About me

My name is Henrik Brandt and I live in the beautiful city of Copenhagen, Denmark with my family and a great Golden Retriever called “Harley”. Quality of life is amazing here in Denmark – and we’re generally regarded as one of the happies nations on Earth.

In 2016 I became even happier, when I discovered American whiskey. I had been avoiding whiskey for the longest time, as the smokey, tarry and malted notes were not compatible with my taste, it seemed. I had, of course, been trying to drink either very cheap blended or peated Scotch whisky.

Little did I know (back then) how many amazing experiences were waiting for me, when I would discover American whiskey.

The US has always been my home away from home; I have visited ALL 50 states during my 60+ visits – and today I have close friends scattered across the country. So it was almost a match made in heaven, when it turned out that Bourbon and Rye were the kinds of spirits I had REALLY been waiting for.

Since my “discovery” in 2016, American whiskey has been my overarching hobby and I spend a considerable amount of my spare time pursuing this. In 2019 I published the first ever book on the topic in Denmark – and together with a friend I run one of the largest American whiskey review sites in the world, outside the US. I also do a ton of tasting events where I take the audience through a Bourbon 101, while sipping and sampling great whiskey products. I’m always looking forward to whiskey tastings, as people generally seem to be in a good mood. And as a final note, I’m admin of the “Nordic Bourbon Community” Facebook group.

And now I’m doing a Bourbon School, on top of everything else!

If you wonder why I’m doing this for free – especially due to the number of hours that go into research and video creation – there are really two simple answers:

The first one is that this is my way of paying it forward; Everyone in the whiskey industry has been incredibly helpful to me and almost everyone has welcomed me with open arms. As you will be able to see from the gallery below this note, I have had the great fortune to meet some amazing people who, despite being very busy, have set time aside to meet with me.

The second answer is the obvious one: Sharing is caring. If my videos can help increase awareness about American whiskey, then I could ask for no more.

Since the start in 2016, I have accumulated (status per July 16th, 2022) 327 bottles, whereof 137 are open. The availability of Bourbon and Rye in Europe is underwhelming, to say the least, but I’m blessed in the sense that I visit the US 2-3 times a year – and not least having a number of “Bourbon mules” in the form of colleagues, who visit the corporate HQ of my firm in Copenhagen.

My collection (327 bottles), as of July 2022

The Bourbon School is a number of video lessons that lasts between 10 and 20 minutes each. I have currently planned for 30 lessons – but there may be even more in the future. If you want to see the planned list, you can visit the page called “Upcoming lessons”.

If you have suggestions for new lessons, comments, correction, etc., I would love to hear from you. Feel free to send me an email on henrik@thebourbonnerd.com or simply leave a comment here on the page.

My only ask of you: If you like the content, please subscribe to my YouTube channel – and of course I would appreciate if you told a friend 😊

Cheers!

My “paying it forward” gallery

(This is not to brag about people I met, but about highlighting whiskey people that has been nice to me) 

Michter’s Master Distiller Dan McKee and Master of Maturation Andrea Wilson – together with my friend Linus Jonsson (also appearing on several of the pictures below). Michter’s mean a lot to me and they were to first ones to invite me for a private tour, when I started my book. I have never had a bad pour of Michter’s – and I have only met nice people there.
The founder of Barrell Craft Spirits, Joe Beatrice and Chief Whiskey Scientist Tripp Stimson. Joe has almost become a personal friend and it is hard to find a nicer person in the industry. Tripp is such a character and I could spend hours picking his brains.
Kenny and Ryan from Bourbon Pursuit. Always helpful and always fun to be around. And I even got to interview them in Kenny’s basement back in 2017.
A fantastic day with my friend Chris Trevino (pictured to the right) – also known as “liquorHound“. On this day we spent time with the founders of Ironroot Republic Distilling Robert and Jonathan Likarish. I got a private tour and got to sample 10 barrels and as you can see, the spirits were high! (no pun intended).
Together with Michter’s, Buffalo Trace were the only distillery that responded to my request for an interview, when I was working on my book. When I was there, I got to spend time with superstar Freddie Johnson. What a nice man.
One of my proudest Bourbon moments. Got to meet Jimmy Russell, Master Distiller at Wild Turkey. Jimmy is the only of the old Bourbon masters still alive. I was incredible lucky that he was not only there when I visited – he also set aside almost half an hour to talk to me.
And here with my good friend Pat Heist from Wilderness Trail. Pat is one of the most knowledgeable people in the industry. I’m proud to call him my friend – and he has even come to Denmark to visit me. Cheers, Pat!
Linus and I were incredible lucky to book a meeting with Willett Distillery’s Master Distiller Drew Kulsveen. Even though he was super busy that day, he took out the time to meet with us and give us a private tour in one of the warehouses.
My wife, my daughter and I got to spend an evening with Sara and Chad from “It’s Bourbon Night”. Super nice people and instantly felt like family. Sara also brought me a special Tiki bitter to make a “Tight Spot” cocktail.
During a meeting with David Mandel at Bardstown Bourbon Company, Dixon Dedman from Kentucky Owl showed up to say hi. Super nice person and we even discussed doing some business together – but the timing was not right.

6 thoughts on “About me

  1. The next time you come to the US stop by St Louis Missouri. I belong to a brew / distillation club and we would love to host you for an evening. We make some great whiskey and rum. Don’t know if brandy is something you enjoy but ours will forever make you a brandy lover.

  2. My understanding of the name Bourbon that is associated with brown alcohol is that the barrel maker was from Bourbon County Kentucky. Makers of whiskey would ship their product to New Orleans in his barrels. So that he could get his barrels back he branded on them his location: Bourbon. The whiskey in those barrels was clear prior to a fire that charred many of his barrels. He still filled those barrels with alcohol and sent them to New Orleans. Where, upon tasting the contents, the people of New Orleans started demanding more of that “Bourbon Whiskey” that had turned brown and mellowed during the long transport process through Kentucky and down the Mississippi River.

  3. Hej Henrik
    Jeg har lige opdaget din bog, det er den perfekte begynderguide, jeg glæder mig til at smage nogle af de mange bourbons du anbefaler! Den bourbon, der for nylig vakte min interesse for bourbon var fra Koval, men jeg ledte forgæves efter den i din bog og på din blog, jeg håber du finder anledning til at anmelde den på et tidspunkt.

  4. Kære Henrik,

    Mere tak for dit blændende indlæg om bourbons fortræffeligheder.
    Du er uden sammenligning den bedste indlægsholder jeg har mødt i KWL.
    Jeg vil blive glad for dine hints om bourbon/whisky i C´ville-området.
    Som jeg nævnte, tager min kone og jeg derover om ca. 3 uger, og jeg vil da gerne bruge lidt tid på at “gå videre ad bourbon/whisky-sporet”.
    God weekend
    Willi Weber

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