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    "Bourbon - pure Kentucky gold. Some people drink it; others cook with it. Then, there are some who just enjoy the bourbon experience. I'm Chaz Rough, and I love bourbon." 

    Bourbon is a big deal, especially in Kentucky.  The bourbon industry contributes $3 billion in gross state product to Kentucky's economy ever year. According to kybourbon.com, it was at just $1.8 billion two years ago. That's a huge jump, and one of the reasons Chaz Rough thought it was time for a television show that features the bourbon lifestyle.

    Bourbon Living is a show that goes beyond the drink to explore the many facets of a bourbon lifestyle; the people who drink it, the clothes they wear, the restaurants that serve it. The first mini episodes will be released on Youtube, and Rough plans to use them to pitch the concept to the Food Network or the Travel Channel. He won't have to travel far, though. A surprising 95% of the world's bourbon is distilled right here in Kentucky, which means the show will showcase mostly Kentucky locations and experiences to the world.


    "I think it's a great fit for the Travel Channel," Rough said. "If they don't pick it up, I will just keep producing it and releasing it on Youtube where I can still have a global following but remain in control of the brand. "Bourbon is a global product. Asia has a huge love of all things bourbon."

    Rough has no problem building a profitable following online. He is the creator and host of the yoga video podcast "Yogamazing," which has over 24 million downloads and is about to air it's 500th episode in the next couple months. He can maximize profit from online broadcasting by keeping his overhead low. Overhead will remain low, because he is a one man production shop. He can write, shoot, host and edit the show himself. His son helped with the writing of the first episode and his daughter has asked to learn video editing, so the series may become a family affair.


    "The only cost I will have," said Rough, "Is my time and travel. It's great that content can be produced anywhere these days thanks to the technology available."

    Rough admits he knew very little about bourbon before getting involved with Stacy Yates as co-host on the show "Lookin' @ Louisville," which is aired on Youtube and the Louisville Metro Public Access Channel. Yates led the promotional efforts behind the successful "Bourbon Country" and "Urban Bourbon Trail" marketing campaigns. After eight years of learning about and showcasing Louisville experiences, his appreciation for bourbon has grown under her influence.

    "I drank bourbon; I enjoyed bourbon, but she taught me all about it. The more I learned about bourbon and bluegrass being such a huge part of the history of Kentucky, I became honored and proud to produce something that is about my home state. This [bourbon] is something that is still living, breathing, and growing here. A friend of mine in Hollywood, Conrad Bachmann, who is also from Louisville and founder of the International Film Festival, told me I really need to jump on the idea and pursue it."

    So, he did. He began thinking about names and thought "Bourbon Living" had a nice ring to it. He was shocked to find that all domains and social media names were open for "Bourbon Living." It's been about eight months since he quickly purchased the domains, and Rough has enjoyed the ride so far. Rough worked with Andrea Duvall at Woodford Reserve to feature the distillery in the first episode, which has now been released on the Youtube channel.

     

    "I feel lucky and blessed," Rough said with a look of awe. "I got to meet Chef Oita Michel at Holly Hill Inn and master distiller Chris Morris. I've been able to sample incredible food and spend time with great people who are passionate and love what they do."

     

    Cover photo: Courtesy Chaz Rough/Bourbon Living

     

    Jessica Lynn's picture

    About Jessica Lynn

    Jessica Lynn has been writing for Louisville.com since fall of 2010 and has also been published in LEO, Velocity, Voice-Tribune and others after serving as Editor in Chief of The JCC student newspaper, The Quadrangle. She has also served as columnist or contributing writer to an array of online publications.

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