2. The stuff blew up thanks to a careful marketing campaign
Once Fireball was freed from the Doctor and was just "Fireball," the Sazerac Company had to get the word out on this new hotness. So the group hired a brand rep, Richard Pomes. His sole mission was to hype the whiskey, which meant several trips to Nashville (an emerging market) to meet Fireball's most rabid fans and partying with them. Once he'd sold the entire city on the sauce, he moved onto college towns, applying the same techniques. (There were also novelty bikinis and Deadliest Catch endorsements involved.) His barhopping paid off handsomely for the company, but Pomes handed off the reins to a protege in 2012.