A Masterclass On Entrepreneurial Craftsmanship With Woodford Reserve

A Masterclass On Entrepreneurial Craftsmanship With Woodford Reserve

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Traditionally, an entrepreneur has been defined as a person who organises and manages any enterprise, specifically a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk. Most entrepreneurs will have their own definition of what the word means, however one thing is undoubtably true, entrepreneurship requires some form of craftsmanship.

Craftsmanship is usually associated with the work of artisans, however it has been the foundation that many businesses are based upon today, and the Woodford Reserve brand is no exception. Entrepreneurs can learn a lot about growing their businesses by understanding the importance of craftsmanship in its many forms. 

Sitting on the site where whisky crafting began in 1812, the Woodford Reserve distillery is one of Kentucky’s oldest and smallest distilleries. It is the only distillery in Kentucky still making bourbon through the traditional distillation method, using copper pot stills.

Related: The Tap Room Is Opening The Taps On A Niche Business

Chantal Canning, Brand Manager of Woodford Reserve, unlocks the secret behind the globally recognised small batch American bourbon brand that has successfully sustained itself over the past few decades.

1. The secret to building a foundation of a lasting business brand

Woodford-Reserve

1. What reward is there in taking a risk?

Risk-taking is inherent with entrepreneurship and in order to strive for the best results brands need to be open to balancing the need to differentiate themselves through innovation whilst carefully maintaining their heritage and core brand values to ensure longevity.

 

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The ultimate reward is in the end result when you have built up an exceptional brand with a highly loyal following that appreciate the time and effort that has gone into crafting your brand.

2. In today’s modern business environment, is it worth spending extra time and energy crafting a special product?

Craftsmanship is the quality that comes from crafting with care, passion and special attention to detail. There is great value in taking the time and energy to create a brand that is able to offer the consumer a lasting and memorable experience.

It is about the way the brand looks, the way it feels in hand, the way it smells, the way it tastes, its reputation, and the way it makes consumers feel about themselves that will set your brand apart from the rest. 

3. Why should craftsmanship, in the sense of spending time on detail, be encouraged?

Quality over quantity is a well-known assertion that speaks volumes to the essence of craftsmanship. Woodford Reserve follows the traditional painstaking method of distillation to produce bourbon of exceptional quality.

It isn’t manufactured it is crafted in small batches and still follows the traditional copper pot still distillation since 1812. The artisanal process allows our master distiller, Chris Morris, to craft using all five sources of flavour – higher rye grain recipe, iron free spring water, 7 day fermentation, copper pot still distillation and one of the oldest steam heated barrel houses for maturation, resulting in an exceptionally high quality product as good today as it was centuries ago.

4. What does it take to build a brand that lasts for over 200 years, and still has such a strong, respected legacy?

Woodford Reserve was inspired by generations of experience and crafted with intentional vision. Woodford is crafted by people and enjoyed by people. We owe our current successes to the people who have stewarded the brand throughout the years.

From the fields to the bottle, Woodford Reserve has a tradition of leadership defined by patience, focus, and an unwavering drive to create. The makers understand that consumers want to trust that their brand will honour their brand values of craftsmanship and authenticity, and at the same time, are curious enough to try new things in order to adjust to ever evolving consumer needs.

Woodford Reserve continues to be celebrated as a versatile, approachable, contemporary yet timeless brand which has quickly become a highly acclaimed award winning bourbon bearing testament to the care that goes into each hand crafted bottle, as one would expect from one of the world’s oldest distillers.

5. How can you identify a person who appreciates the quality and value of craftsmanship?

Craftsmanship can mean different things to different people. The Woodford Reserve connoisseur has the knowledge, expertise and patience to appreciate quality.

6. What comes after you’ve achieved your initial objectives?

Successful brands continuously evolve and redefine their objectives in order to ensure momentum and growth.

Innovation and reinvention is what signifies our respected Woodford Reserve brand with a priority on continuously creating new and different expressions, with an artisan’s touch of love whilst maintaining the essence of Woodford Reserve that everyone knows and loves.

In October, Woodford Reserve will be introducing its first permanent line extension with Woodford Reserve Double Oaked. An innovative approach to twice-barrelled bourbon creating a rich and colourful flavour which is uniquely matured in separate, charred oak barrels – the second barrel is deeply toasted before a light charring which extracts additional amounts of soft, sweet oak character to create an ultra-premium Bourbon of exceptional quality.

With the growing consumer appreciation towards classic and thoughtfully prepared craft bourbon cocktails, Woodford Reserve is the preferred bourbon of choice for South Africa’s top bartenders.

With over 200 identifiable flavours, Woodford Reserve is the only bourbon designed with perfectly proportioned flavours which opens up a wide opportunity to craft unique drinks recipes, such as the inspired creation of the iconic Old Fashioned cocktail.

Related: Slow Brewed

2. A modern twist to the Old Fashioned

Woodford-Reserves-classic-American-cocktail

Leading mixologists are putting a modern twist to the Old Fashioned, Woodford Reserve’s classic American cocktail. The modern version of the Old Fashioned cocktail is tailored to a more distinguished palate, and the choice of bourbon being the backbone of the drink.

The story starts in 1881 in Louisville, Kentucky at the legendary Pendennis Gentleman’s Club where a barman was inspired to create the first Old Fashioned, a classic American cocktail steeped in rich history of Woodford Reserve. This classic cocktail was a blend created in honour of Colonel James E. Pepper, a prominent bourbon distiller and aristocrat who brought the recipe to internationally acclaimed Waldolf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.  

3. How to make the classic American Old Fashioned

  • 50 ml Woodford Reserve bourbon
  • 1tsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 Dashes Bitters
  • Orange zest garnish

Add sugar, bitters, 25 ml Woodford Reserve into a mixing glass and half fill with ice. Stir well and add 25 ml Woodford Reserve and fill with ice. Stir well and strain into a tumbler glass filled with ice. Garnish with fresh orange zest.

4. Competition

We are offering three lucky readers the chance to win a Woodford Reserve cocktail crafting hamper to the value of R1 200.00, to experience the taste of true craftsmanship. The hamper includes a bottle of Woodford Reserve Distillers Select, four whiskey glasses, a mixing jug, a stirrer spoon, a strainer and a jigger.

Send your answers to the three questions listed below to editorial@entrepreneurmag.co.za. Judges will select three entries at random. Winning entrant’s eligibility for the prize is based on the correct answers provided as well as the required legal drinking age. Judges decision is final. Terms and conditions apply.

Answer and win:

  1. Where is the Woodford Reserve distillery located?
  2. What is the name of the classic American cocktail?
  3. How much Woodford Reserve bourbon goes into this cocktail referred to above?

Crafted Carefully. Drink Responsibly.

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