If you're ever in Loretto, Kentucky, you're welcome to pay a visit to the Maker's Mark bourbon distillery, a National Historic Landmark. Until then, why not pour yourself a taste and watch this video? [more inside]
Scotland shamed: Japan wins whisky challenge. The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre hosted a tasting in Toronto, and a 20-year-old Nikka Yoichi, distilled in Hokkaido, beat out a 16-year-old Lagavulin (my own favorite) and 12-year-old whiskies from Cragganmore and Balvenie (also excellent). This is reminiscent of the 1976 tasting in which California wines beat out French ones and put California on the map; can America someday produce a world-class scotch-type whisky (the preferred spelling in Scotland), or shall we simply continue to take pride in our bourbon and rye?
You are fat because there is too much corn. [NYT, forfeit of first-born son required] I love good old-fashioned materialism, and Michael Pollan (author of The Botany of Desire) scores one for the team with this article on the economics of corn production. Are we fat because New Deal agricultural policy was overturned in the 70s by Rusty Butz? Now there's a trailing question we can all enjoy.
The Inexplicable Mystery Of American Rye Whiskey: Almost nobody drinks it! It's arguably the best American spirit there is. It's great straight and indispensable in such classic American cocktails such as the Manhattan, the Whiskey Sour, the Old-Fashioned and the Sazerac[Chuq's MeFi recipe is my favourite.] Thanks to the dedication of a few master distillers, it's currently being revived. And yet...[More inside]