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The Tao of Bourbon 

September 2020

There is a wise master in the ways of bourbon; his name is Freddie. For three generations, his family has been dedicated to the mind, body and spirit of bourbon. People come from faraway lands to listen to this sage speak of the mysterious methods used to produce this magic elixir while walking the sacred grounds. From his teachings, many people have come to learn the Tao of Bourbon. 

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One day, three students of bourbon came to visit the master. They sought to learn the Tao of Bourbon directly from the master. They were granted the opportunity to meet him.


The first student came from a very wealthy background and had the ways and means to afford the most expensive bottles of bourbon. The student was pleased to let everyone know the depth and rarity of his collection of elixirs. The other two students felt jealous that the other was able to partake of such rare and amazing things. This student demanded to taste the most unique and esteemed bourbon all alone for himself. The master obliged with a small taste and contemplated as the other two students were left out.


The second student was a hardened soldier. Through many battles, the soldier had lost dear friends and had endured many hardships. The soldier was decorated for valor and was deeply dedicated to his fallen friends. He was rewarded with a bottle of bourbon so rare that only a few existed in the world. To celebrate spending time with the master, the soldier had carried this prized bottle for many miles and sought to share it with him and the other two students. The master toasted with them and quietly observed the gravity of the moment.


The last student was of the working class, weary but carefree in their existence. Throughout their life, bourbon of many different qualities had flowed through them and had always been shared among guests. Many people from far away lands had experienced the generosity and humor of this student. In their bag, they had brought the bourbon of the common man to share. The master and the students enjoyed this together as the student filled their glasses again, until the bottle was gone. The master noted the generosity and camaraderie that filled the room.


As the day with the master ended, the students sought wisdom from him. The master contemplated for a moment and then began to speak. He explained the emptiness of the first student who only sought to covet the rarest elixirs for his own taste. In comparison, he recounted how the soldier had sought to share a rare bottle with the master and the other students to toast his fallen friends. Finally, the master regarded the working-class student, who had spent their hard-earned money for a bottle that was now empty – but whose heart was now full of the memories spent drinking it all.


In the Tao of Bourbon, the elixir (regardless of quality) is meant to be shared among friends. An empty bottle between those who have shared means that their hearts are full. There is no better way to nourish the mind, body and spirit. 


The world would certainly be a better place if more embraced the Tao of Bourbon. So, what are you waiting for? Go share some with those you love.


Dedicated to the man, the myth, the legend… Freddie Johnson of Buffalo Trace.