Trey Wade is the Chief Experience Curator at Blue Run Spirits. Wade has served as vice president of national partnerships for the Black Bourbon Society for three years. Wade has participated in more than 120 barrel selections and worked on dozens of blending projects for well-known brands, according to Blue Run. In 2021, Wade collaborated with Blue Run on its inaugural 12 Days of Bourbon release. Prior to his experience in whiskey, Wade worked in the experiential marketing field for Dell, Amazon, and Five Hour Energy.
The best whiskey glass to optimize the tasting experience is the Glen Karen. It is industry standard and feels good in your hand while also capturing aromas. Additionally, the Koe Pita glass with the glass cap is great for keeping whiskey at a consistent temperature while still having a bowl-shaped design. The Canadian whiskey glass is well-gripped and outwardly flared to capture aromas. Lastly, the aged and or whiskey travel set is perfect for taking whiskey on the go. Transcript: "Is there a proper glass design to optimize the bourbon, whiskey, or scotch tasting experience? That is a damn good question. Let's talk through it. For me, my preferred glass is still the Glencairn. This is also somewhat industry standard for whiskey drinkers around the world, not just in America. That being said, there is a plethora of glassware options to choose from. I'll point out some of my favorites on the table. So in addition to the Glencairn, I really like this Copita glass. This one actually comes with a glass cap as well. Not only does it look fancy, but temperature does change the experience of whiskey. Being able to hold a glass that still has a nice bowl, but you can keep your hand off of the glass, allows for the whiskey to stay the same temperature it was when you poured it, assuming you poured it at room temperature. Next up, I really like this glass, which is actually called a Canadian whiskey glass. It's also made by Glencairn, which is a company. I like it because it gives you a nice, good grip on the glass. It doesn't feel dainty in your hands, kind of like a solid rocks glass. It's a good combination between a heavy bottomed rock glass, and then the delicacy of a more refined glass at the top. This one does have somewhat of an outwardly flared glass, which makes it challenging for some folks, but I kind of appreciate that, how it captures the aromas right there in the middle, and then shoots those up right where you want them in a balanced manner. Last but not least, this is my favorite glass to travel with, and it actually may be dirty because I just got home from a trip, and I know I took it with me. Sure thing it's dirty. This is a neat glass from Aged & Or, which is a really cool company that has optimized traveling with spirits. They have a glass, some little travel sets that you can take with you, and it's a well designed glass that has a little travel case. In short, the best whiskey glass to optimize the experience is the one that you like the most. Thanks for watching."
I would choose whiskey as my spirit of choice for the rest of my life because it has a lot of variety from different countries and there is something new to explore with each variation. Transcript: "Hey there, so if I had to pick one spirit to drink for the rest of my life, it would have to be whiskey. And I say that for a few reasons. One, because if you check out the wall behind me, whiskies from all over the world, you'll find out that there is a ton of variety in the category of whiskey. You have whiskeys from America, which are often called bourbons. Now we're getting into the single malt game, which is super prevalent outside of the States. But you can go to almost any country that produces spirits and you can find their variation of whiskey, which is a spirit from grain. And so super exciting to think about all the variations that you could drink of whiskey that may not exist in other categories. You don't get things like aqua V or agave spirits from everywhere around the world where you get a lot of variety in the category of whiskey. So my spirit of choice for the rest of my life is going to be whiskey."
The best advice I've ever received is to try new things, as often as possible and to keep trying them even if you didn't like it the last time. Transcript: "What's the best advice you've ever received? Oh boy, this is hard. You know, I'd have to say the piece of advice that I probably employ the most, which puts it pretty high up on my list, is try new things as often as possible and try them more than once. I am the result of trying a bunch of things that I at one point probably said, hey, I'm not super interested in that or I may not like that and just continuing to evolve through life, trying new things, gaining new experiences, has opened so many doors for me both internally and externally that I'd have to say that that's probably the best advice that I've received ever and again, it's the thing that I get to employ the most. So take it for yourself. Try new things, try them often. Just because you didn't like something a year ago or five years ago may not mean that you don't like it now. So cheers to that. figuring that out."
Aging in a bottle has to do with the solubility of the liquid in the bottle. Wine is typically 10-13% ABV, while whiskey is 40% ABV or higher. The aging process involves the oxidation of the liquid in the bottle, with oxygen interacting with the spirit or wine and slowly changing the composition. In whiskey there is more alcohol and less air, while in a wine bottle there is less alcohol and more air. This difference in air and alcohol creates a different evolution in the bottle. Transcript: "Alright, do spirits age in the bottle like wine? So kinda. So the way I would describe aging in a bottle has a lot more to do with the solubility of the liquid in the bottle. And so a wine is typically 10, 12, 13% ABV or alcohol by volume. Whereas a whiskey is much higher. More candidly, it's gonna be no less than 40% alcohol in that bottle, that's 80 proof. And oftentimes you'll see whiskey much higher than that. And so the aging is the oxidization of the liquids in that bottle, right? And so as the little amount of air is in that bottle in a wine bottle or a whiskey bottle, that oxidization, that oxygen interacts with the spirit or the wine and starts to essentially evolve the juice, the liquid. Whiskey goes much slower. And as you can see in this decanter, there is evaporation. So as that evaporation happens, obviously if there's more liquid, there'd be a lot less gas. As that evaporation happens, you start to see a change in the overall composition of the spirit in the bottle. There's less air in wine bottles and there's a lot less alcohol. And so that evolution happens differently. Whereas in whiskey, you just see a lot more alcohol and a lot less air. So that's the difference in short. Yes, it does evolve just differently."
Terroir, ingredients, processes, the type of grain, ratios of grains, type of wood used to make barrels, charring processes of these barrels, different proofs of alcohol, and time are all factors that contribute to the variations in flavor and aroma found among different types of whiskey. Transcript: "Another good question, what factors contribute to the variations in flavor and aroma found among different types of whiskey? And probably the best word to answer this is terroir. And that's only a fraction of the factors. So there are so many ingredients and processes that go into making our beloved spirit, whiskey, that each one of those plays a contributing factor along the way. So everything from the soil that the grains are grown in, the water that was sourced to ferment and then proof the whiskey as it's made, the fermentation process, the ratios of those grains, the types of grains. There's not just one type of corn or rye or wheat or barley. So along the way, you get all of these contributing factors. We haven't even begun to talk about things like the barrel, the different types of wood, oak that can be used to make a barrel, the different cooking or charring processes of these barrels. Then you have to think about the factors that the distiller has, the different proofs, the different amounts of each type of alcohol that makes up that whiskey. There are so many types. That is the beauty of whiskey, that there is a ton of variety and every single one of those ingredients impacts the end product. And then the one thing you cannot fake is time. So time has to be the biggest factor, in my humble opinion, as it relates to what the whiskey tastes like at the end of the day. Cheers."
The type of grain used in whiskey production affects the final flavor profile by giving different flavor characteristics to the spirit. Different varietals of grains such as corn, rye, wheat and barley can be used, and the ratio of each grain will affect the taste. Heirloom grains and those from different regions may also contribute terroir elements to the whiskey. Transcript: "That's good whiskey. So how does the type of grain used in the production of whiskey affect the final flavor profile? Very, very simple. There are four predominant grains used around the world to make whiskey. You have corn, rye, wheat, and barley. And those ingredients all give different flavor profiles to a particular spirit. Now amongst those four grains, you also have different varietals. And so your corn grain is, your corn, excuse me, is typically a number one yellow dent corn. It's the most predominantly used. However, there's a lot of distillers that are experimenting with white corns or heirloom corns. And they have different sugar contents. They ferment differently and they're from different regions. And so you get a lot of the terroirs start to play a factor in the final product. The same is true for your overall recipe. The more of one or particular grain that you put in your recipe, the more that's going to show up in your final product."