Blue Run Begins Private Whiskey Barrel Program

Blue Run Private Whiskey Barrel Program chosen

With private barrel pick programs expanding rapidly, Blue Run Spirits is the latest to announce its own. Called CHOSEN,” the program is meant to provide a different kind of experience than others.

“Since Blue Run has already established itself as a company that approaches the industry through a different lens, we wanted to make sure our private barrel program focused on the holistic experience, not only the ultra-premium whiskey,” says Blue Run Spirits cofounder and CEO Mike Montgomery. “Picking a private barrel is an exciting moment and a meaningful investment, so the process should feel elevated and leave a long-lasting impression.”

Launching in February, the Blue Run Private Barrel program starts with “Scouting Season,” as Blue Run seeks out retailers and organizations that “share the company’s values and vision for a broader, more diverse whiskey community and automatically brings them on board.” At the same time, the brand will spread information on the program to other members of the whiskey community, leading up to the launch of an all-inclusive opportunity for whiskey enthusiasts.


On the day after Super Bowl LVII, February 13, 2023, “The Portal” opens. This online experience gives interested parties the opportunity to throw their name in the “hat” for a chance to select their very own barrel(s) of Blue Run Whiskey. Potential draftees will be asked more about their organization, on what kind of whiskey they are looking for and asked to design their bottles, with the ability to customize their strip stamp, neck label, proof label and the color of Blue Run’s signature butterfly medallion. More than 750 design combinations are possible.

March 23, 2023 is “Draft Day!” Every qualified entry from “The Portal” will go into a barrel inspired by a lottery wheel, and 16 entrees will be “CHOSEN” at random. The event will stream live on multiple online platforms. “The Blue Run Draft” will have an invite-only live audience and take place at whiskey partner Bardstown Bourbon Company in Bardstown, KY.


From there, “The Season” begins for all who have been “CHOSEN.” Participants will work directly with Trey Wade, Blue Run’s Chief Experience Curator who developed this pick program, in early spring through mid-summer in a curated fashion to find the profile of the whiskey best suited for them. They will select either a single barrel or create a micro-blend from inventory selected by Blue Run Whiskey Director Shaylyn Gammon.

The barrels set aside for the program vary in age, proof and mash bill.

In the fall will be the Blue Run “Butterfly Gala,” a VIP launch party to showcase each private selection. There, guests will sample a variety of the whiskeys from this year’s program, in addition to meeting the other participants and those who submitted to the original draft. There will even be superlatives awarded for the best barrel, best blend and best design.

Blue Run estimates each barrel will yield an average of 170-215 bottles. The base SRP will be $199.99 per 750-ml. bottle.

Roughly 50 customers will participate in the first year’s program.

“Having done scores of barrels selections for individuals, retailers and organizations over the past six years, I have a keen sense of what makes a private barrel program truly rewarding and memorable for the participant, particularly around how to build anticipation and excitement,” says Wade. “Our program will provide the widest possible access to consumers to participate at varying levels, while offering an exclusive product at the level of quality for which Blue Run Spirits has quickly become known.”

This follows recent news of the brand’s first barrel-proof rye, and a $51M investment in a new Kentucky distillery.



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