We talked with the mysterious president of the Bourbon Club, who wished to remain anonymous, about the details of his fledgling organization.
So, first, what’s your full name?
The Bourbon Guy.
What is Bourbon Club?
Bourbon Club is an institution. It’s a force of nature. It’s an expression of free thought. It’s rekindling the lost essence of social associations. Bourbon Club is about bringing people together. It’s a student organization that’s really a student organization. It’s dedicated to bringing people together to appreciate some of the finer things in life, especially Kentucky Bourbon.
So when did this club start?
Well, Bourbon Club has got a long and rich history. It was originally founded by the class of 1919, and it thrived for about fifty years, but, you know, the free spirit thinkers that would have been the backbone of the Bourbon Club kind of took off during the late ’60s and early ’70s, and it was forgotten for a while. Recently going through some old papers in the basement of Rush Rhees, I found out that it had a really rich, thriving history at UR, and I rekindled it at the beginning of this fall semester.
How many members do you have, and how does one become a member?
Well, in terms of overall membership it’s really hard to say, because right now Bourbon Club is dedicated to disseminating information. There’s the intermittent semi-weekly/semi-monthly “boozeletter,” I’d say there’s probably about 60 to 70 people that are in the loop as far as what goes on. Who shows up for events depends on what is going on, so I couldn’t really give you an accurate count, but I would say probably 60 to 70 people, which is 1.5 percent of the undergraduate population. I think that’s pretty good.
What would you say you do for the on-campus community?
It’s about getting together and enjoying yourself but doing so in a safe and responsible way. Bourbon Club is really about being able to appreciate the beautiful creation of bourbon, which takes, at the very least, years to really bring to fruition, and I feel, being on a college campus, there’s a lot of unhealthy drinking that goes on, and we’re not really about funneling Natty Ice. We’re a better class of drinker, and I want to impart that information onto other folks our age, because it’s something you don’t find on many campuses.
Are you trying to get Student’s Association recognized?
I’ll say it’s crossed my mind, a lot of people say it’s a pipe dream, but we’re an organization dedicated to the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages by folks who are of legal age in a safe and productive setting. In the meantime, I would say that we’re putting the “fun” back into “we are in not in any way, shape or form SA recognized or funded.”
What kind of people do you have, and what kind of people are you trying to reach?
We’re always looking for open-minded individuals who have opinions. Everybody has got an opinion on bourbon—if you don’t have an opinion on bourbon you simply haven’t drank enough bourbon. We’re looking for people who have tastes and preferences, and that’s really understated among our generation. That would be the kind of person we’re looking for.
What would you say about the allegation that Bourbon Club is a hoax?
I would respond to those allegations by saying that Bourbon Club is alive and well in the minds and hearts of its members. It’s a populist organization. It’s a social phenomenon, and anyone who thinks it’s a hoax should keep an eye open for future Bourbon Club events.
For more information on UR’s Bourbon Club, you can contact us to receive the boozeletter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ford is a member of the class of 2013. Cicoria is a member of the class of 2012.