New industry voices. Same unfiltered spirit. Now in its second season, Rackhouse Roundtable is stepping onto the distillery floor with a new batch of experts. Participants share their raw opinions and experiences on everything from blending a quality juice to building a brand from the ground up.
Alex Castle leads a conversation on how the consumer’s mindset has shifted on blended whiskeys, allowing for more flavor experimentation. The group discusses the different methods and merits of blending, brewers’ barrel-finishing and more.
What makes a customized spirit truly great? Is it consistency? Creativity? Or how well the product holds true to tradition? Wilderness Trail Distillery co-founder and microbiologist Dr. Pat Heist leads this discussion on the subtleties of crafting custom juice.
From distiller to consumer, everyone has an opinion on what makes an exceptional spirit. While discussing the true meaning of quality with the group, Ryan Maybee reveals how quality impacted the development of his propriety whiskey blend at J. Rieger distillery.
Marianne Eaves moved on from Castle & Key in 2019 to start her own consulting business, recently helping create Sweetens Cove bourbon for Peyton Manning. She leads the group as they share the unique perspectives — and far-flung locales — that influence their R&D process.
For Wes Henderson, Angel’s Envy began as a way to work with his father and, eventually, his own sons. Since then, it has grown to be one of the top-selling small batch bourbons in the world. The group discusses the challenges of preserving authenticity while scaling up.
See how the Rackhouse Roundtable began. In this first episode, season one guests discuss the value of spirits as a social lubricant.
Watch more Season 1 episodes ›
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A true visionary and the first woman to hold the title of “Master Distiller” in Kentucky, Marianne is no stranger to bold career moves. She left Castle & Key in 2019 to travel the world as a consulting master distiller with a focus on innovation and process improvement. Recently, she created Sweetens Cove whiskey for Peyton Manning.
Master Distiller Alex Castle brings a spirit of restless experimentation to Old Dominick Distillery with her Small Batch R&D Series, which has resulted in surprising and unique blends of flavors like an oatmeal raisin cookie bourbon. Recently, Alex helped expand the distillery’s whiskey portfolio by blending their signature bold high rye content bourbon with a sweeter wheat whiskey.
Dr. Heist of Wilderness Trail Distillery leverages his expertise as a microbiologist and his experience troubleshooting distilleries around the world to continue pushing the industry forward. Through scientific rigor and a deep-rooted history as part of the Kentucky bourbon trail, the stated mission of Wilderness Trail Distillery is not to make the most spirits, but the best.
Bartender, sommelier, restauranteur and co-owner of the historic distillery where this season was filmed, Ryan Maybee is a true Renaissance man. His passion for crafting a proprietary Kansas City whiskey recipe led him to search out the century-old process for using sherry as a blending agent. Ryan offers a unique perspective on the industry with his varied background and experienced palate.
Wes’s father was the legendary Lincoln Henderson, who came out of retirement to work with Wes and create Angel’s Envy — handcrafted, small batch bourbon. Their groundbreaking secondary barrel finishing techniques put Angel’s Envy at the forefront of innovation in the industry. Since his father’s passing, Wes has continued to lead the way in achieving sustainable, scalable success through dedication to the craft.
“We’ve spent hundreds of years developing and refining the same process. But that doesn’t mean that we’re done creating.”