The Story of ‘Exactly What To Drink’

Why Bourbon above other drinks?

“ This is a tough one. As a young man I despised whiskey, it made my stomach churn at just a sniff of it, but as I aged then so did my palette. I learned more about the process and then thanks to my best friend, started to visit distilleries throughout the state of Kentucky and started to become quite learned about Whiskey as a whole and, in particular, Bourbon.

The heritage, the craftsmanship and the way it has protected its image with some very well defined rules have taught me a lot about how to create a legacy that outlives one person. 

More than that, I now love the taste, I love the complexity of flavors and I love the fact that it is almost always a point of conversation with many of my friends worldwide.”

Why did you decide to have your own Bourbon?

"It was when travelling between two distilleries with my buddy David, and we were riffing on the idea of how cool it would be to have our own Bourbon.
Being the bearded guy from Kentucky, he was adamant that he could get us hooked up with a distiller that would be excited by the partnership and set out to make it real. Two days later he shared with me some words I don’t like to hear too often. It was a version of “it can’t be done” disguised with an explanation of just how much red tape there was to get through and how long the timeline would be.  So the challenge continued, and this time I took full responsibility.

How did you go about having it made and labelled?

"A few years earlier I was gifted a beautiful experience to visit the Boozium (yes that’s its real name!) at Kings County Distillery in Brooklyn NY. It was a fabulous tour of the distillery, the chance to taste some unique creations and a presentation by very knowledgeable and experienced tour guide. She shared the story of how Colin, the founder, had defied all the odds and created the distillery we stood in and not just that, had managed to produce an award-winning and delicious product that rivals many of the best Bourbons on the planet. 

It was this story of overcoming adversity, entrepreneurial courage and the relentless quest for brilliance that had me deciding that if I was to produce my own Bourbon, partnering with Colin and the team at Kings County would be the perfect fit. 

Several phone calls, a couple of meetings and then numerous tasting trips, we found our perfect single barrel, agreed on its perfect proofing and the result - Exactly What to Drink was born."

Where can people get a bottle for themselves?

"Short answer - they can’t. I decided that I had no desire to retail the finished product. Instead it is something I enjoy with friends, gift to clients and use to commemorate the start of new business relationships."

What is your favorite way to drink it?

"It’s so good I would refuse to mix it with anything. So often I drink it neat and at room temperature, and occasionally indulge in pouring it over one single, giant, crystal clear cube of ice in a cut crystal rocks glass, gifted to me by a dear friend."

If you could be drinking bourbon in any place with any person right now, where and who would it be?

To be honest, I am not overly fussy. But 2 circumstances almost always call for a good pour. One is my relaxing and thinking times, when I want to be alone with my own thoughts, the company of the complex flavours and story of taste can be the perfect accompaniment to some quality “me time”. The second is when surrounded by people I love.

What are your favorite bourbon moments?

Friends and family enjoying Michters Rye Old Fashioned on my wedding day.

Snagging a pour of Pappy 20 with my buddy Scott McKain in Brisbane Australia for a crazy low price.

Smoked Old Fashioned at Bar Chef in Toronto with my boy Clay Hebert following mastermind.

Weller 12 vs Pappy 15 taste test around the camp fire with the amazing David Kimbel.

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