Inspired by the culture and motivated by a love for family, Alabama native Jason Ridgel founded Guidance Whiskey in October 2018. In fact, Ridgel describes Guidance as “love in a bottle.”

As one of only a handful of black-owned premium craft small-batch whiskey brands, Guidance has been completely self-funded by Ridgel. Ridgel’s first steps were finding a distillery partner and a signature taste.

Comprised of 88 percent corn, 10 percent rye, and 2 percent malted barley, Guidance is made at a distillery in Iowa and aged for 24 months. Guidance’s website describes its taste profile as “dominated by smooth front-end vanilla with a light and smooth experience in the middle” followed by a “long, smokey finish.”

Ridgel said he chose the name Guidance, defined as “infinite wisdom that enables excellence,” as a reference to ancestors who pass down treasures throughout the generations.

“Our grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles pour into us. Nothing that we create now would be possible without them, so Guidance seemed like the perfect name,” Ridgel said.

Guidance is available for purchase in stores in Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, California, and Georgia, including 20 locations in Metro Atlanta. It can also be purchased online and shipped to 44 states in the U.S. Ridgel suggested that if you want certain Black-owned brands in your home market, simply request that the retailers start carrying them.

(Photo: Ricardo Robinson / Guidance Whiskey)

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