I am very puzzled by the bourbon industry. Being a "wine guy" I am used to lots of small wineries producing a great product. I love to go to wine country and visit many of these small independent wineries, taste their wines, buy their wines, and in some cases join their wine clubs.
It seems to me that the bourbon industry consists of a few companies, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Buffalo Trace, and Wild Turkey, producing virtually all of the bourbon on the market.
Maker's Mark is the only bourbon that I know of that is it's own company.
What gives? How did this happen and why? Why, for example, is the van winkle family of bourbons now a buffalo trace product. What happened to the old facility, the old employees, etc. Why did it happen? Very curious.