The VinePair Podcast: The Remarkable Story Behind Horse Soldier Bourbon

Creating not one, not two, but three gold medal-winning bourbons is a massive feat all on its own. At Horse Soldier Bourbon, that’s just one of its many remarkable accomplishments.

Just hours after the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001, a dozen Green Berets assigned to Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 595 covertly infiltrated Afghanistan to begin the American response against the Taliban and Al-Queda. There, they joined a warlord who was already fighting against the Taliban, and he gifted them with horses. ODA 595’s three-week horseback military operation earned them the moniker “Horse Soldiers,” and the name stuck.

Years later, in 2015, military veterans John Koko and Scott Neil, alongside designer Elizabeth Pritchard-Koko, founded Horse Soldier Bourbon. Dedicated to helping veterans acclimate to civilian life, this veteran-owned brand actively hires other veterans to help create, produce, and distribute its products. Today, the same skills that were paramount for those retired soldiers are applied to American Freedom Distillery where Horse Soldier Bourbon is produced, resulting in high-quality spirits with a purpose.

On this episode of “The VinePair Podcast,” Zach is joined by Will Summers, retired Green Beret and brand ambassador for Horse Soldier Bourbon to discuss his service in Afghanistan as one of the fabled “Horse Soldiers,” the launch of Horse Soldier Bourbon, it’s incredible rise, and the brand’s mission.

Listen Online

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

This podcast is sponsored by Horse Soldier Bourbon.