I set out to mould America’s signature spirit, so of course I started with her signature flavor. I walked into Earl’s office and told him I want to make a bourbon, I know what I want it to taste like, and drink like, but more so, I know what I do not want it to be like. Then I told him why and showed him my bottle sketch. He said, young man, let’s do it.

After I can’t remember how many batches, Norma fined tuned the recipe exactly how I had envisioned it to be – just right. When I asked Earl what he thought, I could hear him smile on the phone, and right then I knew we had crafted something special.

The bottle is its own story in and of itself, and it stemmed from what could be called one of those proverbial lightbulb moments. This one dawned on me one night in the basement of the hockey house up in Hoosier, Indiana. I was standing there with a ritual pregame shot in one hand, and in my other, a shotgun shell leftover from hunting some neon pigeons earlier that day. Staring at me from the wall behind our make shift cream and crimson striped bar was an old black and white movie poster of Clint Eastwood’s The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly framed between our Gadsden and Alamo flags. That’s when I figured out how to illustrate my message as an icon. I texted a sketch and called my dad the next morning and said, “American Barrels, shots FOR liberty since 1776, shots OF liberty since 2012!” to which he promptly corrected me, “1775.” And that’s how a whiskey fit for We the People got it’s name, and it’s look.

American Barrels Crafted Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey CEO and Founder Michael Reed

A couple years later I walked into my local liquor store and sold my first bottle. Truth be told it took me 3 visits to the store manager and I had to buy some other whiskey off the shelf first to make room for mine, but today there’s a giant American Barrels poster in his front window, and my bottles sure get a lot of space.

The message is simple: be brave, be free, be American. The bottle’s a knock out, but the bourbon will knock your boots off. If it’s for you, you’ll know.

A couple years later I walked into my local liquor store and sold my first bottle. Truth be told it took me 3 visits to the store manager and I had to buy some other whiskey off the shelf first to make room for mine, but today there’s a giant American Barrels poster in his front window, and my bottles sure get a lot of space.

The message is simple: be brave, be free, be American. The bottle’s a knock out, but the bourbon will knock your boots off. If it’s for you, you’ll know.

American Barrels Crafted Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey CEO and Founder Michael Reed

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