As Craft Distilleries Boom, a Californian with Whiskey in His Blood Takes It Slow and Steady


SANTA BARBARA, CAL. – Ian Cutler’s family has history with hooch. His great-grandfather Duke Cutler moonshined in California during Prohibition. His grandfather created his own brand of blended spirits during the 1940s, and the family stayed in the spirits business for another four decades, until Ian’s boyhood in the 1980s. Fair to say: The whiskey business runs in Ian’s blood.

Last year, he took his family heritage, his own restless always-learning curiosity and a chance opportunity at a lease in a busy strip in Santa Barbara’s trendy Funk Zone and put it all on the line with a new distillery. Cutler’s Artisan Spirits makes all manner of booze – most of it from scratch — from bourbon to vodka and gin to liqueurs.

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The Biggest Week in Bourbontown

When the editors of the brand new Sports Illustrated cobbled together the money to pay William Faulkner to come to Louisville to write about the mad scene leading up to the 1955 Kentucky Derby, they had but one real concern: How to keep the famously thirsty Southern writer away from the city’s equally well known, and forgiving, attitude toward bourbon drinking long enough to keep him writing. They needn’t have worried. Faulkner was on a roll. On the day he arrived, Tuesday of Derby Week, he won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and by the end of the week had produced, in daily chunks of 300 words each, one of the most famous pieces of sports journalism of the last century.

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Every Tumbler Tells a Story: Bourbon and Basketball in the Bluegrass

LOUISVILLE — I was speaking to January in late March in Kentucky, and that meant basketball was on in her bar as she built me…

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Bourbon Story Exclusive: Bill Samuels, Jr. Explains How His Parents Created Markers Mark

Bourbon Story editor Michael Lindenberger interviews Bill Samuels, Jr., chairman emeritus and son of the founder of Maker’s Mark, in the family company’s Bardstown board room.

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Once upon a time, Hunter S. Thompson walked into a bar in Kent …

Ralph Steadman has been a good friend Bourbon Story Magazine, sharing his memories of Hunter Thompson, of Louisville, and much else over the years. He…

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