The Kansas man who served as one of the inspirations behind the 2018 movie “12 Horses” is coming to speak to the area next month, and bringing his own brand of bourbon with him.

Major Mark Nutsch was the commander of the Special Forces unit that first went into Afghanistan in the days following 9/11.

What they didn’t know until they arrived was that they would only be able to utilize horses in helping to raise an army among the northern alliance in Afghanistan. Nutsch was very familiar with horses, having grown up in Washington County, Kansas, and been involved with the Kansas State Rodeo during his time at K-State.

Their story was made into the movie “12 Horses,” which starred “Thor” actor Chris Hemsworth as Mitch Nelson, who was based on Nutsch.

He and his Special Forces brothers started the American Freedom Distillery following their retirements from active duty, and now produce a line of bourbons called Horse Soldier Bourbon. The line has won multiple awards, including the Double Gold and Commander’s Select honors. The bottles all come from molds forged with steel pieces recovered from the World Trade Center after 9/11.

Nutsch is bringing the Horse Soldier Bourbon to a tasting on Feb. 13 at The Columbian Theatre in Wamego, which will also include a multi-media presentation on his experiences in the War On Terror. Tickets are available at

B104.7 was proud to host Nutsch for an interview on “Chris & Kristen” Thursday morning. That full interview is available below.