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Chasing the Butterfly of Blue Run with Mike Montgomery and Tim Sparapani (Bourbon Pursuit #333)

Now I have to admit, I remember the first time I heard of Blue Run Spirits and I had my reservations. Who were these guys with some 13 year old sourced product, a Nike shoe designer creating the packaging, the likes of Jim Rutledge putting his name to it, and they are charging over $150 a bottle!? A lot of those reservations began to disappear after I tasted their bourbon. It was really good. And then, the awards started piling up. Blue Run Spirits has been on a sprint more-so than run after launching in 2020. I’m joined by Mike Montgomery and Tim Sparapani, both co-founders of Blue Run, to talk about this journey and how they hit a turning point when people couldn’t stop talking about their products. We talk about working with Jim Rutledge, moving from high aged to younger whiskeys, and how they are meeting a new demand in the market.

Show Partners:

  • Catoctin Creek has been honoring that tradition of small craft rye whisky since 2009. Learn more at
  • Smooth Ambler builds on the traditional roots of American whiskey in West Virginia. Visit to learn more.
  • Wilderness Trail is Sweet Mash Kentucky Straight Bourbon and Rye Whiskey distilled, aged, and bottled in Danville, Kentucky. Learn more at
  • You can now buy Barrell Craft Spirits products online and have them shipped right to your door. Visit and click Buy Now.
  • Spirits of French Lick is delivering the finest hand crafted Bottled in Bond bourbons. Check out
  • Total Wine and More is wonderland for wine, spirits, and beer lovers! Explore more in store or online at
  • Heaven Hill Distillery has been lifting America’s spirit since 1935. Check out educational resources and sign up for their newsletter at

Show Notes:

  • This week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick (@fredminnick) talks about the secondary market.
  • How did your whiskey journey begin?
  • Where did your two worlds collide?
  • Why bourbon?
  • Tell us how you went about sourcing your product.
  • How many barrels were your buying in the beginning?
  • Tell us about your packaging. How did you land on the butterfly?
  • How was it working with Jim Rutledge?
  • What was the turning point?
  • Are you concerned about selling younger aged products?
  • Talk about your pricing strategy.
  • What are you working on at Bardstown Bourbon Company?
  • @bluerunspirits
  • Support this podcast on Patreon

This post first appeared on Bourbon Pursuit at

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Bourbon Pursuit

Kenny Coleman and Ryan Cecil host the Bourbon Pursuit podcast from Louisville, KY. Together, they share a passion for the stories that made an industry flourish with a focus on history, personality, and of course, great bourbon. Their guests include master distillers, bloggers, historians, local events and more.

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