Stacks of barrels at Corsair Artisan Distillery's facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Photo ©2013 by Mark Gillespie. October 12, 2014 – Darek Bell and his colleagues at Corsair Artisan Distillery have become known throughout the craft distilling community for their innovative style, as well as their willingness to share what they’ve learned with others.  Since Darek founded Corsair with his childhood friend Andrew Webber and his wife Amy Lee Bell in 2007, they’ve created hundreds of different whisky recipes, from simple mashbills to audacious experiments such as a 12-grain Bourbon. In his first book, “Alt Whiskeys”, Bell explored the steps in developing a microdistillery, along with recipes for fledgling and expert distillers alike.

"Fire Water" by Darek Bell. Image courtesy Darek Bell/Anthony Matula.Now, Bell has published his second book based on his passion for smoky Islay-style whiskies. “Fire Water” looks at different ways of imparting that smoky flavor during the distilling process, including techniques using peat, wood, roots, bark, and herbs. Bell also includes recipes for cocktails made with smoky whiskies that bring out the flavors of the whisky without overwhelming the other ingredients.

An edited version of this interview appears in Episode 501 of WhiskyCast, but we’re glad to make the entire interview available here.


“Fire Water” is available to purchase in the WhiskyCast Bookstore powered by

Links: Corsair Artisan Distillery