On the lookout for new and interesting books on whiskey, I found out about one that is in the works for release towards the end of this year or early next year. The title caught my attention; Whiskey Time Traveler. What could this be about? The subtitle cleared things up a bit; How to drink to remember And tell stories about…Where you were…Who you were with…The whiskey you enjoyed. I have a little pull with the author and convinced him to let me share portions of his book with you as they become available. He reluctantly sent me his introduction this week and I wanted to let you get a taste of the journey he will be taking us on.
— Zac Smith
I’ve always been fascinated with time travel.
It can be easy, “Look at that old photograph…That really takes me back.”
To travel back in time to revisit a special moment in your life; we have all participated in this type of time travel.
But it might be a little more difficult to believe that you could travel far back in time to a place long before your great grandfather’s heart fluttered as your, not yet, great grandmother walked by in her fluffy skirt and sun haloed hat, and experience the essence of that time…but you may.
Or how about traveling back to when you had a head full of baseball and popcorn and changing a decision you made that will amazingly alter your future? It’s possible…with a seldom used technique we’ll talk about later.
“I thought we were going to talk about whiskey. What does time travel have to do with whiskey?”
Everything that touches your whiskey along its journey becomes a part of the final product. The color, the smell, the texture and certainly the taste are a result of thousands of happy little variables that have come together in one cask to form a unique expression.
Whiskey is a snapshot of history stored in a bottle.
Every whiskey takes you back in time to at least the day it was distilled. Two years, eight years, twelve years or thirty plus years.
Some whiskeys can take you back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s to the installation of the still that cradled the mash during its transformation into a spirit. And of course there are the casks or barrels that hold the spirit during its transformation into a whiskey. We can only imagine the history stored in each ring of the old oak that forms the barrels. The whiskey soaking up more and more of that history the longer it resides within those walls.
Sip a whiskey and let the fire of history possess your soul. Understand that whiskey and let history smolder and swirl occupying un-let spaces in mind and body. It’s an experience that will lead you down the path of the time traveler.
“Last September we were visiting with some friends and family in Austin Texas. The weather was perfect, a slight breeze. We were sitting in a beautiful Spanish style courtyard and the sun was just starting to go down. They poured me a glass of Angel’s Envy Finished Rye. I did not think that I was a Rye drinker. Oh, how I’ve changed my mind. Angel’s Envy sits just off the Ohio River right in Louisville Kentucky. The owners have taken a rye whiskey and after aging it for a while in new oak barrels they transfer it to used oak barrels to finish it for about another year and a half. But the finishing barrels aren’t your ordinary used barrels, they are truly vintage. First they’ve been used to age Cognac. Then a Rum distiller purchased them to age their rum. After that, Angel’s Envy bought every last one of those used casks to finish their Rye in. I’ve never tasted another Rye quite like that. Hints of subtle sweetness with a very smooth easily drinkable finish.”
I’ve always wanted to tell stories about the whiskeys I’ve tasted, but, if you’re like me, you have a hard enough time remembering what type of whiskey you’ve tried let alone all of the additional facts about the distilleries, the barrels and where you were when you drank that special spirit.
This book is for you. By the time you get to the end of it, you will not only know how to remember what you drank, but also where it came from, who you were with and when you drank that amazing whisky. From now on you will drink to remember!
In addition, you won’t be limited to talking about whiskey. You will be able to use the techniques you learn to build interesting stories around anything in your life; people you’ve met, cars you’ve owned, places you have visited, wines, beers, restaurants, anything that you want to use to define your history and your future. And since we are talking about the past and the future, we will become time travelers within our own life and beyond. Let’s get started on this journey!
— S. Garth Smith