The Full Bar - all my pages

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Truman Cox: gone too soon

Truman (on right) and Valley Malt's Christian Stanley
I received tragic news today. My very good friend, Truman Cox, the young, gifted, and extremely personable master distiller at A. Smith Bowman in Fredericksburg, Va., died suddenly last night. I am devastated at this news, and my heart and prayers go out to his wife and daughter.
Truman had just reached his life goal; becoming a master distiller. He was enjoying his new job -- and bottling some excellent whiskey! -- having great fun as husband and father, and happy as a pig in shit. He was technically gifted, and had an absolutely honest pleasure in working, in explaining the distillery to visitors, and in spreading the good word about whiskey.

Truman Cox was one of my best friends, in or out of the industry, and I am missing him terribly already. Too young, too fast...oh, too bad, too bad!


  1. Lew,

    I am thunderstruck with this news. Truman was a good friend and helped me set up our testing lab. I have known him for years and was hoping to grab a beer with him when in DC for the Craft Brewers Conf. He said he would drive down to see me. He was every bit a gentlemen as you touted him to be in your obituary note. I am still seeking more news as it is difficult to believe this (I have been misled before)and I too wish Susan and his daughter my condolences and offer my prayers. I wish this were a hoax!

  2. He was a hell of a nice guy and shared his knowledge and passion with everyone he met. Very sad news, indeed.

    John Little

  3. I only met Truman once, but it was one of my most enjoyable experiences as a bourbon fanatic. He was generous with his time, a no-nonsense artisan, and a man responsible for some of the best bottles in my collection. He will be missed.

  4. Sorry to hear that, Lew. Thoughts and prayers to his friends and family.

  5. Damn...he was a gentleman with a big heart, a big laugh, and a bigger soul. Thoughts and prayers tonight for his family and colleagues...

  6. I'm sure I wasn't as close to Truman as the others who have or will post or be reading here, and I don't wish to diminish your memories. But, I am feeling an albeit lesser wound hearing of Truman's untimely passing. I'm the volunteer programming VP for a synagogue men's club in Potomac, Maryland. Truman gave of his time until late in the evening last November teaching our guests about his fine craft and the products of his company's distillery. He helped us raise a little money, he taught us a bit, and he was just so knowledgable, so fun, so proud of his talents and his art. He was energetic, youthful, funny, informative, pleasant, and just down home country. I heard of his passing from the co-chair of the event, an M.D. up here in Potomac, and he, too, was shocked. I wish strength and pride for the memories of his family and friends, and I thank Truman for his kindness, wherever he is. His family and friends will miss him dearly, but the lovers of his craft will miss him, too.

    -- Richard S. Sternberg, Esquire

  7. Truman and his family went to our church. I had the pleasure of talking with him every Sunday, and we were looking forward to doing lunch with his family soon. He was such a wonderful kind spirited man. You could really see the love of Jesus through him. I pray for his wife and daughter now as there life has changed ever so drastically.

  8. Lew...I love this. You are a superb friend and I know Truman thought the world of you (and not just because you were writing cool things about him) :) He looked forward to seeing you at Bourbon Fest every did I. Thank you for being a good friend to him. Love you, Susan