whiskey and gin

Do you know how whiskey is made

Something I learned from a my friend Dave the professional spirits geek: it takes significant up front capital and enough in the bank to wait it out years before having the real product. A terrible product is easy to come by in a few months. What anyone in their right mind would call whiskey takes time, indie-hipster-micro-distillers notwithstanding.

So what do you do in the meantime if you're not a retired banker or a trust fund kid? You make gin.

On the way to making whiskey, some of your product can be made into gin which is sellable at a hefty enough margin to keep things humming along while the real stuff is maturing, finding its character. [No offense to gin.] 

Witness the good work of the New York Distilling Company

And witness Uber (maybe). Here's Kottke repeating Michael Wolfe on Quora [notes in brackets mine]--

If you think of Uber as a town car company operating in a few cities, it is not big. [Gin.]

If you think of Uber as dominating and even growing the town car market in dozens of cities, it gets bigger. (Data point: there are now more Uber black cars in San Francisco than there were ALL black cars before Uber started). [Gin.]

If you think of Uber as absorbing the taxi markets, it gets pretty huge. [Gin.]


If you think of Uber as a giant supercomputer orchestrating the delivery of millions of people and items all over the world (the Cisco of the physical world), you get what could be one of the largest companies in the world. [Whiskey.]

The hard parts:

  • Not getting distracted making the gin.
  • Not dipping into your final product before it's ready.
  • Not siphoning off too much of your product into gin making before it hits the barrels.
  • Not being so successful with gin that you abandon the warehouse of hard work and hard won patience altogether.

What are you making?