robin robinson american whiskey convention

Rectifier Course at American Whiskey Convention

Last Updated on September 16, 2021 by Bull Garlington

Rectifier Master Class? Don’t mind if I do. There are 250 reasons to look forward to September’s American Whiskey Convention, but the most exciting one may be their Master Class on sourcing spirits.

What the hell is a rectifier and what the what?

Billed as It’s Time We Rectified This: Sourcing Spirits to Build Brands-An American Tradition, the class will give an overview on the practice of sourcing and mixing distilled spirits to develop a unique brand. This method for producing whiskey is as foundational to American whiskey as farming rye. In the early days, distillers sold their spirits to grocers or intermediary sellers who would mix, or rectify, the spirits to their liking.

Ok, but not many brands rely on a rectifier, right?

Oh, hon, you’re so young. It is an insanely common way to develop a brand, and if you don’t believe me, pick up a bottle of Angel’s Envy, Bulleit Rye, Filibuster, George Dickel Rye, High West, James E. Pepper, Smooth Ambler, or Templeton Rye and tip your glass to the MGP of Midwest Grain Products of Lawrenceville, Indiana because you’re drinking their day job.

Ok, I want to rectify not being a rectifier by becoming a rectifier now

The class is taught by whiskey historian and traveling whiskey sideshow legend, Robin Robinson of the New York Whiskey Smackdown classes, now in their 11th year. He’s also the author of The Complete Whiskey Course: A Comprehensive Tasting Guide in Ten Lessons, an Executive Steward of the Stave and Thief Society, a whiskey consultant, a judge for the prestigious Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, and he’s standing right behind me, isn’t he?

There seems to be a trend of calling for more transparency by sourced brands. I call bullshit since this is how American whiskey has been made since someone first made American whiskey. Hell, since there was an America to make it in.

Which means that with a little ingenuity, a bankroll, and some experience and knowledge in how to do it (like if you took this class or something), you could build your own brand of whiskey. God knows people will buy it. We’re a thirsty nation.

Drink up.

Author: Bull Garlington
Bull Garlington is an author and columnist in Chicago who writes about the madness of travel, analog tools, food, wine, and whiskey. Garlington lives with [his attorney], smokes black cavendish, hikes the easy trails, and makes a mean gumbo yaya.

2 thoughts on “Rectifier Course at American Whiskey Convention

  1. Funny you should mention MGP. The man that distilled all those products you mentioned was Greg Metze (while serving as master distiller at MGP) who will ALSO be attending the American Whiskey Convention and will ALSO be hosting a discussion forum. Scroll down on the discussion forums page- https://www.americanwhiskeyconvention.com/DiscussionForums.html.
    Now, Greg Metze serves as master distiller for Old Elk distillery. one of the few distillers in the US that can actually call himself a “Master Distiller.” He was recipient of the 2020 AWC Impact Award.

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