Ed, Dayn, and Reaghan Belfour were recent guests on the Texas Whiskey podcast hosted by Nico Martini and Jimmy Nelson. The Belfours recounted the history of their family whiskey business and how it all came to be.
The story begins with an ending. When Ed Belfour retired from his hall-of-fame hockey career, he wasn’t content being idle. His son, Dayn, was also looking for a career change and had researched the spirits industry. Ed and Dayn bought a small still, went to school to learn how to make whiskey, and a family business was born.
Dayn made the company’s first twelve barrels while interning at Woody Creek Distillery in Basalt, Colorado. Of the twelve, ten barrels were used for Belfour’s first Limited Edition Straight Rye, and two were saved for a future anniversary edition. Belfour now has over 2000 barrels aging.
When developing the rye, Ed and Dayn decided they wanted a smoother and more balanced profile than traditional peppery ryes. The mash bill is 70% rye, 20% corn, and 10% malted barley. The Belfour team spends a lot of time getting the flavors just right, doing blind tastings, and making small adjustments. As Ed states, “If we’re putting our family name on it, this is going to be a premium package, and we’re going to make sure we hone in on the flavors that we love.”
Belfour whiskeys are currently distilled by Southern Distilling in North Carolina, but the company is building its own distillery in Branson, Missouri.
Ed’s daughter, Reaghan, joined the whiskey company three years ago to help prepare for the products’ launch in October of 2019. Reaghan came from the financial world, and no one was more surprised than she was to discover that she had a discerning palate and a nose for whiskey.
There are a lot of “celebrity” liquor brands on the market, but how many of those celebrities are actually involved in the production process, or know anything about how spirits are made?
The Belfours are building their business themselves, as a family, passionately making the best whiskeys they can and having a grand time doing it.