In our most recent conversation, we talked about what success feels like in the spirits world, where Brother’s Bond Bourbon is going next, and a teaser about Paul’s upcoming role as Captain James T. Kirk in the Paramount+ streaming series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
Cigar & Spirits: Congratulations on the successful launch of Brother’s Bond Bourbon this past year. How rewarding has it been to create a spirit that’s been so well-received?
Ian: We just got gold in San Francisco, which is huge, but that doesn’t really mean anything. The greatest reception is customers and people like yourself. That’s the greatest reception, the people who really love bourbon and who don’t have any vested interest, other than it tasting great and sharing in that. It’s been mind-blowing for me.
Paul: I liken it to the entertainment industry because that’s the only thing I really knew prior to this and probably the only thing I still know. When you make a TV show and you put it out there, you’re like, “I don’t know, is anybody going to watch this? Is anyone going to even appreciate it?” I’ve done a ton of those shows and movies that people don’t watch and don’t appreciate. When something does hit, the word “gratifying” is an understatement. You’re just really humbled by it.
C&S: Did it take you guys by surprise that your bourbon got this big of a reaction?
Paul: I knew we worked our asses off, and I knew our product was good, but taste is subjective. Also, in general, who knows? I don’t know. Maybe people weren’t in the mood for bourbon. I had no expectations. I was proud of what we created, but I had no expectations. Which is generally my outlook in life. Ian will attest to that.
Ian: Actually, just to add to what Paul was saying, there’s a difference between being the stars of a massive hit television show, which we were, thankfully. At the end of the day, yes, you’ve helped create that character, but it’s owned by the studio, the network, the producers. They dictate, ultimately. You can kick and scream. Trust me, we did. You didn’t like a certain storyline or you didn’t like the way this was handled or that, but at the end of the day, they own it. It’s their property.
This is at a totally different level. We created this literally from the ground up. We built this with our bare hands, with our team. It started with Paul, myself and Vincent [Hanna, co-founder and CEO of Brother’s Bond Bourbon]. Then Vincent built this amazing team around us. That, you cannot touch. That feeling of connectivity. It’s like having a child. It’s like having a baby. It’s amazing to see it now crawling and walking and talking. It’s mind-blowing.