Old Forester’s Jackie Zykan is Taking a Bold Stance on Single Barrels “We Want Them Off the Market”

WARNING: This is entirely FICTIONAL and APRIL FOOLS related. Not one word is true. For anyone that has experienced disgruntlement, we offer our sincerest apologies.

Thanks to new initiatives from one of the world’s largest whiskey producers, the time for lonely “going solo” barrels is coming to an end: Old Forester is pushing a new initiative with the goal of eliminating all single barrels.

The campaign is designed to combat the increasing number of barrels of whiskey identified as single and currently “on the market.” 

Old Forester and parent company Brown-Forman have set a goal of eliminating the problem of barrels without partners by 2024. 

Old Forester Master Taster Jackie Zykan, who is leading the charge, said in a statement, “In recent years we’ve seen an unhinged rise in the number of barrels that are seeking love and companionship, but simply are unable to find it. Barrels deserve to find their special someone, too, and we want to help.” 

Zykan, who has worked with Old Forester for nearly a decade now, says she’s seen too much heartbreak, and too many missed connections in her time at the distillery. She says the single barrel programs cause whiskey to experience feelings of isolation, and that over time this can lead to drops in the whiskeys’ mental health, quality of life, and proof.”

“You look at these barrels every day, and you think, why are we standing in the way? Don’t they deserve to be with someone?”

As the first stage of their initiative, Old Forester has begun rejecting all requests for single barrels—a decision they say is permanent. The distillery will “immediately discontinue” all products promoting a whiskey on the basis of its marital status.

The initiative is expected to make a huge dent in the problem—Brown-Forman alone is responsible for thousands of barrels spending their last days alone, single, and being disgorged without their loved bungs by their side.

“It’s going to be fascinating to see how this affects the nature of the private selection,” explained Aaron Goldfarb, author of Hacking Whiskey. “Coupled barrel picks could change things forever.”

Goldfarb noted that, because a precedent has been set for partial single barrels, the possibility now exists that “Will we see partnered barrels bottled in multiple partnerships? Will previously single barrels end up as private select throuples? The opportunities are endless.”

For now, the initiative is limited to Brown-Forman’s American portfolio, but the whiskey producer has opened the concept up to competitors and has already set up a website to help connect single barrels from all over the globe.

The first phase—a barrel matchmaking site called Mash.com—launched today, April 1. 

Zykan calls it a website where barrels can post photos and things about themselves, and begin to meet other barrels who share similar interests. Those interests might include long warehousings, heat cycling, rotation, and long rolls on the beach.

Mash.com has, at the time of this writing, already received more than 50,000 sign-ups from barrels in English-speaking countries, and a French-language version will be available later this summer.

But critics expect that the soon-to-be-launched rival whiskey barrel dating app “Graindr” will appeal to younger barrels still maturing.

Tito Belvedere
Tito Belvedere is the vodka editor for Bourbon Review. He focuses on good, clean flavor distilled above 190 proof. April Fools', everyone!