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Personality Test: Boyd & Blair's Barry Young

| Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011

Try not to be too jealous of Barry Young. As one of the founding partners of Boyd & Blair Distilleries in Glenshaw, he personally samples each batch of their vodka to determine what part of the run to keep and what to discard.

He and partner, Prentiss Orr, adhere to the "think-local" philosophy, distilling their vodka from Pennsylvania potatoes, using strict purity standards.

In keeping with the craft-distillery philosophy, Young, who lives in Pine Township, also signs and numbers each bottle, which he has done an estimated 13,000 times. Prior to co-founding Boyd & Blair, Young was president and CEO of RX Partners, an affiliate of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health System.

Since the first bottles hit state-stores shelves in August 2008, Boyd & Blair's product received a five-star rating in F. Paul Pacult's Spirit Journal, and has been featured in the Food Network magazine, The Wall Street Journal and Food and Wine Online.

At last count, they had expanded into 11 other states and Ontario. Last month, they launched Professional Proof 151, a concentrated vodka for use by chefs and cocktail experts.

The star who would play me in the movie version of my life and why:

Ed Harris, because we have the same hairstyle.

Childhood hero and why:

Mean Joe Greene. He represented the best of both of my childhood worlds - the Steelers and Coca Cola.

The piece of memorabilia from my childhood I wish I still had:

My GI Joe action figures (the old real ones). My house is filled with my two daughters' Barbie dolls, and we could use some testosterone to balance it out.

I can't live without my: iPod, cell phone, DVR or laptop?

Cell phone

My favorite reality show:

"Top Chef."

App I wish I could invent:

Some app that could recommend Boyd & Blair when a person orders a martini.

Favorite brunch food:

Any type of meat omelet and hash browns

Best mistake I've ever made:

Quitting my executive position to make vodka.

Pick one:

A. Pirates

B. Penguins

C. Steelers

D. Other

E. I hate sports


My favorite Pittsburgh athlete:

Mario Lemieux, because of his talent and integrity.

Favorite lunchtime spot:

Park Bruges, because it's always a fantastic meal, and the owners and employees are great people.

My favorite thing about Pittsburgh is:

The loyalty of the people.

My quirkiest inherited trait

Double-jointed thumbs. My daughters also have been blessed with these.

My favorite sandwich, plus fixings:

My homemade buffalo-chicken sandwich with Monterey Jack cheese, homemade fries and Cheez Whiz.

The oldest thing in my refrigerator is:


When I was 10, I wanted to be:

A forensic pathologist. Quincy was the man!

Exercise I hate most:

Body Pump -- my wife convinced me to take the class with her.

I'm deathly afraid of:

Bats - I had a dead one in my fireplace, and convinced a friend to retrieve it.

If I was auditioning for "American Idol," my song would be:

"Vaseline" by Stone Temple Pilots.

The first band I saw in concert (when and where):

Duran Duran, Civic Arena circa 1984.

The best concert I've ever seen:

Eric Clapton. Third date with my wife.

Saturday mornings you'll find me :

Taking spinning class at the Oxford Club in Wexford.

Best new gadget I've tried recently.

iSi Gourmet Whip - it makes fantastic frothy cocktails.

The worst advice I ever received:

"You should really try bungee jumping!"

In high school, I was:

An exchange student in Germany, where I played soccer and competitive badminton.

The movie that always makes me cry:


My most treasured fashion accessory is:

My Armani three-piece suit.

What you'll always find in my glove compartment:

Old insurance cards.

My most embarrassing junk food:


The last book I read:

"The Broker" by John Grisham.

My favorite Pittsburgh pizza:

Olives & Peppers in Bakerstown.

Movie I could watch every time it appears on cable:

"The Jerk."

My favorite website:

Twitter -- so follow @boydblairvodka .

My most memorable fashion mistake:

Denim overall shorts in the early '90s. I am shocked to be admitting to this.

My childhood nickname was:


My favorite "bad" movie is:

"The Secret of My Success" starring Michael J. Fox.

My first job:

Stock boy at a hardware store.

My worst job:

Retail pharmacist.

My favorite cable channel:

Food Network.

The song that always gets me out on the dance floor and why:

Still have not found a song that would make me want to dance.

Life would be better without:

People who steal energy.

If I could tour with any two bands, they would be:

Ozzy Osbourne and Led Zeppelin.

People would be surprised to know that I:

Blast heavy metal from the '80s, when my family isn't home.

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