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Fred Minnick

Fred MinnickSpecialties: Whiskey history and tastings
Home base: Louisville, Kentucky
Web site: www.fredminnick.com

Ascot-wearing Fred Minnick is not only trying to bring the ascot back, he is also introducing the world to whiskey. The award-winning author of Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch & Irish Whiskey and the critically acclaimed Bourbon Curious: A Simple Tasting Guide for the Savvy Drinker, Minnick is the Bourbon Authority for the Kentucky Derby Museum, where Fortune 500 companies frequently commission him to drink and talk about bourbon. Yes, he is actually paid to drink. Minnick also scores bourbons for Whisky Advocate and writes an opinion column for Whisky Magazine.

Perhaps most importantly, he has discovered history that changed the industry. Prior to Minnick’s Whiskey Women, the russet-colored elixir wasBourbon book jacket thought to only be a man’s drink, but Whiskey Women set the record straight about women owning major brands, such as Bushmills and Laphroaig, and creating masterpieces such as the Maker’s Mark’s bottle and its red wax. Before Whiskey Women, distilleries did not target women. Now, they represent nearly 40 percent of the market share.

In Bourbon Curious, Minnick did what no author had done before: break down bourbon by simple flavor profiles, making it easier for the whiskey laymen to purchase a bottle. Bourbon Curious also cuts through the marketing chase and details what is GMO free, the barrel wood origins and other geeky stuff whiskey lovers crave. Minnick teaches readers the same tasting techniques he uses in his classes at the Kentucky Derby Museum and in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and World Whiskies Awards.

In his upcoming Bourbon: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of an American Whiskey (Voyageur Press, October 2016), Minnick once again shakes up the accepted whiskey narrative and names the most likely inventor of bourbon, while explaining just how important American whiskey has been to the foundation of the United States.

Minnick has been featured on NPR, CBS This Morning, Forbes, Today.com, The Atlantic and hundreds of other mainstream media outlets. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Suggested Topics

  • American Whiskey History and Tasting

    Did you know that U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant, and William Taft greatly impacted bourbon? In American Whiskey History and Tasting, Minnick reteaches you what you think you know about the Boston Tea Party and World War II. Let’s just say, at this country’s every turn, whiskey was there. Tasting includes on market availability.

  • History of Women in Whiskey

    Women invented beer, distillation and owned many major brands, such as Bushmill’s, Dalmore and Laphroaig. They were better bootleggers during Prohibition and were paramount to ending the dry years. This talk pays homage to the great women of yesterday and today, tasting whiskies with women histories or currently made by a female distiller. 

  • Bourbon Tasting

    Using the principles taught in Bourbon Curious, Minnick gives a detailed tasting course, teaching how to taste and what flavors to look for.

Video Samples
Bourbon Tasting (interview with Fred Minnick on The Daily Meal)
Bourbon: Fact and Fiction (interview with Fred Minnick on The Daily Meal)