We've been busy.

My background is Architecture. The Master's Degree hanging on my wall serves as a proof and a daily reminder of everything that field has taught me - including the ability to forge through life on only coffee and two hours of sleep. Architecture, like any design field, is an art. A building often begins as a sketch in a notebook, a post it note, or even on a spare napkin. That napkin sketch, when handled with care, slowly comes to life and becomes a building. There is nothing more beautiful or gratifying than seeing a sketch of a mere idea turn into something real and tangible.

Each Collection at Dixie Reserve is no different. We start off with an idea. Some are good. Some are bad. We do what we know. We kick, we scrap, and we fight like hell for months to figure out what's going to work and how it's going to come together. I can't predict the weather. Some of my best ideas have been flops. Even the great Thomas Edison made over 1,000 unsuccessful attempts before perfecting the light bulb. I don't keep count through the process, but I would probably give Mr. Edison a run for his money.

I am proud of this Fall/Winter Collection, damn proud. Nine months ago it began as a few sketches and some fabric in a Moleskine notebook. If you've followed us since the beginning, you've seen us evolve and find ourselves. Heck, you've seen us try to take on the world with six shirts. It's funny to even think about - luckily one was a good idea and put us on the map (Thanks, DHBB).  

There's a lot of kick, a lot of scrap, and a hell of a lot of fight in this collection (and some bourbon.) It's our story. It's our Dixie. It was a sketch and now it has come to life. We're damn proud.

Check out a few early release styles before the full collection comes out in late August!
(Click here.)

90 Proof Collection V-Neck

90 Proof Collection V-Neck

Dixie Felt Pennant and Conference Print

Dixie Felt Pennant and Conference Print

90 Proof Hoodie

90 Proof Hoodie

Waxed Hats.

Waxed Hats.

Dixie Flag

Dixie Flag

Kick. Scrap. And fight like hell for that sketch.

Dixie Reserve signature


I had planned to post something different this evening, but sometimes you just have to listen to the good Lord when he's speaking to you. This morning my mother had sent me a message to ask about an old suitcase I had borrowed some time ago from my childhood home. Something I had assumed to be just a find from a thrift store, unbeknownst to me, had belonged to my late grandfather. Also unbeknownst... to me, today marks 35 years since he passed. Sometimes you carry roots deeper than you ever realize.

As I was responding to my mother, letting her know that the family heirloom was still in good hands, a song came on the radio that reminded me that we're all part of a bigger picture. "If Heaven wasn't so far away, I'd pack up the kids and go for the day. Introduce them to their grandpa, Watch 'em laugh at the way he talks." It may not sound like much, but those lines had already been on my mind all morning before I had ever spoke with my mother. I can't explain the feeling it gave me, but it was part of something bigger.

I'm not sure that I'll ever see the whole picture that the good Lord is working on down here, but I can see a part of the story full circle. The aged suitcase is my grandfather's. The worn-out hat is mine and a part of the beginnings of Dixie Reserve. They found one another. I bet he could have never dreamed of the places that suitcase has gone. I can't wait to see where that old hat will take me as I carry that suitcase.

Thanks for the message from Heaven, Dick. We miss ya down here!



Have you ever stopped for a moment to think about the peculiarities in life? 

I'm a big fan of traditions. Always have been and that's why I will always answer Mr. Hank Williams Jr. every time he asks, "Why do you drink?" Come to think of it, that's a tradition in and of itself. Walk in to any bar in the south (actually this probably holds true anywhere, but I'm not willing to test that theory), slide a $10 bill in the cover band's tip jar and request "Family Tradition." As sure as the sun sets in the west, as soon as the first line of the chorus hits, every beer bottle in the bar will be raised and eager to answer, "To get drunk!" It's not even a lyric as far as I know, but we all do it proudly and without hesitation. I always wonder about the first drunk guy who decided to sing back to the chorus. He practically changed the world. I, for one, have made many life-long friends when bonding over this chorus. Family traditions are something else.

Now it should come as no surprise to you that I am a big fan of bourbon. That is not peculiar. There's just something about the taste of corn liquor and charred oak that makes me feel at home. What is peculiar and should come as a surprise to you is that so, too, is everyone in the Bible Belt. Jesus may have drank wine, but to my knowledge he never drank any corn liquor. I was raised in Kentucky, which is a very interesting state. It's a state where there are more barrels of bourbon in the state than there are people. I would also venture to say that the number of church pews in the state is also right up there.

It's a funny juxtaposition this state. Ever since Daniel Boone forged through the Cumberland Gap and set up camp we have been making room for both the Lord and bourbon whiskey in our blood. There is a church on nearly every corner in this fine state, all filled with the sweetest old ladies. The kind that carry Werther's Original and peppermints loose at the bottom of their purses handing them out like it's a parade route. The kind that also inscribe the family Bible with every newborn offspring's weight and measurements as each branch is bloomed on the family tree. My grandmother was no different. 

Granny lived across the street from our little Baptist church until the day she died and the good Lord lived in her house just the same. If there wasn't an afternoon baseball game on, you were sure to walk in to her house to find the sounds of an evangelical preacher on the television or the sounds of an old gospel song echoing down the hall from The Gaithers. My mother always said that Granny had her wilder days. I'm sure my grandchildren will say that of me one day as well (hopefully not knowing the worst of it), but the Granny I knew was a Godly woman. So Godly that we had to drink the good eggnog (you know what I'm talking about) in the driveway during the holidays growing up. No liquor or alcohol of any sort was permitted at Granny's house. In Kentucky; however, I cannot be certain that bourbon falls under the jurisdiction of being classified as a liquor or alcohol. Rather, it is a staple. Next to condiments like ketchup and mustard you will find in nearly every Kentucky household...bourbon.

If you should ever fall under the weather in the south, there is a magical drink that will surely cure you if it doesn't make you sicker when prescribed. I was probably only 2 years old the first time I had the drink. I don't remember it, but it's not because I wasn't old enough to remember. Granny was keeping me one afternoon while I was sick. She had been a nurse nearly all of her life and was a firm believer in home remedies and old wives tales. The drink they call 'Hot Toddy' is by all definitions a home remedy and that Godly woman, my Granny, had served me a full grown man sized dose of it. Again, I love bourbon, but there's something about the combination of bourbon whiskey, lemon juice (or crushed peppermint depending on who is serving), and honey that will surely empty the contents of one's stomach in a split second if you are sick. I don't know what it tasted like that day many years ago or even how I reacted, but what I do know is that my family has never stopped talking about the day that my God-fearing Granny got me drunk on corn liquor and cured pneumonia. I've taken some good bourbon naps in my college years, but from the stories of my family none will ever compare to when Granny was my bartender.

I'm honestly not even sure where old southern ladies get their bourbon whiskey for a Hot Toddy. I've been in a lot of liquor stores throughout my life (sorry, Granny) and I've never seen one old woman. In fact, Granny would always call my mother to stop by the liquor store and pick up a pint when she was baking something that required a special ingredient. She wouldn't step foot into a liquor store, but she would certainly use their bourbon. I got a lot of traits from Granny, this was not one of them however.

That's the thing about Kentucky, there's a worn out Bible on every coffee table. We all know every Commandment before we can even count to ten. But there's also a bottle of bourbon on the highest shelf of the kitchen cabinet just out of reach of the youngsters. If you're at the right house, there will even be an old charred oak bourbon barrel turned on its side and split open with the freshest array of spring flowers sprouting from it in the front lawn. That's Kentucky, even your grandmother who sits on the same old pew every time the church doors are open also has a little bourbon in her blood in one way or another. It's a place where bourbon can be a tradition, not a sin. That's peculiar and I love this place.



I like everything from old worn-out boots to a suit that fits just right. But there's something special to be said about a man's hat. If you don't believe me go find that family chest in the attic, the one with every heirloom from the family bible to the deed where the family sold the back 40 to make ends meet that hard winter. Dig through until you find your grandfather's old hat, the one he wore for years and still holds the shape of his head. Put it on and tell me that you can't feel him.

Tell me you can't feel the blood that was washed away with his sins in the river one Sunday afternoon; the only time he ever took it off. Tell me you can't feel the sweat of the sun beating down on that hat the same way it did as he drove a plow in the fields every summer nearly his whole life. Tell me you can't feel the tears of the stories that hat told on the front porch about a war that took him half way around the world and took his best friend of 20 years.

I'll tell you, there's something special to be said about a man's hat. I hope your hat has a good story, friend.

dixie reserve blog


This is short, but from the bottom of my heart.

I've spent the first couple days of this new year just reflecting (and watching football). I could not be more excited about this year or more thankful for the past year. 2016 was a year of many firsts and even a few lasts for us. It was a year of taking risks and learning along the way. More so, it was a humbling year. It was a year in which you people, all across this country, welcomed us into your lives. 

You put us on your backs and tossed us on your heads. You threw us off onto a creek bank as you jumped in to cool off. You cozied up in us by a fire on a chilly day. You even spilled a drink on us at the bar (yeah, we saw that). You made 2016 one heck of a ride! 

I still can't wrap my mind around how this thing has taken off and become Dixie Reserve so quickly. You people spend your hard-earned money on this dream of mine and I will never take that for granted. Whether you shared or liked a post, bought one shirt or filled your closet to the brim, or just now discovered us...Thank you, my friends, for being a part of our 2016. I can't wait to be a part of your 2017!


Today was a humbling one. This morning I had the pleasure to spend some time with a very nice lady who was visiting from my hometown. She dropped by the office to purchase a few shirts for her family - a family I've known for years. I actually worked my first job as a teenager for she and her husband's small town business where they instilled within me a work ethic that I still carry with me today in my own business.

As we caught up, she proceeded to tell me over and over of how she was so proud of my business and admired the respectable man that I had become. I politely smiled and thanked her, but as I asked about her own son I felt less to be admired in my work. She told me that he is currently serving our country in the Navy and that he would be commissioned as an Officer in just a few short days. I couldn't help but to stop her.

I spent a lot of my younger years on military bases and know firsthand what it means to serve. I wanted to thank her for his service. I wanted to thank her for her family's sacrifice. Most of all, I wanted to tell her how proud I was of her son and how men and women like him are my heroes. I was humbled by her admiration of my work, because what I do every day in running a clothing company is so small when compared to the dedication of patriots and first responders of our country who serve abroad and on our home soil.

Today, when not everyone stands to salute a flag and where police can be seen as the enemy rather than the protector, I just wanted to take a moment to tip my cap. To all of those who honorably serve our country, I thank you. You are my heroes.



I had asked myself that same question (WHY BOURBON?) pretty much every morning of every weekend through college...and maybe beyond. Bourbon hangovers are the worst. But these days I answer that question in a different context. If you're browsing our website and end up on the FAQ page, you will find the number one question that we are asked: Do you guys make bourbon? The answer is simple, yet complex - No, but it has certainly made us. 

Growing up in the Bluegrass state, we were raised on bourbon and horses. Bourbon is a staple condiment in any Bluegrass household. You never question the rich taste of the aged charred oak barrels, you just drink it. You either love it or grow to love it. It is often said that there are more bourbon barrels in our state than there are people. We haven’t counted, but we’re certain that it's either a fact or a statement made while under the influence guessed it - bourbon.

Apart from the obvious roots of our upbringing, we see bourbon as an icon of both America and the South. In 1964, the United States Congress declared bourbon as "a distinctive product of the United States" or more romantically as America's Native Spirit. Legally, to be called ‘bourbon’ a whiskey spirit must be made on American soil (most commonly in Kentucky).

That's why bourbon is our brand. Like our beloved homeland, it is smooth, but tough. It's hard to fight it once it's in your blood. It is literally and figuratively the American spirit.

Put that American spirit on your shirt today.


Jake, circa 1996.

Jake, circa 1996.

This is a (true) story about a dog and a boy. If you have ever loved someone or something, I hope you'll read this.

It's probably safe to say that I've always been a dog lover, that it's just one those things I was born with...but I can't say for sure. What I can say for sure is that I know exactly when man's best friend became the truest words I've ever heard.

I was around ten years old when I convinced my parents to get me a dog. I agreed to feed him, water him, bathe him — all the things that kids promise to do when they want a pet, but have no earnest intention of actually doing. It was late fall when we went to pick him up. He was a black lab mix and my mother wasn't too fond of the choice because of an incident with a black dog when she was a child, but this was my dog. I named him Jake.

The winter had come and gone, as had Jake's puppy phase. Some dogs stay puppies forever and some just have an old sense about them, a certain maturity as though their souls have seen lifetimes of knowledge and grit. Jake's soul had been around a time or two. I like to think that in another life he might have been a Civil War general by the way he commanded himself around our neighborhood.

The following summer was one to remember. Before technology was a fixture in every child's hand, kids played outside all day. Jake and I roamed the neighborhood from dusk until dawn, just looking for adventures. I could have ridden my bike across the entire state and he would have followed, not missing a stride. Jake was my dog and I was his boy.

One afternoon we were playing in the backyard with all of the neighborhood kids, a typical summer day of running through the sprinklers and organizing ballgames where we made up the rules as we went. An intense game of wiffle ball usually assembled just after lunchtime and lasted until dinner came calling or until a fight broke out. Jake usually watched from behind home plate, going unnoticed until his moment came to fetch the occasional stray ball.

My younger sister, who couldn't have been more than three years old at the time, was no exception to being outside all day with the big kids. She typically tried to keep up with whatever we were doing and that day was not unlike any other. She was too young to swing a bat, but it didn't keep her from roaming around the yard that had been serving as our baseball field since lunch. Like most days, a dispute erupted over a pitch being a "strike" or a "ball." This typically resulted in yelling, pushing, shoving, and an occasional black eye. We were assembled around home plate and headed for the usual course of events when all of a sudden there was a piercing screech. It suspended all arguments, our threats halted in the summer air. It was like a bomb had just gone off. We ran around the yard to investigate the possible neighborhood bomb and there in front us, stood a scene unlike any other.

Standing in the middle of the street was a still truck, my young sister, and a brazen, barking Jake. In the midst of our running amok over strikes and balls, my sister wandered off from the pack of children into the street. Jake's knowing eyes had seen all of this unfold and he followed her into the busy street, protecting her like a general over his soldiers, barking to let us know that something wasn't right. My mother arrived to the scene simultaneously to discover what we too had seen as she rushed to rescue my sister. The dog that she hadn't been fond of was responsible for saving her own child. Jake won my mother over that day. He was our dog and we were his humans.

Jake and I spent many great summers together until he passed away while I was in college, but none of those summers were as memorable as that one. Many years have passed since I lost my childhood best friend and I now have a new sidekick (Crew, our goldendoodle model) who is my new best friend. But to this day, the story of how Jake saved my sister is retold annually. Some stories are like that. They grow into tall tales as time passes, but not this one. An exaggerated tall tale based on a true story couldn't have made Jake any more heroic than he was that day. That's how I know that I'm a dog person. That's why I'll always be a dog person. Thanks, Jake.

If you are a dog person, even if you're not a dog person, we have a special shirt for you. 50% of the sales from our Man's Best Friend pocket tee will be donated to one of our favorite animal shelters, Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary, that fosters senior dogs to live out their elder years. My old pal, Jake, lived his whole life in a loving home, but not every dog is so lucky. That's why we love this sanctuary that is a real home to senior dogs. We hope you'll think of the Jake in your life every time you wear this shirt that will help so many senior foster dogs.

dixie reserve mans best friend