30 August 2017

Whisky Insiders Interview No.84 - John Rempe

Lux Row Distillers

Head Distiller & Master Blender


How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
I’ve now been working in the industry and for Luxco for 19 years. I’m now responsible for all new product development for all of the company’s brands, which include Rebel Yell, Ezra Brooks and Blood Oath.

What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
Launching my signature Blood Oath ultra-premium bourbon series. To be able to use my creativity in combining great bourbons and actually putting my name on the bottle. It’s just really something special to me.

Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
I would be lying if I said I did, that was way too long ago. But I remember when I first started in this business and sipping on my first sample of bourbon straight from a barrel. It was an unforgettable experience!

What does whisky mean to you?
To me, whisky in particular bourbon means history. Looking back on all the history associated with bourbon in this country, from its roots through all of the great master distillers, it’s just a great honour to be able to be a part of that.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years’ time?
To be completely honest, I want to see myself doing exactly what I am doing today. I’ve got the best job in the world!  Why would I want to change that? I hope to be able to continue creating great bourbons for a long, long time.

What was your last dram?
My last dram was last night and it was a Rebel Yell 10 Year Old Single Barrel.

Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
For a good robust full flavoured well aged bourbon, nothing goes better with it than a perfectly cooked, medium rare ribeye steak. For a dessert pairing, I would encourage anyone to try a nice dark chocolate with that same well aged bourbon. The two are made for each other.

What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
After work on the back patio enjoying the nice evening air with a great pour.

What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?
Really, when I look on the whiskey horizon I just see more and more growth in the bourbon category in the foreseeable future. It’s a great time to be making bourbon.

What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
I would have to say Blood Oath Pact 3. The way the three bourbons came together on this one, coupled with the cabernet finish, it’s just something truly exceptional.

Many thanks to John Rempe. Who will be our next Whisky Insider? Click back soon to find out!