On this episode of The Fred Minnick Show, Fred welcomes NFL great Charles Woodson. Woodson, who retired after the 2015 season following a career that included a Defensive Player of the Year Award, a Super Bowl championship and four first-team All Pro honors with the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers. He is a current finalist for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2021. Woodson also won a national college football title and a Heisman Trophy while at the University of Michigan. He and Fred sat down this week to talk about his new Woodson Bourbon Whiskey, his wines, his career, ascots, the NFL playoffs and more.
Woodson Bourbon Whiskey (15:38)
The Senator Rye 6 Year (26:04)
Rolling Fork Rum (35:02)
Vintage 1945 Kentucky Tavern Bottled in Bond (43:30)
Fred and Charles hit on a number of topics, such as:
Ascots. They both share their stories of how they came to wear them and why they like them so much.
Fred asks Charles if, in his prime, he could have shut down Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Woodson’s answer was no surprise.
His brand of Intercept wines and, of course, plenty of whiskey talk, along with his interest in getting into the alcohol and spirits industry. His love of wine began after he was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the late 1990s and his discovery of Napa Valley.
His love of bourbon came from being introduced to Scotch whiskey – Woodford Reserve became his gateway into the world of bourbon whiskey and ultimate led him to create his own Woodson brand.
He talks about the proprietary accelerated aging process used in his new bourbon, which are later finished in French oak wine barrels. Fred chimes in with a comment on the growing acceptance of rapid-aging in whiskey, along with how the products have improved.
Charles talks about what he misses most about football. He says going on the road during the season, he remembers only having what you absolutely need and the challenge of not having everything he needed at arm’s length. He talks about how it changes the dynamic and relates it to going into battle.
Woodson also talks about his approach to being an NFL analyst, and how he tries to stay upbeat and be himself rather than critical of teams, players or situations.
Fred tells Charles about the differences between Jamaican rum and others, noting that there is never sugar added to meet the perceptions of consumers that rum has to be sweet. In short, the Rolling Fork rum they tasted is not Bacardi.
The vintage Kentucky Tavern didn’t hold up well, which sometimes happens when a spirit has been around since World War II. Fred and Charles likened it to an old leather football helmet and shoe polish. And sweat. And jock straps.
Fred: “It’s not every day I get to send an NFL Hall of Famer a jock-strap-forward whiskey.”
Finally, Charles talks about what it will mean when he inevitably is inducted to the Hall of Fame and what he feels his career has meant to his many fans over the years.
Charles Woodson, talking about his new Woodson Bourbon Whiskey, “No. 1, I wouldn’t put my name on it, and No. 2, I probably wouldn’t come on your show if I didn’t think I had something that was quality and that I really wanted people to try.”