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NEAT: The Story of Bourbon – A Review

In Banter by Kyle George2 Comments

Bourbon, there is nothing more rooted in American history and tradition. Bourbon can span generations, bring people together and make friends out of competitors. “NEAT: The Story of Bourbon” shares the history of bourbon, and also the love and passion of the people who make the spirit unique.

“NEAT dives into the rich and storied world of bourbon. Exploring its colorful history,
charismatic characters, and uniquely American process, the film is a celebration of the artistry
that makes America’s only native spirit.”

Director David Altrogge and Producer AJ Hochhalter take you on a journey thru bourbon history while blending in anecdotes from many significant distillers, and stories from people who love bourbon. The film showcases several high profile people in the industry, including the first female master distiller since prohibition Marianne Barnes, Castle and Key, and Freddie Johnson, Buffalo Trace third generation employee, revered as one of the best tour guides one could ever have. Throughout the film, it is made clear that there are two things fundamental to bourbon: people and time.

  • Neat: The Story of Bourbon Photo
  • Neat: The Story of Bourbon Photo
  • Neat: The Story of Bourbon Photo
  • Neat: The Story of Bourbon Photo
  • Neat: The Story of Bourbon Photo
  • Neat: The Story of Bourbon Photo

Whether you’re a bourbon connoisseur or a novice who is just learning about the world of bourbon, this film is for you. Altrogge interweaves the simple history and facts about bourbon with stories of the people who love, create, enjoy, and drink it. The film takes you through the history of settlers bringing stills to America, the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897, the 1964 congressional act defining “America’s native spirit” and the bourbon depression of the 1970s and 1980s. He reminds us that, in a world that currently revolves around instant gratification, bourbon needs time. Interwoven thru the history and facts of bourbon are stories of the passion people share. Included are narratives from many master distillers, distillery employees, bourbon purveyors, and consumers. It is made clear through the stories and imagery that bourbon is not just something you drink; it’s something you love.

I would recommend enjoying this film with friends. The film gracefully moves you through the bourbon industry, makes you want to soak up more knowledge and stories, and possibly make some of your own. It also makes you want to pour and enjoy another glass of America’s native spirit — bourbon.

About the Author
Kyle George

Kyle George


Kyle was born in St. Louis and has lived in the Midwest his entire life. His father introduced him to bourbon when he was 21 years old, and has been enjoying it ever since. Kyle has completed the Kentucky Bourbon Trail on three different occasions, and cannot wait for the opportunity to return. He shares his love of bourbon with his wife, Emily, who traveled the bourbon trail with him for their first wedding anniversary in 2011. He enjoys comparing bourbons from different distilleries and different areas of the country and enjoys sharing a glass with friends and family. Currently, he spends the majority of his time caring for his two young sons but manages to share his love of bourbon with them as well. His four year old frequently says, "When I'm older, I'm going to drink wine and bourbon."


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    Great movie! Sure, I’d love to meet Chris Morris and Fred Noe, and Jimmy and Eddie Russell, and all the rest of them, but I’d REALLY like to meet and shake hands with Freddie Johnson. The others are masters – Freddie is an angel.

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