Fred Minnick

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Fred Minnick

Fred Minnick (born August 1, 1978) is an American author who has written seven books.[1] He is noted for having a great whiskey palate,[2] as he's a judge on the San Francisco World Spirits Competition,[3] World Whiskies Awards and is the former lead American whiskey reviewer for Whiskey Advocate.[4] Minnick has served as the Bourbon Authority for the Kentucky Derby Museum since 2013 [5] and was the bourbon headliner for the inaugural Bourbon & Beyond Festival [6] and curated the Fireside Chats for the Forecastle Music Festival.[7]


Minnick's first article was published in his town's local newspaper, the Oklahoma County News, when he was just fifteen years old. After college, Minnick served as an Army journalist in Iraq from 2004 to early 2005. Minnick documented many combat operations. He reports on these and other prominent experiences in his book Camera Boy (Hellgate press, 2009) as well as overcoming post-traumatic stress disorder in 2005.[8]

Minnick began professionally writing about wine and spirits in 2006 as a freelancer and has since written for The Tasting Panel, USA Today, Scientific American, New York Times, Stores Magazine, Parade Magazine, Caviar Affair, Whisky Advocate, Whisky Magazine, Sommelier Journal, Costco Connection, Bourbon Review, and Covey Rise. Minnick announced in early July 2018 in a blog post that he would no longer be writing for Whiskey Advocate.[9] Later that month, he launched his own magazine, Bourbon +, as its editor-in-chief, along with founder and publisher John Thames. Bourbon + is a quarterly magazine that features high quality, in-depth coverage of all aspects of the bourbon industry. [10][11]

On July 11, 2017, Minnick published “Will Trump Kill the Bourbon Boom?” in the New York Times. Minnick discusses Trump's threat to impose tariffs on steel imports and how that will affect the bourbon industry. He also appeared on CBS This Morning[12] and NPR.[13] Minnick's commentary led to Conservatives publicly questioning the president's trade policies.[14] After the 25% Chinese tariff on whiskey went into effect in June 2018, Minnick further discussed the damage the state of Kentucky and the bourbon industry will suffer in the CNBC report “Whiskey wars: Trade tariffs hit hard in Trump country.”[15]

Minnick has worked with Danny Wimmer Presents as the bourbon headliner for their Louisville, Ky based Bourbon & Beyond music festival since its debut in 2017. As the festival's Bourbon Headliner, Minnick curates over 30 workshops including tastings, discussions and historic panels.[16]

Bourbon Up with Fred Minnick was released on November 26, 2018, on the Amazon Prime Video platform. It is a vignette-style web series that features interviews conducted by Minnick with Bourbon legends such as Freddie Johnson, and master distillers Fred Noe and Jeff Arnett. [17]


Minnick is a frequent seminar presenter and emcee for drinks industry conferences, including San Antonio Cocktail Conference, Tales of the Cocktail (New Orleans), Thirst Boston, Whisky Live, Arizona Cocktail Week and Bourbon Classic. In addition, he regularly speaks at organizational conferences, such as Women Influencing Louisville,[18] Culinary Historians of New York,[19] Kentucky Bar Association,[20] University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture,[21] Decatur Book Festival,[22] Western Kentucky University and many others.[23] Since 2013, Minnick has worked with the Kentucky Derby Museum to present the popular Legends Series of Bourbon.[24]

List of Works[edit]

Awards and Accolades[edit]

  • Best New Spirits Book, Spirited Awards for Bourbon, 2017
  • One of the Best Food Books of 2016, Smithsonian Magazine, 2016
  • One of the Best Spirits Books Ever Written, on Whiskey Women, 2017
  • Gold Medal in the Women's Studies category for the 2013 Foreword INDIES for Whiskey Women[25]
  • Finalist, Pink Lady International Food Photographer of the Year, October 2012
  • Commended (British for Honorable Mention), Errazuriz International Wine Photographer of the Year, May 2013
  • Editorial Excellence, APEX May 2012, Awarded for "American Whiskey" by Fred Minnick in Tasting Panel Magazine
  • Honorable Mention, American Society of Journalists & Authors, April 2013 for my Dallas Morning News OpEd, "A Soldier's Fight, One Fire at a Time"
  • Finalist for Book of the Year, Spirited Awards, July 2014 for Whiskey Women.
  • Silver Medal in "Women's Issues," Independent Publisher Book Awards June 2014 for Whiskey Women


  1. ^ " Fred Minnick: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle". Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Show #167 - Fred Minnick Interview Part 1". The ABV Network. ABV Network. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  3. ^ "San Francisco World Spirits Competition: Judges". Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Fred Minnick". Whisky Advocate. Whiskey Advocate. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Derby Museum Announces Exclusive Partnership with Whiskey Expert, Fred Minnick". Derby Museum. Kentucky Derby Museum. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  6. ^ Havens, Sara (21 September 2017). "7 Questions With ... Bourbon expert and author Fred Minnick - Insider Louisville". Insider Louisville. Insider Louisville. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  7. ^ Havens, Sara (11 July 2017). "Forecastle Bourbon Lodge raises the bar with rare releases and 'Fireside Chats' - Insider Louisville". Insider Louisville. Insider Louisville. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  8. ^ Minnick, Fred (27 May 2012). "Fred Minnick: A soldier's fight, one fire at a time". Dallas News. Dallas News. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  9. ^ Minnick, Fred (6 July 2018). "Whisky Advocate: Thanks for the Memories Whisky Advocate: Thanks for the Memories". Minnick Media, INC. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  10. ^ Riber, Blake. "Fred Minnick Announces Bourbon Plus". Bourbonr. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  11. ^ "Bourbon Plus Magazine". Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  12. ^ Strassmann, Mark. "Will Trump kill the bourbon boom?". CBS. CBS. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  13. ^ Domonosky, Camila (10 July 2017). "U.S. Distillers Brace For Possible EU Backlash Against Bourbon". NPR. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  14. ^ Cunningham, Joe (11 July 2017). "If NPR Is Correct, I'm Joining The Resistance". RedState. RedState. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  15. ^ Brewer, Contessa; Taylor, Harriet (7 July 2018). "Whiskey wars: Trade tariffs hit hard in Trump country". CNBC. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  16. ^ McCarthy, John. "Sting, Lenny Kravitz...Fred Minnick? How A Louisville Boy Became A Bourbon Headliner". Forbes. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  17. ^ "Bourbon Up with Fred Minnick". Amazon Prime Video. Amazon. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  18. ^ "Events - Women Influencing Louisville". Women Influencing Louisiville. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  19. ^ "Whiskey Women". Culinary Historians of NY. Culinary Historians of NY. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  20. ^ "THE BOURBON INDUSTRY: KENTUCKY'S AMBER ROAD" (PDF). Kentucky Bar Association. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  21. ^ Nielson, Aimee (20 November 2015). "'Whiskey Women' Author to Speak at UKAg". University of Kentucky News. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  22. ^ "PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ADULT STAGES" (PDF). DeKalb Medical. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  23. ^ Peach, Daniel. "Kentucky Live! presents Fred Minnick on "Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey"". Western Kentucky University Libraries. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  24. ^ Kimberl, Maggie. "Legends Series 2017 Kicks Off With Fred Minnick". The Alcohol Professor. The Alcohol Professor. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  25. ^ "2013 Foreword INDIES Winners in Women's Studies (Adult Nonfiction)". Foreword Reviews. Retrieved 30 October 2018.