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Bearings Guide: A Southern Lifestyle for Men
 
Pioneering Bourbon, Again Drink
Angel's Envy
 

There’s one word that lured famed whiskey legend and inaugural member of the Whiskey Hall of Fame, Lincoln Henderson, away from a deserved season of rest and back into the work world: bourbon. “I came out of retirement to create the world’s finest bourbon on my own terms and to just enjoy the art of making whiskey. Now, I have complete creative freedom to create bourbon my own way so I make decisions based on the specific taste profile I want to achieve,” he says.

Lincoln spent most of his career working on world-class brands such as Woodford Reserve and Jack Daniels. With more than 40 years of experience and a passion for fine-tuning bourbon, Lincoln partnered with his son, Wesley, and created the Louisville Distilling Company, with the elder Henderson serving as the Master Distiller.

Their flagship product, Angel’s Envy Bourbon, was unveiled in 2010 and received high accolades, being the highest-rated bourbon ever by Wine Enthusiast and obtaining 2013 Editor’s Top Pick Award Of Excellence by Beverage Industry News. With that type of initial success, Lincoln needed something revolutionary to follow it up.

That’s how Angel’s Envy Rye Whiskey was born. It’s a natural progression for the beverage brand and another superb demonstration of Lincoln’s craft. The limited edition and soon-to-be-released whiskey is aged and conditioned according to Lincoln’s specific direction and intuition. He says, “I’m passionate about experimenting outside of conventional norms and producing unique whiskey steeped in tradition, but finished with a twist.”

Ever the experimenter, yet mindful of heritage, Lincoln chose 95 percent rye and 5 percent malted barley, and aged the whiskey for at least six years in American new-charred oak barrels. It was then finished in hand-selected Caribbean rum casks, which began as small French cognac barrels, for up to 18 months. Lincoln and his team sampled more than 100 different rums until they unanimously chose the winner. “We felt the rum we chose – which is from Barbados – had an extraordinary richness that perfectly marries with our rye whiskey,” he says. 

Indeed, with a whiskey that’s described as a “mingling of raw, spicy and earthy rye notes paired with the sweetness imparted by rum finishing,” which “results in an ultra-smooth and accessible ultra-rye whiskey, even at 100 proof,” it’s hard to see this product as anything but a fresh creation.

The quality of this whiskey isn’t sacrificed in any way, from its production to its packaging, bottled in perfume-grade Italian glass, and ceramic stamped with the brand’s iconic wings. It’s hand-filled, corked and crated in Louisville, Kentucky. Due to the scarcity of the special barrels and the intricacies involved in the finishing process, Angel’s Envy will only release 2,500 9-liter cases of the rye whiskey. Available in eleven states in May.

 
 
Redeeming Our Stories Culture
Stories
 

Charles Martin writes in a dimly lit office of his home in Jacksonville, Florida. In that room, Charles weaves stories for a world inundated with bad news. This week, the New York Times best-seller’s latest novel, Unwritten, will vie for the attention of readers distracted by deadly headlines, cynical social media and tabloid gossip. His words carry a very different message.

“We live in a culture where we’re fed a daily dose of hopelessness,” Charles told us. “They say, ‘Here, you eat this; this is your allotment for the day,’ and you’re supposed to like it. I react strongly to that. I don’t think we should just accept that. I think hope is worth raising to the surface.”

Charles roots Unwritten’s genesis in despair, but doesn’t leave it there for long. In an early scene, a beautiful, renowned actress, Katie Quinn, prepares to jump off the side of her penthouse suite, her neck noose-wrapped. From that dark moment, Katie takes her first steps toward redemption. That’s what keeps Charles writing – not his perfect characters, but his broken ones.

“How do you get her off that railing?” Charles asks. “That arc, from broken to not broken, that’s what charges me.”

But in writing as in living, there are no step-by-step guides on how to find the hopeful ending. No paved roads, no easy answers. For each of us, imperfections and struggles can lead to despair or dynamic change. Brokenness can lead to the noose or to the next chapter. It’s what makes life an inexorable page-turner.

And after all, we have the pen in hand. If we try to write someone else’s story, we’re just wasting our own time.

“There are six billion people on the planet, and you’re the only one with your voice,” Charles says. “Don’t try and be someone else, just because you think ‘oh he’s made it, he’s successful; I’ve got to do what he’s does if I want to be there.’ That’s counterfeit. That’s a lie. That’s not true. Find what your voice is, and write that. Because otherwise you’re just a copycat.”

 
 
 
Whiskey Tree Wood
 
 
Protecting The Value Of Words Knowledge
Words
 

“Words have a magical power. They can bring either the greatest happiness or deepest despair; they can transfer knowledge from teacher to student; words enable the orator to sway his audience and dictate its decisions. Words are capable of arousing the strongest emotions and prompting all men’s actions.”
– Sigmund Freud

Recently, a friend told a story about a woman he met who was about to undergo a risky brain surgery. Doctors prepared her for the worst, because in all likelihood, the invasive procedure would destroy her ability to speak. When asked how she was doing, she responded, “You know, since I can count the number of sentences I have left to say, I’ve become really picky with my words.

We live in a world flooded with information and words. On average, men speak 10,000 words a day, and women double that number. Digital communication has exponentially increased the ease, avenues and audience for our words. In some ways, that freedom should be celebrated – especially given that there are many around the world who don’t have the ability or right to speak openly about what they think, feel and believe. The ability to express ourselves can enrich our lives deeply. However, when our language is unrestrained and unmindful, we render our words meaningless at best – damaging at worst. 

It happens all the time when marketers exploit a trend. A word popularizes, and almost overnight, it’s overused, abused and stripped of all meaning. We now have “artisan” fast food sandwiches, “handcrafted” cups of gas station coffee and if you're a blogger having a yard sale you're participating in "vintage curation." Something described as “unique” often just means it is “interesting” or “atypical,” rather than it’s true definition of one-of-a-kind.
 
Quality, precision, and an appreciation for the true meaning of words have taken a backseat to a false virtue: speed. Getting information out quickly has become more valuable than accuracy or pertinence. Popular logic is that you can always correct yourself later, so just say somethinganything – but say it first and say it fast. 

Mark Twain famously said, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” Being thoughtful and restrained with what we say takes more time. But it’s worth the effort to be selective, because when you sacrifice speed and frequency, your words gain significance, sincerity and authenticity.

Language is not only a gift, but also a responsibility. And these days, it’s radical to be careful and wise with our words.

 
 
Sponsor  
Lyonstate
 
 
The Mint Julep Reworked Drink
Julip
 

At the Kentucky Derby this weekend, there are only two certainties: thoroughbreds will run for the roses, and thousands standing on two feet will sip on bourbon smashed with mint. Jockeys and juleps are intrinsically linked in the culture of Churchill Downs. The classic Mint Julep has been the official cocktail of the Kentucky Derby for more than a century, and each year, the demand calls for 1,000 pounds of fresh mint for muddling.

But if you can’t make it to the track to see Orb, Normandy Invasion or Goldencents vie for the prize, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the other half of the derby tradition. To help us better understand this Kentucky treasure, the cocktail crafters at downtown Louisville’s Proof on Main shared three different versions to try this weekend.

Proof On Main Mint Julep — The Classic

Mint leaves (enough so the glass is half full)
1 oz simple syrup
2 oz bourbon
Crushed ice to fill glass

In a rocks glass, lightly press on mint with a muddler or back of a spoon. Add simple syrup. Pack glass with crushed ice. Pour bourbon over ice. Garnish with extra mint sprig.

For The Birds

2 oz Pure Kentucky XO
1/4 oz Smith and Cross Rum
3/4oz simple syrup
1/2 pip Bitterman’s Mole Bitters

Muddle Mint with ¼ oz of simple syrup. Combine remaining ingredients with ice and stir. Double strain into coupe glass. Garnish with fresh mint sprig.

Julep Served “Up”

2 oz Larceny
1/2 oz simple syrup
Handful of mint
Splash of water

Combine all ingredients in tin and shake with ice. Strain into martini or coupe glass. Garnish with fresh mint sprig.

 
 
 
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