I love bourbon. Its tastes, smells, drama, history, all of it. From the barrel to the people, bourbon’s my passion. And when I started working with Danny Wimmer on Bourbon & Beyond, a new journey entered my life: Pairing bourbon to music.
I became fascinated with how badly Maker’s Mark tasted to the tunes of Tupac (best rapper all time, just sayin’), while opening up like a flower to Lionel Richie. And how the funk in Wild Turkey boomed to the toons of Hank Williams Jr. yet softened to the deep, soulful voice of Adele. (Yes, I love Adele. Don’t judge me.)
As I explored how to write about music’s ability to change your taste buds, even doing some music-and-whiskey seminar pairings, I realized that this required far more study, perhaps a decade’s worth for the full album. But my itch to combine music and bourbon never went away.
One day, it hit me: I should bring bourbon and other spirits to musicians. I’m fortunate to have incredible access to talented artists and so many want to learn about good drink. However, this didn’t fit my go-to medium–writing–and as I’ve learned, video would require too much lighting to pull this off right. Why not a podcast? The genre’s blowing up, and I absolutely love Bourbon Pursuit.
Around the same time at the XLive conference in Las Vegas, I met Gary Krantz, a longtime radio executive whose developed many shows and worked with Casey Kasem back in the day. Krantz encouraged me to be me, which is dangerous, but how I listen to people explain their favorite flavors and then pair a bourbon specifically to their palate. And that’s how The Fred Minnick Show was born.
I interviewed musicians at Hometown Rising, Bourbon & Beyond and Louder Than Life.
My first guest is Lindsay Ell, who crushed the CMAs and flipped the interview on me. In the first 18 episodes, I also have LIVE, Flaming Lips, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and Jelly Roll, who said on the show, “I’m willing to bet Jesus would drive a Harley,” as well as offering to kiss me. Oddly, that wasn’t as awkward as it sounds.
So this is not a whiskey show or a music show. It’s both, with me being me, asking people off-the-wall questions and selecting a whiskey based on somebody’s flavor profiles. I get people talking about things they wouldn’t normally, such as Ell’s experiences with stalking, and Jelly Roll’s belief that southerners get stereotyped based off a “few assholes.”
In addition, I nailed the flavor profiles of 17 of the 18 guests. Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips didn’t much care for my pairing, albeit he wore an ascot to our interview.
When I mentioned this podcast on social media, so many people assumed I was leaving Bourbon Pursuit. That’s not true. I couldn’t leave BP. Kenny and Ryan have become brothers to me, and I’d feel weird not spending every Friday uttering, “And that’s this week’s Above the Char.”
I love what I do. And in this world of content, why not combine two loves–music and whiskey, and occasionally grappa (Alex Ebert!)?
So, I hope you will subscribe, come along for the ride and enjoy some fine tunes / whiskey with me. Cheers!Stay In Touch!