Old Forester's Jackie Zykan


Manage episode 290552307 series 2614517
By Fred Minnick and The Fred Minnick Show. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

On the latest episode of The Fred Minnick Show, Jackie Zykan, Master Taster at Old Forester, joins Fred to sip and talk whiskey. During their 43-minute session, they talk about their shared love of music and how it is both different and similar to whiskey. In addition, at one point they disagree about the finish of a certain Old Forester bourbon they taste. Finally, Jackie’s dog Ingo joins the party to liven things up a bit.

Whiskeys tasted:

  • Old Forester “L-House Roulette No. 1” (20:02)
  • Barrell Jamaican Rum (29:18)


Fred and Jackie hit on several topics, like:

  • Since Ingo is in the house, Fred offers a shout-out to his beloved dog Remo, who he’s had for 14 years.
  • And almost immediately, they forsake whiskey talk to discuss cheeseburgers. Jackie professes her love of Smashburger and Five Guys. Fred does love Five Guys, despite all the peanuts sitting around. Fred also shouts out WW Cousins, with its tubs full of condiments.
  • Fred suggests making a fermented ketchup spirit and asks Jackie what it would be called. Her response? “Gross.” This parlays into a discussion of contraband mustard.
  • Getting around to discussing music about 10 minutes in, Jackie says that rather than having a favorite genre, she knows what she specifically doesn’t like: pop country.
  • But she was influenced by her father’s vinyl collection, which included albums by bands like Led Zeppelin. Her first ever cassette was a greatest hits collection by Canadian band The Guess Who.
  • Teen-age dating is a topic that rarely makes it into an episode of The Fred Minnick Show, but it makes this one.
  • Comparing music to whiskey, they agree tastes can often be affected by moods. Also, there is some music that is churned out for mass consumption while some music is more carefully crafted and is typically destined for a smaller audience.
  • At around the 20-minute mark, they pop open an untasted Old Forester expression that was sort of a warehouse straggler. Fred immediately is hit with banana notes on the nose. Jackie calls it “angry.” Fred likens the whiskey to Metallica playing acoustic. But they definitely disagree on the finish – luckily, it doesn’t lead to fisticuffs. (If you want to find out for yourself, Jackie said bottles will be for sale in the distillery’s gift shop.)
  • Fred notes he is in the middle of tasting through his new spirits awards. Look for more on that coming later this spring.
  • Fred offers up a taste of one of his many bourbons, and Jackie declines, saying she’s already tasted way too many bourbons that day. Instead, she requests a “weirdo, funky little rum.” So, Fred breaks out the Barrell Bourbon Jamaican Rum finished in Isla Scotch barrels.
  • The rum prompts a discussion of the spirits industry crossing over with barrel finishes, and Jackie hints that there are some crossover projects happening at Old Forester.
  • To bring the loose music-meets-spirits theme full circle, they come to the conclusion that if the Barrell Rum were music, it would be “Vaseline” by Flaming Lips.


Jackie expressed some disbelief that Fred didn’t like the finish on the proprietary Old Forester she brought to the interview: “I don’t know how you think that finish is flat. It’s very warm, and it is definitely there. It sinks way back into the throat. It is not a front-loaded finish by any means, palate-wise – it sits way in the back. Backseat driver.”




See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


1. Old Forester “L-House Roulette No. 1” (00:20:02)

2. Barrell Jamaican Rum (00:29:18)

84 episodes