This is the eleventh episode of the Driving Eureka! Podcast. Segment 1 and 2: Creating Ideas – Live Demo Segment 3: Brain Brew Whisk(e)y Academy and the Craft Cocktail – the Cranberry Mule. Subscribe to learn how to Find Filter and Fast Track Big Ideas.
Introduction to the 11th Episode of the Driving Eureka! Podcast – Featuring How to Create New Ideas
Dr. Van Gundy Research on Using Stimulus
Using Stimulus You Get 5X or 500% More High Quality Ideas than Brainstorming
Caffeine Does Increase Creativity – Cocktails (No Research)
How to Use Stimulus
Soylent Green -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green
Alex Osborne Research
Technology has Made Using Stimulus Easier
Driving Eureka! Book Segment
Creating an Idea is Only 10% – the 90% is in Development
Google and Allocating Time to New Ideas
Allocating Time is a Stunt Requires and Education on a Method
The Perfect Innovation Organization
Too Busy to Innovate
15% in Your Company are Early Adopters
Brain Brew Whisk(e)y Academy
How Whisk(e)ys are Created
Whiskey Flavor is from Wood
Brewer does Magic for Beer – The Whiskey Maker is the Magician for Whiskey
The Story Matters
The Story of Lapu Lapu
The “Story” of Brain Brew Whisk(e)y
The Story of Wood in Whiskey
Sometimes the Story is First, Sometime the Whisk(e)y
The Craft Cocktail Recipe – Cranberry Mule
The Cranberry Mule Recipe Step 1
This Episode is a Requirement for Spirits Makers
Tripp: [00:00:01] Welcome to the Driving Eureka! podcast where we share ideas and advice for helping you find filter and fast track big ideas
Tripp: [00:00:14] Hi I’m Tripp Babbitt advisor to global organizations on the Deming philosophy and host of the Deming Institute podcast.
Doug: [00:00:22] And I’m Doug Hall inventor speaker teacher and whiskey maker. I’m also the founder of the Eureka ranch and author of the Driving Eureka! book.
Tripp: [00:00:34] This is the 11th episode of the Driving Eureka! podcast. This episode is discussion of Doug Hall’s newsletter available at Doug Hall dot com and click under the menu newsletters in these segments. We’re going to be talking about how to create new ideas in each of the segments. So this is going to be the theme for this entire show. And so Doug with that let’s begin. We kind of we’re talking about what we wanted to do in this episode and we used stimulus which we’ll talk about here and the stimulus response system. What is it. And you know more importantly how is it different than the way people currently go about trying to come up with and create new ideas.
Doug: [00:01:26] Happy new year Tripp.
Tripp: [00:01:27] Happy New Year.
Doug: [00:01:29] Yeah. So as we start the new year I thought what what better than to do ideas. And we were texting back and forth talking about different themes and different things that we were going to do and suddenly came to me I said What if we just do it live here. And so the classic method of creating ideas called brainstorming. It’s usually an event where a group of people get in a room and somebody says we need ideas and then they suck the ideas out of their head. And I really call it brain draining because it’s just a matter of sucking stuff from our head. What we’ve learned over the years through lots of experiments with Dr. Van Gundy and others is an approach that we call stimulus response where we use stimulus to spark ideas. The basic premises ideas of feats of association and if we have a piece of stimulus which can be very simple or random is we’re going to do here or they can be more sophisticated whether it’s patent mining wisdom mining insight mining market mining future mining tax are in this like six different types of mining which we’ll get into in time that can really turbo charge your ability to create ideas.
Doug: [00:02:39] So you know when we say you know our research has shown there is a system where you can create not just 5 percent more 10 percent more but being Gandhi’s research said 5 x or 500 percent more high quality ideas based on a paper that we did together. And so I am doing this for this release of the newsletter and the podcast I challenge you to give me three pieces of unrelated stimulus to create a feature article for this week’s newsletter.
Tripp: [00:03:10] And the three things you gave me were dogs golf and stock market. Wow so awesome so awesome.
Doug: [00:03:19] I mean just think about what what what what incredible stimulus that is to create. So that I did the obvious thing. I went out and I made it up. Phillips cranberry you about later because I said Well I think that there’s no data on this trip. There is data on caffeine caffeine does increase your creativity. There’s no data on cocktails ability but I’m just gonna go with it OK. We just don’t need to research it and it feels like it is.
Doug: [00:03:55] So the first thing you do with the stimulus is you expand it. Now if you have a team you have the team each give your thoughts.
Doug: [00:04:01] If you’re doing it individually you write them down what comes to mind when you think of. So when you said wrote text to me dogs I wrote down loyal fun fury PAC best friend trusted can’t be nasty no kids shall no kill shelters because my wife volunteers at one of the no kill shelters. OK. And on golf this is what I typed I typed my thoughts were fun difficult par overpower under par. Tiger Woods. I’m sorry. I really love Tiger. I mean I know he messed up but at least he’s fighting back and you he hasn’t given up tonight.
Doug: [00:04:43] You got to love that. And then lastly on stock market this was right at the time of the crazy stock market. You know a scary roller coaster ups downs. Pressure on CEOs pressure on those close to retirement. OK so so now what I’ve done is I’ve taken my mind and I’ve expanded it I’ve expanded it into different directions and as my friend chick Thompson says a balloon expanded never goes back to the same shape. And it’s the same thing with my mind I’ve now got my mind thinking about more stuff than this. Connections being made then I did the obvious thing that one would do at this point I took another sip of my cranberry meal.
Tripp: [00:05:26] Is this the requirement. Are we going to have to have spirits associated with great creativity.
Doug: [00:05:32] Hey hey. Holiday season.
Doug: [00:05:35] So I started and I started reading the list over and over again allowing my brain to make connections. So you say you just started letting it saturate in the head. It’s like you’re feeding your mental food processor. And so then I came up with some ideas. And the first one was Par off of Par from golf. It made me think of the need to apply benchmarking to innovation speed to market companies who compare their projects people and processes versus world class and it could be a system for determining where the blockages are. And so one of the things we could do in the article on the newsletter is we could give people examples of Here’s the numbers like we turned around and we said you’re meaningful unique this needs to be five six or seven. Well we could do that with more things because we’ve got a whole lot of data on it so that they could self measure themselves. Yeah. And that’s just came from from that. All right. OK. Then the next idea was pressure on those close to retirement and no kill shelters.
Tripp: [00:06:38] I don’t know but that he said it’s almost like so. Remember the movie Soylent Green. Remember that thing. Oh my gosh. OK well never mind it. It combines the two though.
Doug: [00:06:50] It’s made me think of a crazy idea. What if big companies the week before people retire or leave for a company they go to a no kill idea shelter. OK. So because you got all this wisdom that’s about to walk out the door and but people you know then I want to say anything. So they’re going to go to the No Kill idea shelter and with nothing to lose they helped create ideas for what the company can do with its processes its products or services. Now think about that and think about if we were to go out and we could disguise their voices and go interview people who are quitting jobs and say can you with your identity disguised what things which I think we’re going to be blown away blown away by the things that people know but that you know passive aggressive whatever they’re not willing to talk about them.
Tripp: [00:07:44] They when necessary necessarily just have to be people close to retire.
Doug: [00:07:50] We should just have a.
Tripp: [00:07:52] I just left the company I can tell you 50 reasons. I think they call it what’s the place glass door that rates companies you know where people go out put anonymous comments about the companies they worked for and some of them are very nice and some of them are really ugly. So he’d something like that. Taking that a step further. OK. Go ahead.
Doug: [00:08:15] So and then my last one was roller coaster in Tiger Woods. OK so there’s a combination. It’s made me think you have companies going back to the notes from previous brainstorming sessions and looking at the ideas generated with some fresh insight. Could be that some of those that were maybe not good ideas that were down and now have a good potential to make a comeback.
Doug: [00:08:42] And what’s interesting about this is is that after I type that in a day later I was doing a search of my computer and up came a file of a thing we had done with our partner in Scotland a session we had done in Rhode Island with them. And I pulled up the deck of stuff and I started reading through it and I realized Oh my God there’s a wicked cool idea in here that we could tap into that I had not just totally forgotten about. Didn’t realize at the time when we were putting it in it didn’t make sense but today it offers a cool opportunity. And so. So I’m going to start to poke at it and see it see if we can do it. And it involved a different way of making the whiskey which I can’t really talk about but a whole different approach to making whiskey to create a whole new type of taste. And at the time it was no good. But now that I look at it I go Jeez something cool in there.
Tripp: [00:09:44] Mm hmm interesting. You know there’s one thing that I want to hit upon because this this subject to me is is another of those things that was the first thing when it when when I when I first met you and the Eureka! Ranch was this concept of renewing yourself your company your team you know all of that that that there’s there’s more out there and that really opens your mind. That’s that’s kind of infinite universe type of thinking you know that kind of blows your mind up and then there’s this second concept of where you really discount the brainstorming session. And I can’t remember if it’s you or somebody else had the Eureka ranch that told me that. OK you know I told him I said I’m struggling with the difference between brainstorming and the stimulus then because it was all new to me. And so I had a hard time kind of in my head separating out OK. What’s different. And the explanation that I got was excellent which was OK. You’re going on vacation and you could either start writing stuff down on a piece of paper about where you want to go on vacation because Disney World or Europe or you know we’re on a on a ship or whatever or. And then I remember that on the screen big big screens started with the stimulus which was you know a picture of an ocean a picture of a beach a picture of your top vacation.
Tripp: [00:11:19] Let’s go. Yeah. Yeah yeah. And and then all of a sudden your brain just obviously opens up. I mean it’s it’s really amazing as opposed to just kind of sitting around with a blank piece of paper which is really what brainstorming is. Now I’m sure different people have different operational definitions of what a brainstorming session might look like but that for me was the difference between the two. Once I started to actually see it. So it’s something that you can communicate you know to other people by virtue of actually going out and even if you don’t know what the six different stimulus response pieces are of just going out and looking on the Internet and saying OK what are some ideas that come up within and you know plaster Amona you know in a word document or a PowerPoint or something like that and then show it to your family and then also new ideas will come as opposed to let’s go to Disney World again this year. I think I just don’t want to leave this particular segment without saying how huge a difference it is between the what you reference as brain draining versus the stimulus piece. It is literally night and day different as far as design.
Doug: [00:12:31] Yeah. And it it is and it all comes from Alex Osborne.
Doug: [00:12:36] He was the father of brainstorming. And so the proper I mean we say brain draining and we get a laugh and an SO it connects to people because they felt the pain of sitting there in the room saying the same old stuff over and over again and and so we’re building off of his you know he had two rules with brainstorm. He he coined the phrase brainstorming deferred judgment in quantity breeds quality. And we’re in total alignment with that and I cite him in the book and in our courses and we show a picture of him and his book Applied Imagination.
Doug: [00:13:07] The challenge is is that somewhere along the way we got messed up on this that rather than looking at other stuff. Some of us in school we were taught to not look on other people’s papers and then we got into the corporate world and we had to know everything and if. And so it’s a sign of weakness to ask others for help or to to look something up. I mean you know but in today’s world I think it’s getting easier and easier as the as the as over the years the Internet’s grown.
Doug: [00:13:37] You know when we when we don’t know something we pick up our phone and in three clicks we we learn something well it’s the same thing only we’re providing systems and structures for it whether it’s going into the sixth mining’s whether it’s sparked X whether it’s methods for processing it. We’ve just made it a real science team. Maggie Brad and and the folks at the University of Maine that we work with Rene and and all the rest of them made a real science of learning how do we increase the effectiveness of this. We have it. We’re building on Alex Osborne’s work with that Alex Osborne we’re not there yet but we have a tendency in today’s world to throw the baby out with the bathwater and say well we’ll just do something totally different. And it’s like no Alex had it right. He had it right. It’s just we zigged instead of zagged and society changed. And and you know we most recently. So so we have these things called Spark decks these slides and which is a way to communicate. Everybody goes out and does stimulus mining they come back and they share it.
Doug: [00:14:39] And one of the things that we’ve learned recently is that with this new digital age is and the beauty of it is it’s so easy to bring video audio and images and we call it sparked X 3D experiential things that we are people do. And so there is you know it’s continuing as a science it’s continuing to evolve it’s continuing to grow but there is a method to the madness ideas. You know it’s not about going on the roof of your house and sitting in a lotus positioning waiting for lightning to strike. I mean that’s just not the way it is. And you know the people we call creative are good at making those connections. Well you’ve never been taught as well as we said last week. How could you know how could you know there was a way a systematic way to literally create ideas. People say they can’t grazes and you’ve never been taught. I guarantee you you can do it if you learn step by step methodology so we talk about OK.
Tripp: [00:15:42] So is there any other things you want to talk about with regards to creating ideas or brain training or stimulus well.
Doug: [00:15:50] Well let’s go let’s go right into the book excerpt because it’s on the exact same subject. OK
Tripp: [00:16:04] It’s time now for the Driving Eureka! book segment with author and inventor Doug Hall it’s on the exact same subject.
Doug: [00:16:19] And this is from Driving Eureka! and this is from the create chapter where or where I write about this and I start with a quote from Mark Twain. So you know from his biography and of course we’re talking stimulus response that that’s how ideas are created it’s not a sign of weakness that you do that it’s a sign that you’re intelligent you know the artist walks in the woods and sees to past diverge and frost writes a poem you know about the past diverging. But Mark Twain had a similar concept. He said there is no such thing as a new idea it is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental Kaleidoscope we give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations.
Doug: [00:17:03] We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely but they are the same old pieces of color glass that have been in use through all the ages. I said well written well I mean whether it’s creating ideas or problem solving ideas or recreating and frankly if you’re in the innovation business you know the create is 10 percent of it 90 percent of it is in turning the idea and making it real I was leaving space for you
Tripp: [00:17:45] I mean it’s because you know I’m still digesting Mark Twain’s quote here you know and and it’s funny as you started to read it. I didn’t know where you were going to go. I was thinking in terms of oh well yeah that’s that was his thought but so you buy into the concept that there is no such thing as a really new idea. And and my brain has always been associating you with there’s always a new idea.
Doug: [00:18:16] Oh no no it’s that’s all I’m going to correct that a little.
Tripp: [00:18:18] OK. Go ahead.
Doug: [00:18:21] They’re all new ideas but ideas of feats of association. So I’m not going to lame. You know if somebody you know somebody had the idea of flying and they tried to flap their wings and didn’t work then somebody put it engines on it made it work. Well it’s not a new idea. Of course it’s a new idea. They figured out how to do it right. And so it doesn’t bother me where they come from I.
Doug: [00:18:44] They of course they came from all ideas and people sit in teams and say jeez you know we you know we’ve heard these ideas before. I said Are they good ideas. Oh yeah. They’re really good ideas. Well then why didn’t you do something about them. Well they weren’t quite right. And now they are right. Yeah I said so that’s a new idea.
Doug: [00:19:01] Well no it’s the same I would get over yourself. You know I’m just tired of people whining. You know there’s no time for whining. That’s my new year’s resolution. No whining anywhere anywhere. Get over yourself. You’re not making money in your whiskey business. Do something about it.
Doug: [00:19:18] If you’re not happy with your job do something about you know and but you know so much of this is so easy and so Twain talks about it but with Van Gundy we literally did quantitative research. We we had we work with Frito-Lay. They gave us. They were willing to work with us and we created ideas with brain draining and then using stimulus response and then we sent these ideas in to. We typed them all up and we scrambled them so they didn’t know what it is. And Frito-Lay went and they scored which were big ideas. They had some criteria they had set. How many were big ideas.
Doug: [00:20:02] And literally there was like eleven hundred times eleven X more ideas created with stimulus response and just under like five points six times more big ideas because they kind of come together. The more ideas you have the more big ideas you have. I mean that’s 5 x that’s 500 plus percent not a little bit. I mean it’s not it’s not like this is a tiny thing. This is a step change improvement a step change would be 100 X this is 500 x 500 times 500 percent.
Doug: [00:20:43] It’s so easy it’s so easy. But we’ve got to brace a world of opening ourselves up to making those connections and accepting that our past thoughts aren’t bad thoughts. They may have just been at the wrong time so.
Tripp: [00:21:03] So let me ask you this what Doug what what are you read about. Let’s say you know Google they they set aside I think it was Google that set aside so many hours in a week where they’re able to go out and you know think of new products or services you know four for Google and activities like that which companies be doing. I mean do you really set aside time like that does that as well. I think what’s the answer to that.
Doug: [00:21:33] I’ve always found that to be just a public relations stunt you know giving people time but not giving them the education and the resources and the tools to do it is just frustrating to them. And I’ve never found I mean I worked for Procter and Gamble for a lot of years and no matter what I was doing you always have time to think. You just force it you know you make you make it happen and you can do it. The problem is they don’t know what to do. They don’t have a purpose. They’re on a mission you know which we’ll talk about more in future episodes. But you know you need to have an innovation project mission. What do you try to do when you’re trying to get to and we call it blue card.
Doug: [00:22:14] But it’s you know where you’re trying to go and then they don’t have a method by which to do it. They’ve not been taught how to use stimulus response they’ve not been taught how to leverage to receive. There are tools and techniques that are available now that can amplify your ability I mean we get ridiculous tools that we’ve got now that allow you to literally write an idea and the computer reads it and gives you advice on how to make it better. I mean this is mindblowing. There is a science to this that people are doing and there are techniques but if you’ve never been taught them you can you can sit there forever trying to figure it out and it’s not going to happen.
Doug: [00:22:49] So to educate they need to educate their people.
Tripp: [00:22:53] So so and I’m trying to you know and I don’t want to use this it’s probably overused you know. But what does what would perfect look like from an organization from your standpoint. In other words if I may an organization I’m operating the way I am today what should I aspire to look like it from a from a Doug perspective.
Doug: [00:23:19] Well the mission of the Eureka ranch is to enable innovation by everyone everywhere every day. So what you should inspire to is everybody in your organization thinking of ways I’ll let me translate that how to work smarter every day.
Tripp: [00:23:44] That’s good. That’s good. Let’s look at the opposite. The opposite is now. I’m going to do the same old crap the same stupid way I’ve always been doing it.
Doug: [00:23:50] And you know what the hell it’s a stupid company and it’s not my money that’s why we have 30 percent comp you know employee engagement right.
Tripp: [00:24:03] Right. Yeah. There’s a lot of things associated with that. But certainly one of them or certainly you know is aspiring to be part of something that’s has some usefulness.
Tripp: [00:24:17] You know in society and being able to use your brain in such a way that I’m looking forward to the new thing that that’s coming that that I can participate in that it’s called.
Doug: [00:24:31] Yeah. There’s a simple term for that.
Doug: [00:24:33] I think it’s called leadership.
Doug: [00:24:36] It’s a leader inspires the troops to charge the best deal the leader inspires the troops to create this startup company. The leader inspires the team to do this because they paint a vision of what they need to do and how is going to make a difference in the world. It’s called leadership not management. It’s trite thing but that’s as simple as that. We have leaders and we have managers we need more leadership in the world at all levels of the organization by the way. So don’t be just picking up the nuts at the top. Everybody has a sphere of influence. So you need to start the only way this starts. Dr. Demi started told me you have to change the person before you can change your organization. So no more whining remember. That’s the new mission. No whining. Where can you lead. What year is in your sphere of influence how can you make a difference. That’s what our new fundamentals course is all about. And if you if you’re getting this it’s probably a link to the online fundamentals course that you go through that I just redid all of the course all of the videos to teach this for people. You have a sphere of influence. Let’s get started right now. And then with that it’ll start to grow.
Tripp: [00:25:41] OK. All right. Yeah. I mean this leads to questions to some of these are themes that that we have discussed before. So for instance one of the themes and I just want to touch upon it because it’s such a reality which is we’re so busy with the schedules and the things that we have just to get the daily activities done in a day when am I going to have time to do that. That’s the thing that that seems to be the the the tug. Which is she said would be great if we could do all that but me in my daily days for and that’s just taking care of my current customers.
Doug: [00:26:20] Ok. I got an idea. OK. I got an idea. OK.
Doug: [00:26:24] How about if we use the stuff we’re talking about to an event a way to work smarter on what you have to do now nothing new. Just do your current work smarter find a more efficient way to do it. A more effective way to do it. Change the system of how you get your work done. Start with your existing project list. Let’s work those smarter. That’s what we’re teaching people to do.
Tripp: [00:26:55] Okay. But then I go back to some of their earlier conversations that we have where you talked about you know you get to spend some of your time and you know creating new things or you’re going to be lot left in the dust.
Doug: [00:27:07] So even if I understand I understand. But let’s walk before we run out and let’s not start with the Boston Marathon.
Doug: [00:27:15] Okay let’s get wins and get our courage up and let’s build ourselves space because we’ve worked on ways to more efficiently do the stuff that we’ve got there and keeping a sense of urgency that we do need those leap ideas. We need those transformational ideas.
Tripp: [00:27:30] Okay. So let me ask this. Which is I’m would say I’m a new CEO in a company and I know that that you know things are changing and in the universe and in the marketplace and it doesn’t really matter what business it is.
Tripp: [00:27:51] But I recognize that I need to leap in this new organization I just took though it took over but my people are back just trying to get the daily wash out. Are are you going to slowly and incrementally go through and kind of bring their people along and ignore that leap for a period of time. Or do you kind of find a way to do both.
Doug: [00:28:17] Ok. So if you’re a leader that’s different. If we if we don’t have the leadership then it’s your sphere of influence and you start there and get started. OK. If we have the leader what my advice to the leader is very simple let’s ask for volunteers to run an experiment in a new way of accelerating leap innovations and because within an organization there’s a diffusion of innovations curve.
Doug: [00:28:45] Was about 15 percent that are innovators and early adopters within any organization.
Doug: [00:28:49] About 15 percent in the math is solid and when you ask for volunteers they’ll be a group of people that will volunteer and you put a team together.
Doug: [00:28:58] Get yourself a coach to help with it or read the books take your classes online OK. You do it. But the leader has to be involved. You can’t outsource this and the leaders help set the strategic mission the Blue Card working with the team and go on this adventure journey together. And in about three months you’re going to see a magical transformation start to happen is because people start to believe they can win again because your people can do this I know they can. I’m yet to find idiots working at companies. I found some not some smart people but as a general rule the people there you know the demigod always say well if you fire all the people what makes you believe that the next ones are gonna be any different than the ones you got now. No they won’t. You’ve got to change the system. So for a leader my mission to you is pick some volunteers get going.
Doug: [00:29:54] Accelerate the process. I mean we even offer you Eureka! Inventing which makes you go even faster. Sort of guarantee results quickly but just get started. And then with that success you can then start to build the others. But you’ve got to do it. You’ve got to do it quickly because you know if it’s gonna take you three months three months from now that means it’s six months away and nine months from now means it’s a year away. So what’s slowing you down. Let’s go. This is the brain brew whisky Academy podcasts where we will take you behind the scenes so you can see what it takes to build a whiskey distillery business Eureka ranch team led by Doug Hall are creating a craft Whiskey Company with patented technology like has never been done before
Tripp: [00:30:48] Let’s move to the Brain Brew Whisk(e)y Academy and since we are on this theme Doug of creating ideas how how does how did this play out or how does this play out in your whiskey distillery.
Doug: [00:31:07] Ok. So what I want to do is I want talk to you about how new whiskeys are created. And because I’ve had the good fortune to work with some brilliant people in this field but I have to start by explaining the difference between making beer and making whiskey when you make beer. The brewer is the whole thing because they the grains and how they sit together and fermentation and what they do and they craft beer and the beer is the beer. It comes out you drink it when you make whiskey distilleries are usually run primarily by a computer. And it is what it is and what you get out is this pretty white clear spirit that doesn’t have much flavor in it. I mean it makes a difference if what grain it is. But fundamentally they’re all unless you do it badly. A bourbon is a bourbon arise awry. You can do them badly. There’s not a lot of headspace to do them greatly. They are what they are. Usually it’s because people feel the magic happens in the wood.
Doug: [00:32:10] That’s where 70 percent of the flavor comes in the wood but the wood is so variable that when you put your whiskey in barrels and summer at the top where it’s warmer in a warehouse somewhere down below somewhere on the side somewhere inside this different types of woods that you’re using.
Doug: [00:32:27] That’s where the magic happens. And so while the brewer is the magic for beer the whiskey maker who’s the person who takes these barrels and puts them together is the real magician who makes the magical things happen. And so you follow me.
Tripp: [00:32:46] Yeah. Oh yeah.
Doug: [00:32:48] Ok so I had an opportunity one of the most epic moments that that I have had over the last twenty five or so years working with the major spirits companies was I was it at the Macallan distillery who I’ve worked with I’ve worked with McCown for now over 20 years with Bob Dujana who’s retired now and he had created a whisky for the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth Queen Elizabeth. Oh yeah. This was back in in 2012. Her sixtieth anniversary to becoming the queen. And he this was whiskey had been made and it had sold out rapidly and it was getting rave reviews.
Doug: [00:33:34] And we’re sitting there in his in his place where he makes the whiskey where he mixes them and he’s got bottles and all kinds of barrels and stuff.
Doug: [00:33:42] And he said Have you tasted the jubilee. And I said No I haven’t it’s sold out. Oh he says I’ll make you one. What he has already takes the pipe. And he takes a sample from one barrel and then another sample from another barrel and another barrel and he puts them together discursive just try that. And as I was before I even drank it I said Well what are you trying to do with this. And he starts to tell this incredible story as he says it’s the spring the new queen is the new queen is there and it’s a bright day and the such hopes for the young lady who’s taking over and he goes through this wonderful wonderful story and you sit and then you tasted it and you could literally.
Doug: [00:34:33] He says that’s what I put in here. So what he’d done is he’d created a thought piece in his head of the moment he was trying to create for people. And that was his stimulus that inspired so rather than just try to say let me make something taste good. He had a story that he was trying to match it to. And and it was magical. I mean it just had it. There was a lightness but a significance to the taste.
Doug: [00:35:05] If that makes any sense and I mean just spirits but the power of that story of that stimulus was the same.
Doug: [00:35:14] And and you know said I’ve created Brain Brew we do the exact same thing so I mean it was with sitting with Bob. It was just it blew my mind that that somebody could literally create a vision and then match the tastes to make that moment come to life.
Tripp: [00:35:36] And so that that’s in essence you know as I as I hear this and I’m going to just restate what you just said to some degree but is this this concept of the story that there is whether it’s a drink. There is there’s that you made basically from scratch or something new that’s out there and the story associated with what’s driving the production of something
Doug: [00:36:13] Yeah. Yeah. The concept. You know there’s a synergy between the marketing and the moment and the product. There’s a system that works together that creates the story. Yes it’s okay. All right.
Doug: [00:36:31] I’m following that it creates the whole thing so that it’s a whole it’s not just let me get you technically the best tasting whiskey in the world. There’s many whiskies but this makes that moment come to life. And so now you’re seeing a sense of crafting that’s part of the reason why he’s got it in all of his products as part of the reason why MacLeod’s the most expensive whiskey in the world. It’s one of most successful it’s growing sixteen hundred percent over last 20 years is because there is that level of craftsmanship. Even in a big company an intense craftsmanship that’s going on with folks like Bob and and now the others that lead it.
Tripp: [00:37:08] You know it’s funny that you say that and you know you’re probably going to laugh. My family does regularly. There is a drink at the Polynesian Resort at Disney World and it’s called the LAPU LAPU. I don’t know if you’ve had a dog or not but it’s in a pineapple and I’m not sure everything that’s in it. I know rums in it and pineapple obviously. But I love the Lapu Lapu when you’re only allowed to have to if they can any idea. Right.
Tripp: [00:37:40] So say I always go to the Polynesian and I order the slop who LA poo. Well interesting enough I started to get curious about what what the hell is a Lapu Lapu who. You know what. What does a la poo. So I whipped back and of course the Internet is available to you. And I looked up Lapu Lapu. Well there was a king Loch who lop who in the Philippines. I’m one of the islands and he is the one responsible for killing Magellan story.
Tripp: [00:38:15] And so every time this last time that we went we go always go for the food and wine festival in the fall. And you know one of the big things that that we like to do is obviously go over the Polynesia have this and I’ll not forget this. And hopefully someday these girls I’ll listen and my my daughter was about is about their age about 20 to 21 years old but they had to be 21 because they were drinking. But they you know they said hey do you have a drink that you would suggest here. My wife. Yeah. You get see your roller eyes. You’ve asked the wrong guy you know. So I went on to tell him. Oh yeah you got to have the Lapu Lapu and here’s the story and I told the story and everything. And these girls got to got to got a huge kick out of it.
Doug: [00:38:54] But let’s see. Let’s see the neat thing is this. So this an integrity there’s a story there’s a drink there’s a connection.
Tripp: [00:39:01] Yeah. Absolutely yeah.
Doug: [00:39:02] And so these are not you know what I hate is sometimes you know you get this marketing story and you get the product and the two are not connected. Right. You like what the hell is this. You know enemy since they’ve just like thrown it at the wall because one department did one thing and one to the other. The key is to get when you’re crafting. Spirit is to make it come together which is what you’ve got there. Disney’s this it’s all coming together as one.
Tripp: [00:39:27] Right. Yeah I know it’s something very very unique. So how have you applied this then this story to your whiskey distillery.
Doug: [00:39:41] So at Brain Brew of course we make custom whiskey so people we say you know everybody deserves their own whiskey and so but we have some examples of ones that we do that are whiskeys but we encourage people to come in and they go through a tasting experience and they craft their own whiskey with their story and their thing and that’s what we encourage them to do we teach people how to do this. You can come and you can literally come to our distillery at Eureka ranch on Saturday night and we will teach you and you’ll go through the process tasting 12 different whiskeys wheat corn Ryan barley old world new world and craft and you’ll make your own.
Doug: [00:40:13] But one of the ways we do this we show our story to it and it’s not Bob story of the Queen but it’s our story of Cincinnati which as I’ve mentioned is was the you know the king of whiskey. This is where all the whiskey came out of Cincinnati and when it got on the riverboats. And so we’ve created a riverboat series honoring Cincinnati and its role in the history of American whiskey and create a different products. And so we’ve got them and they’re named keel boat and paddle wheel and tall stacks and etc. of different boats. But for our paddle wheel we really wanted to do something magical. We wanted to really create how could we go back to the time before prohibition which is way because prohibition caused all of this to blow up. But before prohibition that pre prohibition time could we give take people back to what whiskey would have been like back then.
Doug: [00:41:08] And in this case here what we did is and this is this is nuts but this is going even further is I.
Doug: [00:41:17] I’ve been very blessed incredibly blessed to be able to taste a lot of whiskey over the years having worked with Macallan and others for many years. And one of the things I’ve gotten to taste is a lot of very old whiskey. I was at Ken Greer’s house once and I had 1920 1930 I mean whiskey is from way back in time.
Doug: [00:41:34] Okay. And over in Scotland at his house. And when you taste those old whiskies there’s a very unique character to it. There’s a I’m going to say darkness and I don’t mean darkness in a bad way. It’s like a depth to it that that you get when you taste them. And so I said How could I recreate that taste which would have been whiskey back at the time of the riverboats approximately. And sure enough what we found is somebody said well what about the wood if if 70 percent of the flavor comes from the wood. What if we used old wood. I said Wow. You know there aren’t any old barrels like that old. No no no no. I know where there’s a barn that fell down and that barn.
Doug: [00:42:19] The wood there’s probably 200 years old it was probably a hundred years when they cut the trees and it’s been there over 100 maybe 150 or so could be 250 years since the trees grew but conservatively call it 200 you would that would have been the wood they would’ve used to make barrels.
Doug: [00:42:35] So that’s pretty cool. And so we turned around we got some of the wood we cut off the outside. We ran chemical tests and amazingly what we found was that wood is cleaner than the wood from trees today because it’s less pollutants in the air. It was actually wood for the wood today which is now Wood today’s fine. But there was yeah I mean it was just very clean wood.
Doug: [00:42:56] So this was Virgin American wood and we cut into pieces we chart and we put it into the time compression machine that we have here which mimics seasons of aging. And sure enough the taste blows you away. It is that same taste I’d had it Ken Greer’s house which is that very old and I had one of the guys who’s one of the big auction houses or it sets the prices. And we sat with him in Edinburgh and I I gave him a taste as he tried to see what you think he says Okay now I’m really mad at you.
Doug: [00:43:30] He says well your whiskies have always been OK. But now you’re replicating very old very very expensive whiskey. Is there no end to what you’re gonna do. I said Well of course there’s no end to it. I’m going to keep doing. He says that is truly amazing that finish that is truly amazing. And so here what we’ve done is we’re literally.
Doug: [00:43:54] So when you come to the bar at the Eureka! Ranch and you come in and you ask one I just say I’d like to take you back to the time of the riverboats when Cincinnati was the Queen City of the West when all the whiskey 70 distilleries in town and if you ordered an upper deck whiskey one of the finest whiskies this is paddle wheel is the taste that you would have had back then and you can notice the depth and the richness of the taste as this bourbon which they weren’t called bourbons at the time but they were using high amounts of corn bourbon didn’t come into vogue until later. I believe I’ve got my timing right.
Doug: [00:44:27] I think it came a little later but it was the same type of green. This is the kind of ultra premium spirits that you would have had and. It’s no different than what Bob did. Talking about the young queen.
Tripp: [00:44:41] Interesting that that’s that that’s a great story. Let me. You did say something in there that really got my brain wrapped around this. You know you’re talking about the pollutants in the in the wood that exist today that weren’t there before. Was that is that something that you can chemically actually remove the pollutants or is that.
Doug: [00:45:05] I don’t know that you can remove them but can measure them. OK.
Doug: [00:45:10] Yeah. Because if you remove them you’re probably going to remove and we’re talking trace levels. I mean when I’m talking anything that’s even close to a safety issue. OK. But but you can see traces in it that you can’t see in the older wood. It was different. I mean the trees grew closer together. They weren’t on tree farms and so the the rings are much denser. I mean it just visual it’s just different wood. But if you remove debris it also remove the good linens and the things that give us all the flavor that goes into the whiskey which comes from the wood.
Tripp: [00:45:40] So is part of the key to a good whiskey then finding that now wood that’s not polluted. I mean is that part of your.
Doug: [00:45:49] Well I wouldn’t say polluted so much as really great wood. OK. You know we’re very firm. We’ve run some experiments. We’ve got some more going on that when the bourbon boom happened.
Doug: [00:46:04] Sadly a whole lot of companies they used to kill our air dry the wood you’d leave it out for a couple of years to air dry it to get the water down then you finished up make the barrow everybody moved to kiln dried wood and sadly most still don’t even know if they’re getting well they’re getting killed right. I know they are because the air dry is so much more expensive and one of the key secrets to our success is that we can use air dried wood and because of the way we do it and we’re so much more efficient that we can give you back the taste that you used to get in. In Rye or bourbon or whiskey whatever whatever form you’re making because kiln dried it’s literally dead wood and we’ve got more experiments to run on it but we’ve not we only use air dried wood in our whisky and so and it’s expensive and you know you’ve got a lot of people who can’t even afford the barrels the barrels can get ridiculous. And so instead they’re using used barrels which are basically dead barrels. I mean that’s what they use in Scotland but they leave it for a long time and they’re using barley which is just a whole different animal. And so the wood is the whole thing the whole thing is the wood and then putting that whisky together by mixing and matching. But if you’ve only made 30 barrels you’ve got no chance. So with our technology not only can we use oak which is the you know the classic but we use maple and we use chestnut we use cherry and we use old ones and new ones and you know there’s all kinds of woods that you can use and they all create different taste and some people are finishing with different ones. We just happen to do it very very quickly and very very high precision.
Tripp: [00:47:46] That’s interesting. So this is this is how create really gets into the whiskey business then as is just experimenting with these different woods which you say is makes up 70 percent of the taste.
Tripp: [00:47:59] So that’s that’s a incredible story. I and I like I like the idea of the story behind the whiskey and as that develops I’m curious to see how this goes on especially with your riverboat you know story that you’ve started this as well. It’s like a journey.
Doug: [00:48:23] Yeah. And interestingly it goes both ways. Ok so in this case here the story came and then the product came but successful whiskeys are a system of interconnected parts with the parts all worked together the price the package the product positioning. Got it. We’ve also got a line that started from and this is crass but it started from. OK our riverboat line sells for thirty five dollars for a 750 AML bottle classic sized bottle. We wanted to come up with a luxury addition that would be we haven’t set the price yet but it would be in the sixty seventy five dollar range. OK now thirty five drinks like a sixty dollar and a sixty dollar should drink like one hundred and twenty dollars. That’s what we tried to do as a craft guy we want to have more value for the money.
Doug: [00:49:12] I mean even at sixty dollars and so I started with challenging the team to say OK how do we make a hundred and twenty dollar tasting whisky and there’s no story to it and we started and started and started to play and we started to play with technologies and and started to work with different things and get more precise on different things and different woods and different combinations of goods. In this case taking OK from different countries and different places and really taking the science in deeper until and so we would drink the 35 dollar version and then we would taste the next one and say does that seem like a wow.
Doug: [00:49:49] And there was beating ourselves for playing king of the hill with ourselves. There was no story. It was just called we as a business we need to get this product now let’s see if we can get a product then we got the product and the product is now inspiring the story. So we’re doing it in the reverse direction as we’re doing this. And we haven’t settled on yet so I don’t want to say it yet but there’s some really cool elegance coming to this.
Doug: [00:50:17] And another story’s developed that is an authentic story about what we’re doing combined with this amazing product that the team have made. And so you can start from price you can start from a package you can start from a bottle I relativity product if you look at Relatively whisky dot.com you go see it it’s an early Myer flask type looking thing I mean the package inspired the relativity brand okay. And and so you can start from anywhere.
Tripp: [00:50:47] The key is is that serves as stimulus to help you create the rest of the story yeah yeah yeah yeah well there’s a whole I’m you’ve got my this is stimulus mining at its best I got it. Yeah. A whole series of things running through my brain about how the stories develop it could be the product first but I also could be the story of the wood from Germany and the wood from Australia and you’ve got the bride and the groom and the woods come to her.
Tripp: [00:51:21] You know I just my brain just starts going off on their own hard to put together things like that.
Doug: [00:51:26] Or for Archwave in Cincinnati Cincinnati Music Hall famous grand music venues Symphony and pops we have we’re working with arts wave the nonprofit that raises money for the Arts in Cincinnati. And we have when they renovated music hall there was a bunch of wood around the organ when it was rebuilt.
Doug: [00:51:51] And so we’ve got those beams and we’re about to craft a whiskey. That would be it’s gonna be one of those very old style whiskeys of the history of music hall and the arts. And so you know it’s just writing itself the music the theme the elegance to it. I mean it’s just it’s just writing. It’s gonna be classical and it’s just going to be magnificent whiskey I you know by the time we’re done it’s a lot of craftsmanship to build it. It’s a lot of craftsmanship to build these things and do them right. And the sad thing is this most craft people you know you go like hell and you don’t have the time to do this thinking. But it’s this thinking that’s going to make the difference. For you over the long term I mean talk to everybody about your stuff cause your local fire if you really want to create something significant in this business having you know is the voice of experience from a long long time you try something quickly and it never seems to work it’s gimmicky but you’ve got to have that depth and authenticity to really make it work interesting.
Tripp: [00:53:00] Very good. Well let’s move on to your craft cocktail recipe which the cranberry mule is now going to be known as the create drink because it’s as if with what you had when you all did the story. Now it’s got a story.
Doug: [00:53:18] So this concept here of this cocktail the concept of this cocktail. Was it. It is Christmas morning and and and this is going to be just a very. Think of gingerbread and elves and magical mystical whether it’s Christmas morning or Christmas Eve. It’s really evoking the spirit with a sense of whimsy to it and bringing that to life.
Doug: [00:53:53] And so we’re bringing together the flavors of ginger and cranberry and some gin for the spice to it and just giving you this unique a little bit orange zest and giving you this sense of that holiday so that if you’re if Santa was going to have one this is what Santa would’ve had. OK. OK. That that’s that’s what we’re talking. And so it plays off the meal classic drink that uses ginger beer but Phillip created this one as well it’s called the cranberry mule.
Doug: [00:54:24] And the recipes in the notes so if you drive and you don’t have to write it down you can look it up or just go to the newsletter. It’s in the newsletter at DougHall.com.
Doug: [00:54:33] It’s an ounce and a half of gin one.
Doug: [00:54:36] And a half tablespoons of cranberry syrup and the cranberries syrup the recipes there. You take some fresh cranberries water sugar ginger and some orange zest you kind of cook them together to make this basically cranberry simple syrup so an ounce and a half again one and a half tablespoons of cranberry serve.
Doug: [00:54:54] Four dashes of cranberry bitters.
Doug: [00:54:57] Top it with some ginger beer.
Doug: [00:55:00] And an orange garnish.
Doug: [00:55:03] And so that’s what we’re talking just a wonderful I mean it’s just going to take you to Christmas Eve or Christmas morning after the presence you just sitting and chilling and you’re just having this thing as an aperitif before you have the turkey and the cranberry sauce and all the rest of it OK.
Tripp: [00:55:23] All right. And so does it have a strong cranberry taste then is that kind of the overriding taste of it.
Doug: [00:55:32] So when you make a cocktail we really try to create what’s called an accord a balance attention. So what you’ve got is you’ve got the gin the cranberry and the ginger and the orange sort of in an accord that kind of comes together. So you’ve got elements of them but the sum of the parts is greater than the individual pieces.
Tripp: [00:55:53] Ok. They play well together.
Doug: [00:55:56] They do. That’s the whole. That’s what you’re trying to do with the cocktail is to take these pieces in income make them into something magical. And this one is magical.
Tripp: [00:56:05] Very good. All right.
Tripp: [00:56:08] Well this concludes the Brain Bew Whisk(e)y Academy and talking about how to create in the Whiskey space.
Doug: [00:56:21] And this this episode as I’m thinking about it if you’re creating a craft distillery you’ve got to listen to this episode man because this is this is the real deal. This is how it really happens. The epic the huge ones around the world. I’ve been in the rooms with the people. This.
Doug: [00:56:40] This is how it really creates and it’s I mean it would just sell an ethanol OK and it just happens to be uniquely flavored because it’s a magical wood. But you got to get into it and that’s why I love the craft business because the craft business as opposed to just a straight commercial business there is a love and a care and big companies some have it some dough Macallan is one that has it a lot.
Doug: [00:57:06] I mean that’s the success. That’s why they’re successful. Other companies don’t. And craft companies that win that’s what they have whether it’s craft whisky or whatever your business might be very good.
Tripp: [00:57:18] All right. Well this was this has been an interesting episode. Thank you Doug.
Doug: [00:57:24] Thank you Tripp
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