Gin Joints, Whiskey Barrels and Award Winning Rum

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(DOUG JESSOP’S UTAH SUCCESS STORIES – ABC4 NEWS – Salt Lake City, Utah) “Of all the gin joints, in the towns, in all the world, she has to walk into mine.” It’s a classic line from the movie Casablanca.

I walked into Dented Brick Distillery to talk with managing partner, Marc Christensen. Come to find out a lot of consumers like their gin.

Marc told me; “Our Great Basin Bristlecone Gin, we won a consumer’s choice award, an innovators award and we won a gold medal for this gin in 2020.”      

Gold medal award winning Moon’s Best Rye Whiskey is aged in oak barrels. Marc explained why; “Back in the day Kentucky needed horses and New Orleans needed whisky. Some enterprising young fellow in Kentucky figured out that he could put whiskey in a pickle barrel, a used pickle barrel, put it on the Mississippi River and send it to New Orleans”.  I told Marc that I wasn’t so sure that pickle juice would taste all that good. He laughed and agreed and went on to say; “When it got down to New Orleans, this same enterprising fellow figured out that he could burn out the inside of the barrel to get rid of all of the pickle residue and put the whiskey into it and by the time it got to New Orleans it had a nice color to it and didn’t taste like pickles. In fact, it had a bit of vanillin flavor in it.”

One of my favorite parts of my news stories is that sometimes they turn into a combination of “Dirty Jobs” and “How It’s Made.”  Dented Brick’s Production Expert, Tooe Tonga, put me to work filling a 50-gallon oak barrel and then giving me the honor of taking a special hammer to smash the “bung” (also known to us “non-experts as the plug) into the barrel.

 I noticed writing on the end of the whiskey barrel and come to find out that “barrel investors” get to personalize the ends. This barrel investor, I’m pretty sure is a Ferris Bueller fan. The message reads: “Life move pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.”

Dented Brick’s first award winner was Rum. Marc told me with pride; “This is Antelope Island Rum; it was our first product we made out of this distillery and the first competition was the Rum XP competition in Miami against all those rum makers down in the islands and we won Best in Class and Best in Show in 2017 for that.

It’s time to go bottle some rum. I poured the elixir from a barrel into holding tank, helped fill the bottles, run the bottles through a labeling machine and then boxed the finished product now ready for distribution.

With another Utah Success Story, with award winning Dented Brick Distillery, I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News.

NOTE TO BUSINESS OWNERS – If you own a business and want to put me to work on camera for an upcoming Utah Success Stories, CLICK HERE to watch a video and then email me at DJessop@abc4.com with your story idea and contact info. Please note that we do charge for production and social media exposure.

Everyone has a story. I strongly feel that “stories have power”. Chances are that if you are going through something, that someone else probably has as well. The shared experiences we humans have can help each other. That my friend makes the point that stories “help us understand each other.”

You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people would take more time getting to knowing more about others and where they are coming from, we just might find out that we have more similarities than differences.

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A big shout out goes to my collaborator, Ed Wilets, who does a great job as my videographer/editor for all my stories. Your feedback is always welcome at DJessop@abc4.com

You can see my positive business profiles called “Utah Success Stories” every Sunday in the ABC4 News at 10 p.m. or online at www.ABC4.com/Success.

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