Brad Paisley knows the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
He recalled the moment when he moved to Nashville, Tennesee. At the time, he was studying at Belmont University and was just a typical college kid. At that point in the year, he hadn’t seen his family since school began in late summer. He would drive eight hours just to see them for a long weekend.
“The holiday of going home, and taking a week there where you get a school break,” he began. “I was at Belmont and I would drive up to West Virginia to see the family and I hadn’t seen them usually since August, you know? That’s really what Thanksgiving is about, I guess it’s that holiday when I think it’s more common for people to go back to where they’re from on that holiday than it is even on Christmas.”
Believe it or not, traveling back home on Thanksgiving happens more than any other holiday.
“I heard some stat that it’s almost you know 3 to 2 in terms of how many people go back where they’re from then,” he added. “And so that for me always kept me grounded, and it’s been very interesting to start these traditions here and learn not to leave. I remember the first year I didn’t leave you know? And if you have the kids first in the family your set because that’s where the tradition starts you know.”
Brad Paisley’s New Business Venture
Brad Paisley secretly aged bourbon on tour with him. He created his own line of American Highway Bourbon. Paisley compared the experience to songwriting, fitting pieces together to make an incredible body of work. He aged the alcohol in a semi-trailer that was attached to his bus on his 2019 tour. The spirits traveled a total of 7,314 miles and saw 25 states. “These are really special barrels that saw more of the United States than most people I know,” Paisley admitted.
With traveling across the country, the drinks were exposed to different atmospheres with humidity, temperatures, and general weather. The oak barrels expanded and contracted depending on their environment. This means that the oak and char flavors will be more infused into the final product. A glass will feature three Kentucky bourbons, a 13-year, a 15-year, and a 3-year went into the barrels.
“The right woods, the right craftsmanship, the right alchemy that makes this intangible, magical thing, and that’s what makes this so great to me,” Paisley said of his bourbon, comparing it to a guitar.
The second batch of the bourbon will be released in 2022 after it ages on his 2021 tour.