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March 7, 2018

I CERTAINLY HOPE NOT: Have we reached peak bourbon? “You can now literally make your own from start to finish.”

Now you can literally make your very own bourbon — guided by experts — from start to finish.

And by start to finish, I mean you literally develop your mash bill (grain recipe), ferment and distill the product, raise and fill your barrel, hammer the bung in, fill your own bottles, and label them.

All for the low, low price of $18,750.

OK, bear with me. That’s not as preposterous as it sounds.

It’s the My Craft Distillery program from Moonshine University at the Distilled Spirits Epicenter we’re talking about and the price is based on a group of four (extreme!) bourbon enthusiasts going in together. The cost includes two rooms at The Brown Hotel, 335 W. Broadway; daily lunches for all plus a dinner with the Moonshine University team; and VIP tours and experiences, not to mention an intensive education. Participants will become a Stave & Thief Society Executive Bourbon Steward along the way.

And, of course, the bourbon. Oh, and even the empty barrel.

How much bourbon are we talking? Only time will tell how much remains of the 53 gallon barrel after aging and angel’s share, but a rule of thumb, it’s about 215 bottles at barrel proof (not cut down with water) after four years, said Colin Blake, director of spirits education.

So you’re looking at a little less than $90 a bottle – a price that seems downright reasonable compared to what some limited edition bourbons go for on the secondary market, or for that matter, what many top shelf bourbons sell for retail.

It sounds like fun, but I think I’ll stick to buying a bottle or two at a time.