Bourbon and Sense

...because with Bourbon comes good Sense

January 2023 Bourbon and this week's Talking Sense.


First Call Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

First Call Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

Aroma: First Call Rye has a very pleasant, low alcohol, aroma. Almost medicinal.

Taste: 90 proof, did not burn but nothing distinctive hit my taste buds. There is that pepper feel that others talk about in rye whiskeys.

Appearance: nice light amber yellow in the bottle and in the glass.The bottle is appealing.

Finish: again, no burn which is a plus but the pepper feel is obtrusive at the end.

Story of: Friend of mine recommended I try a Rye as part of my research, but not this one. Total Wine did not have his recommendation.

A New Year


Irresponsible Handling of Documents

That’s a paraphrase of an interview with President Biden that was recorded as the Trump handling of papers came to light last year. Now our dear president is under the same light of accountability and the Democrats are scrambling to point out the differences: 300 docs versus 20 (and counting), obstruction of justice versus cooperation, open rooms versus locked Corvettes. There are differences but the most damning is that the current president waited till after the November elections to admit his mistake; the former president admits nothing – he declassified everything by thinking about it!


I think that Merrick Garland, Department of Justice leader, is doing the right thing by assigning a special counsel for each situation. They cannot be seen as playing favorites. But it is going to be difficult to not prosecute these two cases in the same manner despite apparent differences in severity. We still don’t know what the classified documents were in either case except for the love letter to the North Korean Dictator from our former president. In the end, all the DOJ can do is create improvements in the handling of documents; a Lessons Learned so to speak.


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Book Review


The Dawn of Everything

I am reading a book with that title on the recommendation of a professor friend. I saw a good review about it in Wired and so, decided to try the book, although I prefer science, history, and biographies more. The authors revisit the historical record of neolithic man and interpret it anew. The foundation of their study is that our knowledge of pre-history man comes from White European anthropologists, archaeologists, and every kind of ‘gists there is. The interpretation by them is decidedly slanted: man started as savage hunter-gatherers with little culture or organization. But if you read the opinions of indigenous or diverse scientists, the story is very different. For them, ancient man was better, more intelligent, than the white Europeans reporting on them. Civilization appears to have begun much earlier than first thought.


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A New Year


All Quiet on the Trump Front

Although the only declared Republican Presidential candidate, it has been deathly quiet inside Trump headquarters and even in the media. Is he still running? Of course, the Christmas holidays and the New Year celebrations probably had some effect on the lack of sound and fury, it’s still odd to hear nothing from the Great Prevaricator. It could be he is still processing the November results, or maybe he is neck-deep in all the legal action against him, or maybe he is best when running against someone, Republican or Democrat, rather than unnamed foes. In any case, I expect the former president to get going soon: insulting whoever looks closest to be a contestant, like Governor De Santis.


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A Confession


More on Tasting Bourbons

I confess, I can’t distinguish among the brands. Oh, I can tell more alcohol or more sweetness – caramel or vanilla, but not enough to say one is better than the other. Does it matter since taste is a matter of preference? It is the name, the bottle, the words on the bottle, that seem to make the difference for me. A masculine-shaped bottle, and I don’t mean phallic, and a back-story tied to the old West, is most appealing. The recommendation of friends has a lot of influence and something additional to the creation of the brand like extra time or different barrels beyond the required charred American oak. All the other aspects of the brand become almost more important than the actual taste and appearance.


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Latest News


Speaker of the House

On the 15th ballot, Kevin McCarthy was elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives, a position that is second in line to the presidency and who controls what bills get in front of the House. He seems to have finally received approval by giving away a lot of his power to the extreme right members of his caucus including membership in coveted committees and convincing sufficient members to just vote “present” rather than for a particular candidate. This allows the person to say that she didn’t vote for McCarthy and thus did not contribute to the “swamp”.


I’m a bit impressed with this small group of holdouts. Normally, election of the Speaker is a straightforward event with members all getting behind a candidate and hiding disagreements for behind closed doors. It takes some courage or stupidity to go against the party in full view of everyone. Will they now be ostracized – not invited to Republican parties; not supported in their own bills? I have to think that the concessions McCarty made gives the extreme right, the Freedom Caucus, enough power to not worry what the majority thinks or does – they have the power. Question now is: where is their pizza parlor?


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Peace on Earth


Christmas Truce in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin offered a 36 hour cease fire during the Russian Orthodox Christmas of January 6 through the 7th. I think Ukraine rejected it along with all the pundits, saying he couldn’t be trusted to abide by his own cessation of hostilities. Sure enough, the rockets and howitzers kept falling onto Ukraine so what was the point? Maybe it was the opening gambit (chess move) towards ending the war, in which case we need to respond appropriately. The pundits say the offer was only to grab a bit of rest for his own army and to perhaps re-deploy them in other locations. They don’t view it as a small, tentative offer towards peace.


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