When Tom and I started our company, we did it with the agreement that we would never put out a spirit that bore our brand solely for the purpose of profitability. With my background as a chef in white linen restaurants and Tom's business acumen, we had both seen our share of "good enoughs"....products meant to mimic a superior effort in the name of a bottom line. Tom put it best when he escorted a sales rep out, saying, "we only want the best; knock-offs are not in our wheel house."
How right he was. When I was coming up through the kitchen brigade early on in my career, I had the privilege of working with some amazing chefs, and from all of them, I heard two things: Garbage in, garbage out was one of them. In other words, you can't make a superior dish using inferior ingredients. The other thing they said, I cannot repeat in mixed company.
The real fun began when we started the gargantuan task of permitting and regulatory approval. Unlike many other industries, the spirit business is tightly controlled at federal and state levels, so the process of getting government approval for formulation, labels, importing, blending, proofing, shipping, receiving, transport and distribution was a series of lessons, some cheap and others expensive, but all insightful about the machinations of this amazing, growing industry of which we have become a part. But through it all, we never took our eye off our goal of making the best rum we could make. And starting November 1st, Gordian Knot will be on the shelves in North Carolina. If you don't see it, please ask for it!