September is Bourbon Heritage Month. In the coming days, Whiskey Network will be sharing stories from our staff writers and some special guests from the industry. I’m thankful for every single perspective and savor their wisdom like a glass of great bourbon. I’ll kick things off by offering you my own thoughts.
The bourbon experience is a delightful ritual of the senses. On the shelf, your eyes catch glimpses of sunbeams contained in liquid of rich hue. As you open a bottle, the unmistakable *plorp* of the cork rings out. Soon, a fantastic aroma fills the room. At long last, the extraordinary liquid envelops your tongue and millions of little dancing bourbon gremlins titillate your palate.
The final sense that bourbon entices is touch. This is not in the haptic sense. Sure, you can touch your bourbon, but I don’t think this is what is meant by the two fingers rule.
Touch, in the bourbon sense, is how our lives become entwined through congenial interactions around our special beverage of choice.
Some of the best stories start with, “So we were out drinking bourbon”. Right?
Most importantly, I want to remind everyone of something important.
Bourbon is for everyone.
Humans are a lot like bourbon. Hear me out! There’s a set process by which we are brought into existence, but there is a bit of magic in the process that ends up making us all just a little bit different. As much as we celebrate the remarkable variety and character in bourbon, so we should do so in our fellow humans.
In my time with Whiskey Network, most of my pieces have been written at the same desk. Under a pile of papers and tchotchkes, there’s a notebook where I jot down my ideas. Across the cover, I’ve handwritten the quote by Ernest Hemingway, “As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.” Every single piece that I’ve ever written here has been created through that lens.
By the same token, I’ve been very fortunate to encounter so many incredible members of our audience. I’m astonished at the generosity and warmth conveyed to me. The price of admission to this diverse circle of bourbon enthusiasts is merely a nod, a smile, and a sip of your choice. For all our similarities and differences, we all remain united in our love of bourbon. People from all walks of life united in the glorious pursuit of sharing this magical brown liquid.
No judgement, merely understanding. I’ll say it again.
Bourbon is for everyone.
Happy Bourbon Heritage Month!