thursday reading list

And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth.

Revelation 11: 18

Climate change will cause stress and breakdowns in many of the US’s critical energy and defense sectors. Let’s pray that Congress and state legislatures, such as Kentucky’s, can begin taking a more proactive stance on the issue.

As Congress stagnates on the immigration debate, a reminder that people’s lives constantly hang in the balance as the world  turns.

As the world shrinks, Adventurers shift from pure exploration to the pursuit of the extreme.

With FWD.us and other Silicon Valley-based Political Action groups attempting to take on Washington, techie teens need to realize they’re not politicians.

What sells for $65 per drink and is more difficult to acquire than a Ferari? Pappy Van Winkle (Louisville Magazine, page 66) is rapidly becoming the “unobtainium” of rednecks and red carpet alike.

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thursday reading list

I was brought up to believe that Scotch whisky would need a tax preference to survive in competition with Kentucky bourbon.

                                                       ~ Hugo Black

Happy almost-Oaks. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out this Times piece from last year’s Oaks.

Moving on to the Derby. Michael Lindenberger of Roads & Kingdoms has outdone himself with an amazing long-read on booze-hound Bill Faulkner and the Kentucky Derby. And here is Faulkner’s piece for SI (it’s short). Here’s Hunter S. Thompson’s piece [PDF].

There’s a new bourbon out there just in time for the festivities. Check out Forbes’ Derby-themed review to see if its worth a couple of dollars above the Early Times.

Mr. President, do I detect a hint of tequila and lime on your breath? President Obama is heading to Mexico today and Quartz has everything you could want to know about his trade mission to pre-empt immigration reform.

Ever wanted to be a Williamsburg hipster? To laugh at picture of them? The New York Times has written an article and made a slideshow to help you out.

Sarah Stillman of the New Yorker gives us a glimpse at Bangladesh’s teen garment workers who risk their lives to bring us shitty Wal-Mart clothing.

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post and Gail Collins of the New York Times poke a little fun at Mark Sanford’s ridiculous and rapidly-fading belief that he could be elected to public office once again.

lessons for gentlemen: whiskey words

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whiskey words

For those who are new to whiskey drinking, new to literacy, or those simply reviewing  before you impress Rob Samuels at a whiskey tasting, our friends at Michter’s Whiskey have put together a captivating “dictionary” of whiskey terms so that we’re never caught wondering what the difference is in the mashbills of bourbon, rye or even, God forbid, a Canadian.

Age: This term refers to the period during which, after distillation and before bottling, distilled spirits have been stored in oak barrels.

Air-Flow: Air-flow is directly related to and a critical component of the maturation process of barreled whiskey, bourbon and rye. Much attention is paid to it in the design of a good warehouse intended for aging. Proper air-flow is used to maintain temperature and humidity in ways that optimize maturation. Air-flow is controlled by opening and closing strategically placed windows in barrel warehouses, and in many cases it is supplemented by specially designed circulation fans. When an increase or a decrease in the temperature of the liquid in the barrels results in a change of approximately 13º Fahrenheit or more, a whiskey “cycle” is achieved as the whiskey moves into and out of the wood. In the case of Michter’s, it cycles into both the char line and the caramel layer that results from toasting.

American Whiskey: American whiskey is whiskey made in the United States, distilled to no greater than 160 proof from a fermented mash of corn, rye, wheat, malt barley and/or malted rye grain. It differs from Scottish or Irish whisky because the grain is not dried with smoke, so American whiskeys usually have a fuller, less peaty/smoky taste. American whiskey is usually separated into many categories, with the prevalent ones being bourbon, rye, and blended. In the more narrow legal sense of the term, American whiskey must be made in the U.S.A. and unlike bourbon, and rye, it can be aged in barrels that have previously been used to age other whiskey. Also, unlike bourbon with its 51% or more corn mashbill and rye with its 51% or more rye grain mashbill, American whiskey can be made from a mashbill where no one grain needs to be the majority.

Angel’s Share: Whiskey is aged in wood barrels in order to mellow the high proof un-aged distillate as well as to flavor it with the rich characteristics of the oak barrels in which it is stored. The “angel’s share” is the portion of whiskey that is lost to evaporation during the aging process. Michter’s has a much larger angel’s share than most whiskeys because we heat cycle the warehouses, thereby causing significantly more whiskey to evaporate during aging. Unlike most ordinary whiskey distillers, we go to the extra expense because we believe heat cycling results in a much richer, smoother product.

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pick your poison: michter’s sour mash.

michter's sour mash

Just a couple of days after a tragic Patriot’s Day, let us harken back to the time of George Washington and his troops fighting off the Brits. At this proud time in American history, we must ask ourselves: what powered these noble patriots?

The answer: Michter’s Sour Mash Whiskey, of course. This Gatorade of the American Revolution has been saucing up winners since the 1700s. Originally a rye brand in Pennsylvania, Michter’s went through hard times following Prohibition, going bankrupt and selling off most of the equipment. Since then, however, Michter’s  partnered with Dick Newman and reopened the brand in Kentucky.

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