Beards, Booze, and Bacon: The Old Forester, Louisville, and Kentucky Derby Episode

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What new bourbon are we pumped about? Which hiking trail are we exploring? Why is the next supercar so cool? The Manual is dedicated to helping men live a more engaged life. Each week, our editors and guests get together for a round-table discussion about what’s new, exciting, and unique in the men’s lifestyle world. So pop open your favorite brew, step into your man cave, and start streaming

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For this week’s episode of Beards, Booze, and Bacon: The Manual Podcast, the round-table — Associate Editor Chase McPeak, Food and Drink Editor Sam Slaughter, and host Greg Nibler — chat with special guest Jackie Zykan, Master Taster for Old Forester Bourbon, about how she came to be Master Taster for a such venerated bourbon brand, the dos and don’ts of attending the Kentucky Derby, and more.

Zykan starts off the conversation by giving us a bit of information about her background. She was a double chemistry and biology major in college and worked her way through school by tending bar. After that, she was a beverage director for a group located in Louisville until moving on to her current position as Master Taster for Old Forester. And while she notes the job is every bit as amazing as you would imagine, it’s not an endless party.

Zykan discusses with Slaughter the history of Old Forester, including the fact that it has never gone out of production, even throughout prohibition (it got around the law by producing bourbon as medicine), making it the longest-running bourbon brand in the country at well over 140 years. As a result, Old Forester is primed to open their first public distillery in May 2018 in the same location the Old Forester company started in way back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Speaking of 140-year-old brands, The Kentucky Derby is celebrating its 143rd anniversary this year. McPeak and Zykan give a few pointers on dressing up for the Derby (Hint: seersucker for the gents and giant hats for the ladies). If you’re more casual, the Derby’s in-field is the place where “normally” dressed people watch the action. And, yes, having mint julep is an absolute requirement while in attendance.

Finally, the gang chats about Louisville, Kentucky, one of our award-winning cities from The Manual Awards 2018. Check out our full write-up on that for more information after you listen to the podcast.

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