Interview with Larry Kass, October 1, 2015

Project: Jewish Kentucky Oral History Project

  • Description
  • Play Interview
  • Rights & Request
  • Citation

Interview Summary

Larry Kass talks about his childhood in Connecticut. He describes his career as an advertising and marketing executive in New York before moving to Kentucky to work for Heaven Hill Distillery in 1998. He also discusses his family history, including his maternal grandfather fleeing the Russian Red Army in 1917, walking from Ukraine to Amsterdam, stowing away on a boat to Montreal, Canada, and eventually migrating to America. Kass describes his family's relationship to Judaism as well as his own personal Jewish identity. His parents ensured that he was raised with a strong Jewish identity and he has done the same for his children. Since moving to Louisville, Kass has been an active member in the Louisville Jewish community, including a seven year stint as a member of the Jewish Family and Career Services and as an active member of his Temple.

Kass describes the founding of Heaven Hill Distillery in the years following Prohibition and outlines the changes in the bourbon distilling and wholesale distribution industry from being several family-owned, primarily Jewish, operations to fewer consolidated companies. He describes the history of the distilled spirits industry in the United States from the early 1900s, and shares some of his favorite bourbon lingo and phrases. Kass goes into detail about the Jewish families who were involved in bourbon production before and after Prohibition and their influences on the industry, as well as women's role in the industry. Kass reflects on the future of bourbon, and describes the Whiskey Jewbilee, a Jewish whiskey sampling event.

Interview Accession

2015oh432_jk008

Interviewee Name

Larry Kass

Interviewer Name

Janice W. Fernheimer

J. T. Waldman

Interview Date

2015-10-01

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Restriction

No Restrictions

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Add this interview to your cart in order to begin the process of requesting access to a copy of and/or permission to reproduce interview(s). 


Kass, Larry Interview by Janice W. Fernheimer. 01 Oct. 2015. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Kass, L. (2015, October 01). Interview by J. W. Fernheimer. Jewish Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Kass, Larry, interview by Janice W. Fernheimer. October 01, 2015, Jewish Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7z348gj711


Share