LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 6, 2024) — Anthony Limperos, chair of the Department of Communication and associate dean for the graduate program in communication at the University of Kentucky’s College of Communication and Information, just celebrated his third year as co-host of "The Mash Up," a weekly bourbon review podcast. "The Mash Up" podcast episodes are released weekly and have taken off since the first episode in January 2021. Even outside of his communication classes, Limperos is teaching rhetorical analysis and documentation skills, only this time it’s about bourbon.
The idea for "The Mash Up" podcast came about in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic when Limperos and friends and future co-hosts, Steven DeLucia and Michael Kinney were looking for ways to safely spend their downtime. The trio would meet weekly to celebrate UK basketball games with bourbon. Inspiration struck to take their regular reviews and share it with the rest of the bourbon community.
Limperos was first introduced to bourbon culture when he moved to Kentucky in 2011, but it wasn’t until he won a local liquor store’s raffle of a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15 Year in 2017 that he began to integrate himself into the bourbon community. Before he was a communication professor, Limperos had an interest in radio and was featured on several radio shows for his research. This audio experience as well as his communication background gave him the insight he needed to feel comfortable and bring the podcast idea to fruition.
“I'm the one that plans out the structure, format and talking points,” Limperos said. “It’s kind of cliche but I get to go back to my experience in teaching basic COM courses when we were doing outlines and planning speeches. I have drawn on those basic skills a lot.”
Limperos is also one of the first Beam Institute Faculty Fellows at the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits in the University of Kentucky Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. He described the Institute as just taking off, with a lot of big plans to come, including a faculty sensory panel and integrating more of UK’s faculty and staff into the spirits culture. While his research has not directly focused on bourbon thus far, Limperos is open to where this new title may take him and his work.
“I want to keep an open mind, and I see this as an outlet to potentially collaborate with people on research and how this could be mutually beneficial,” Limperos said. Looking toward the future, Limperos hopes to expand his research in understanding media psychology and message reception processes and learn more about the influence of bourbon related media while working as a fellow. As for the future of the podcast, he hopes to highlight underrepresented groups in the bourbon industry in his podcast.
“I would like to work on forging some more connections in the industry, especially with people that aren’t heard from as much,” Limperos said.
His top priority, however, is to maintain the authenticity of the reviews on the podcast. While DeLucia and Limperos are the mainstays of the podcast, they recently welcomed friend and fellow bourbon enthusiast, Kenny Mills, as a regular co-host. “I think the reason people listen to us in the first place is because we aren’t industry- sponsored so people know they are listening to something authentic,” Limperos said.
The podcast regularly appears in the Apple Podcasts Top 100 for the food category.
Limperos will be combining his hosting skills with his bourbon knowledge as moderator for the upcoming “In the Business of Bourbon” virtual panel on Tuesday, March 19. The panel will feature UK alumni from a wide array of disciplines within the industry including distilling, sales, branding and more. For more information, visit ci.uky.edu/cibourbon.
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