out 
here.  It warns against the ills of drunkenness and the importance of honoring one’s family in all things, a wise take.

On a practical level, there seems to be a consistent view of liquor as possibly beneficial, according to the research I enjoyed for this piece. Of particular interest is 
this piece, which actually critiques a Protestant take on the ills of drinking alcohol in all settings as Biblically inaccurate. In another, Sean P. Dailey elevates imbibing to near-sacred status in “The Lost Art of Catholic Drinking” and discusses miracles and historical figures associated with it. He also touches on the extremes of different Protestant positions, describing the tendency in the way I was raised for people to go to one extreme or the other—a position contemplated in research by a professor at Indiana University here.

In all three articles, the consensus seems clear: drinking to excess is wrong and unwise, but to forbid it for all can be, too. My own experiences have borne this out, and I find the Catholic way a smart one. One of my friendships birthed in Argentina came about in part from sharing many bottles of wine, as that much-loved friend declared, “You don’t really know somebody until you’ve shared a bottle of wine with them!” I am grateful for discovering this “third way” between excess and teetotaling—though, of course, I am no saint when it comes to the former. I think in most things, moderation is a good idea, and the Catholic position seems to echo this belief.

Of course, many Protestant denominations use real wine in their versions of the Eucharist and have this middle-view towards alcohol consumption. I just didn’t know it yet as a teen abroad! To fill in the gaps in my own experience, I will be interviewing a woman who enjoys good wine and grew up Catholic for the next edition of “Liquor and Liturgy”—but for now, I will leave you to 2018 and your own tippling with a hearty "Cheers!"

Mitenbuler, Reid. 
Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America’s Whiskey. 10 May 2016. Penguin Books: New York, New York.


Abby H. aka @flaskandpen
Abby H., curiously handled @flaskandpen on Instagram, is an English teacher with a flair for the dramatic (who’da thunk?!). After teaching in Vegas for years, she has bounced around, and is now in Kuwait after time in Beijing, China and the more mundane-when-there’s-no-hurricane Jacksonville, FL, where the craft cocktail scene led to a new love for whiskey. Bourbon, in particular, with its smokey charred barrels, thrills her the most. 
Bourbon Nuggets
Did you know the ABV Network's Katie Garrett owns one of the top bourbon bars in the country with her place, Old Hickory Whiskey Bar in Pensacola, Florida? She has an amazing selection of whiskey, including plenty of bourbon selections. Check it out if you find yourself that way!
And finally...
by Evan Haskill

Evan is on vacation this month but will be returning in February.

About Evan Haskill
Evan Haskill is the former co-host of The Bourbon Show and The Bourbon Daily. He left his role at the ABV Network to spend more time with his two young children. We are pleased to have him on the Bourbon Zeppelin staff. You can follow him online running the 311 Youth Housing page on Instagram: @311YouthHousing
Further Reading...
by Colonel Steve Akley
I have launched a blog on under the "Cool Muses" section called, "Our Bourbon Journey. It's a combination of my personal bourbon journey, the journey of my team at the ABV Network, what's happening at the ABV Network and bourbon reviews.

If you love Bourbon Zeppelin, you are going to also love this blog. Check it out today!
Items from Steve and the Bourbon Zeppelin team
Bourbon Mixology is author Steve Akley's best selling book of all-time. The premise is simple: have 50 iconic bars share their signature bourbon cocktail. The bars selected do not fail to impress with their unique takes on some classic drinks and well as some very original creations.

The book literally becomes a travel companion piece as you will want to see out these bars on your next business trip or vacation. Get your copy right now!
Buy Now
Bourbon Mixology Volume 4 is author Steve Akley's newest bourbon cocktail book. In this edition, 50 craft distilleries share signature bourbon cocktails made with their bourbon. 

Grab your copy today!
Buy Now
Mules and More takes a look at beer cocktails which have increased in popularity with the resurgence of the Moscow Mule. In this book, 40 craft breweries share their signature beer cocktail. 

Grab your copy today!
Buy Now
We are always looking for interesting things from the world of bourbon. If you have something you would like to write about, or think we should be writing about, just send us a note!
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The Bourbon Zeppelin Sample Policy
Bourbon Zeppelin accepts product samples in exchange for a fair and honest review by a B.Z. team member or members.

The Bourbon Zeppelin Jack Daniel's Policy
We love it. While it's classified as "Tennessee Whiskey" it's treated with the same as any other bourbon here.
By the way, the same goes for George Dickel (we love them, too!)
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342 Likes as of January 15, up from 334 on December 15. Help us get more!
Goal = 1,000,000 Likes (0.000342 of goal achieved so far)
Our Favorite Blogs:

Patreon Supporters of Bourbon Zeppelin
Patreon Status -

Gold Status -

Diamond Status - Erik Hasselgärde

Pappy Status - Corby Harris, William Reigle, Sandy Akley, Stacey Spears, Derek Haas & Tom Szydelko.
Bourbon Zeppelin - The Team
In addition to the guest contributors, Bourbon Zeppelin has an incredible staff in addition to editor and publisher Steve Akley. Steve's daughter Cat runs the BZ Facebook page. The writing team includes the following Columnists: Renee Howe, Abby H., Noah Hughes, Six Feet of Dynamite, Aaron Cave, Evan Haskill, Andrea Holak, Greg Schneider, John Edwards, Zac Smith, Thomas Springston and Tanya Lawrence.

Interested in joining the B.Z. team as a contributor? If so, just email Steve Akley to talk about it!
Special thanks to the following individuals who are involved in the production of Bourbon Zeppelin yet help us promote the brand just because they are fans of our work: Larry Akley (#1), Henry Rimpler (#2), TJ Ivey (#11), Rommel Morales (#12) and Matt Walker (#13), Blue Dram (#14), Andrew McGuinness (#15), Chris Lojkovic (#16) & Jay Reed (#17), Ashley Ommen (#18), Rebecca Fitzgerald (#19), Jeff Couch (#20), Greg Schneider (#21), Rodney Johnson (#22), Erik Hasselgärde (#23), Jeff Franks (#24), Cat Akley (#25), Jenna Brownson (#26), Rob Brownson (#27), Bill Alexander (#28), Chris McKeon (#29), Joe Bartucca (#30), Brent Kauser (#31), Jonathan Gorab (#32), Jessie Hernandez (#33), Ben Pyatt (#34), Michael Devecka (#35), @bourbonwedrink (#36) Tony Freund (#37),@Slo_MO_Que (#38), Kevin Ronecker (#39)

Why do Ambassador numbers skip to #11?
#1 and #2 are ceremonial. One goes to Steve Akley's father who passed away in 2012 and two goes to Hasse Berg's grandfather who passed away in 2013. Numbers 3 - 10 are being saved for yet-to-be-determined fans who really go the extra mile to show their love to Bourbon Zeppelin!

Find out about becoming a Bourbon Zeppelin Brand Ambassador by clicking here!
Bourbon Zeppelin Reprint Policy
Bourbon Zeppelin authorizes bloggers and newsfeeds to reprint its content without authorization, providing these two stipulations are met:
  1. Bourbon Zeppelin is noted as the creator of content (Please include issue number/month/year)
  2. When an author is listed for an individual article, that person is also acknowledged as well
Copyright © 2018 Bourbon Zeppelin, All rights reserved.

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Bourbon Zeppelin is delivered to you raw an unedited by author Steve Akley on the 1st and 15th of every month. (Apologies for any errors.) Check out Steve's books by clicking here: Steve's Catalog on Amazon.