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On this week’s The NOLADrinks Show with Bryan Dias, we’re talking whiskey! We discuss some concepts connected to the American whiskey industry and, of course, we taste some things! We’re joined by the executive director of the New Orleans Bourbon Festival, Tracy Napolitano, whiskey blogger, Bobby Childs of Adventures in Whiskey, and chef and owner of Gris-Gris, where we tape the interview, Eric Cook.

Pictured above from left – Bryan Dias of The NOLADrinks Show, Chef/Owner of Gris-Gris Eric Cook, Bobby Childs of Adventures in Whiskey, and Tracy Napolitano of New Orleans Bourbon Festival.

NOLADrinks Show – American Whiskey and New Orleans Bourbon Festival – Jan20Ep3

We kick the show off letting you know about this week’s installment, a bit about New Orleans Bourbon Festival, and an upcoming, though as-of-yet unnamed, regular spirits segment we will soon start.

Then, we head over to Gris-Gris, the excellent “refined southern cuisine” restaurant located in the Lower Garden District, for our featured interview. We’re talking whiskey with Tracy Napolitano and Bobby Childs. The former is the executive director of the New Orleans Bourbon Festival and the latter is the author and founder of the terrific whiskey blog, “Adventures in Whiskey.”

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We let you know about the upcoming 4th annual New Orleans Bourbon Festival that runs from March 11 to March 14. We discuss the different events such as the grand tastings, the seminars, and much more that are part of the fest. It’s a fantastic event that draws people from all-over the whiskey world but still remains engaging and intimate. Bobby also lets us know about his excellent blog, “Adventures in Whiskey.”

From there, we move into conversation about the whiskey industry with a particular emphasis on the American whiskey landscape. We discuss various topics including bourbon, the Lincoln County process, and trends in the industry. This includes a discussion of the seven “big houses” that dominate the landscape as well as the fairly steady growth of smaller, independent producers.

Pictured above from left – Bryan Dias of The NOLADrinks Show, Bobby Childs of Adventures in Whiskey, and Tracy Napolitano of New Orleans Bourbon Festival.

Of course, we taste and discuss a few different expressions that highlight some of the show’s topics such as rye, using different or “less traditional” mash bills, and much more. You’ll get a little background on what we taste and some of our thoughts.

Moving to our podcast-only segment, “Another Shot with NOLADrinks,” chef/owner of Gris-Gris, Eric Cook, joins the group. We continue the chat and get some background on the restaurant and more conversation about whiskey including some discussion on how barriers and traditional approaches to whiskey are changing.

We close things out with our Parting Shot on the temporary closing of the Pedestrian Mall on Royal Street in the French Quarter due to the collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel and its effect on street performers.

The map below shows the location of Gris-Gris and the Hilton Riverside Hotel (the main location of New Orleans Bourbon Festival.) You can subscribe to, stream, and download The NOLADrinks Show with Bryan Dias podcast using the links and player at the top of the post!

Cheers, You All!

~ Bryan