Greetings and salutations to the Straight bourbon.com community,
Many of you may already now me as I have been a member for several years. I have gained a new position and felt that it was best to reintroduce myself so that this community would know and understand my background and new point of view.
My Name is Truman Cox and I am the new Master Distiller/Director of Operations of A Smith Bowman Distillery in Fredericksburg, VA. I am coming into the microdistilling business from a fairly unique position. While most micro-distillers are startups, A Smith Bowman has been a large format distillery in the past and business has diminished to the point that I am refocusing the business model as a regional/craft micro-distiller.
I personally have been in the alcohol industry for many years. I have a degree in Chemistry from the University of Central Florida. I started in the alcohol industry as the Quality Chemist for the beverage alcohol division at Grain Processing Company in Muscatine Iowa. While there, I earned still operator certification and became intimately involved with all aspects of wet milling and ethanol production, including fuel, industrial, beverage and medical grades. I also worked with many of the top vodka producers in the world. I set up a world class sensory laboratory for GPC and became something of an expert in organoleptics for beverage alcohol. I left GPC to work as the lead chemist at Buffalo Trace Distillery. I apprenticed in the still house under Harlen Wheatley, one of the most award winning distillers in the world. I was then selected to become the Master Distiller to take over for Joe Dangler, who is retiring form A Smith Bowman.
We have 7 products currently. Virginia Gentleman, Bowman Brothers small batch and John J Bowman single barrel whiskies are distilled, barreled, aged, and bottled at A Smith Bowman. I will be sourcing some barreled goods from our larger brethren for our Abraham Bowman Limited edition whiskey until some of our experiments at ASB come of age. Our vodka, gin, and rum are sourced but they are picked by me personally and I designed the formula for our gin.
We are putting capital into our tourism area and will have a general opening on November 1st. I plan on starting fermentation at the A Smith Bowman distillery which hasnít been done since 1984. We still have the original yeast from A Smith Bowman and will be recreating his recipe. I also plan on making our own rum when our fermentation vessels are ready; using our own used cooperage for aging.
I make no secret that we purchase designate from Buffalo Trace distillery and have purchased designate since fermentation was ceased in 1984. We distill the designate, barrel and age the distillate at our own facility. I plan on expanding our designate purchases to include some other distilleries to marry the distillates before going through my own still to come up with some unique whiskey.
I know and understand the informaiton and honesty that is requested by many members fo SB and will endeavor to answer as much as I can without revealing trade/company proprietary information. some things just can't be answered.
Truman Cox (etohchem)
A. Smith Bowman Distillery
One Bowman Drive
Fredericksburg, VA 22408
Office: 540-373-4555 x1310