1. HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS? // WHISKEY IN THE HEADLINES
While not something we’ve typically done, whiskey’s been all over the news these last few weeks, and we totally think some of them are worth sharing. So, a little reading for you this week(end) as you may see fit on our beloved water of life:
// ‘All Hail King Whiskey' - Whiskey set to surpass Vodka for the first time in a decade.
// ‘D.C. Drowns in Whiskey Talk' - DISCUS held their annual gala event.
// ‘Pappy Van Winkle’s Aged Bourbon Can’t Keep Pace With Consumer Demand' - in a stunning surprise.
// ‘Building to House Thousands of Bourbon Barrels' - The American whiskey boom isn't just good for the spirit, but helps plenty of local businesses.

    HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS? // WHISKEY IN THE HEADLINES

    While not something we’ve typically done, whiskey’s been all over the news these last few weeks, and we totally think some of them are worth sharing. So, a little reading for you this week(end) as you may see fit on our beloved water of life:

    // ‘All Hail King Whiskey' - Whiskey set to surpass Vodka for the first time in a decade.

    // ‘D.C. Drowns in Whiskey Talk' - DISCUS held their annual gala event.

    // ‘Pappy Van Winkle’s Aged Bourbon Can’t Keep Pace With Consumer Demand' - in a stunning surprise.

    // ‘Building to House Thousands of Bourbon Barrels' - The American whiskey boom isn't just good for the spirit, but helps plenty of local businesses.

  2. SINGLE POT STILL // IRELAND’S OWN
This week on The Mash Bill, our own Tasting Table member and editor of Alcoholprofessor.com, Amanda Schuster is back to provide a drop of knowledge on a very specific type of the Irish water of life - Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey…
If you’ve been tasting Irish whiskeys lately, such as Redbreast or Green Spot, you might have come across the term Single Pot Still on the label, and had a few questions. Is it the same as single malt (a term which basically means that all the liquid in the bottle was made from a single type of malted grain, at the same distillery), as with Scotch and other world whiskies? What is a pot still, anyway? Why does its singularity matter?
To answer the first question, it’s almost like a single malt. Same basic concept - the whiskey is produced at a single distillery from a single grain. But what distinguishes single pot over single malt is that single malt is only made from malted barley and produced all around the world, whereas single pot is only legally produced in Ireland and made with both malted and ‘green,’ a.k.a. unmalted barley. The reason for this is the unmalted barley adds a unique character to the whiskey, makes it more, well, barley-ish. When you taste them, you might have noticed a distinctive spiciness, more of a weighty, grainy texture and funky cereal flavor that isn’t as present in a Scotch, or even other types of Irish whiskeys. It has more depth.
The reason this mashbill method came about, by the way, harkens back to a time in the 1800s when Irish distillers were paying up the swan’s neck (more on that below) on malt taxes. As a work around with the excise agents, they began cutting their malted barley with green barley so they could turn more of a profit. Lucky for them it actually had a pleasant effect on the whiskey when done right.
Another difference is that unlike most single malts, with the exception of precious few such as Auchentoshan, single pot still is always triple distilled.
Which brings us to the still itself. If you think about it, referring to the type of still used for this specific category is kind of bizarre considering that a lot of the world’s finer whisk(e)ys (and rum, tequila and other distillates) are made in a version of a pot still, which is the copper one with the rounded base and collared, bent neck, or ‘swan’s neck.’ The other kind, the column still - a.k.a. continuous still, Coffey still, or patent still - is usually made of steel and is the kind used to make most of the world’s clear beverages such as vodka and dry gin as well as grain whiskey used for blends. So basically, if you want your spirit to have some inherent flavor and complexity to it, you make it in a pot still.
To make matters even more confusing, up until 2011, the whiskeys were labeled as Pure Pot Still. If you see these on a label, you know you have a “vintage” bottle.
At present, there are only a couple of brands out there making Single Pot Still Whiskey for commercial purposes. The category became less popular in the 20th century when Scotch began to dominate the marketplace, not to mention complications from the Irish Civil War of Independence and the American Prohibition. But with the resurgence of classic drinking habits in the 2000s, it’s finding a new fan base with whiskey aficionados and various history minded booze nerds enthusiasts. Hopefully we start to see more on the way.

    SINGLE POT STILL // IRELAND’S OWN

    This week on The Mash Bill, our own Tasting Table member and editor of Alcoholprofessor.com, Amanda Schuster is back to provide a drop of knowledge on a very specific type of the Irish water of life - Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey…

    If you’ve been tasting Irish whiskeys lately, such as Redbreast or Green Spot, you might have come across the term Single Pot Still on the label, and had a few questions. Is it the same as single malt (a term which basically means that all the liquid in the bottle was made from a single type of malted grain, at the same distillery), as with Scotch and other world whiskies? What is a pot still, anyway? Why does its singularity matter?

    To answer the first question, it’s almost like a single malt. Same basic concept - the whiskey is produced at a single distillery from a single grain. But what distinguishes single pot over single malt is that single malt is only made from malted barley and produced all around the world, whereas single pot is only legally produced in Ireland and made with both malted and ‘green,’ a.k.a. unmalted barley. The reason for this is the unmalted barley adds a unique character to the whiskey, makes it more, well, barley-ish. When you taste them, you might have noticed a distinctive spiciness, more of a weighty, grainy texture and funky cereal flavor that isn’t as present in a Scotch, or even other types of Irish whiskeys. It has more depth.

    The reason this mashbill method came about, by the way, harkens back to a time in the 1800s when Irish distillers were paying up the swan’s neck (more on that below) on malt taxes. As a work around with the excise agents, they began cutting their malted barley with green barley so they could turn more of a profit. Lucky for them it actually had a pleasant effect on the whiskey when done right.

    Another difference is that unlike most single malts, with the exception of precious few such as Auchentoshan, single pot still is always triple distilled.

    Which brings us to the still itself. If you think about it, referring to the type of still used for this specific category is kind of bizarre considering that a lot of the world’s finer whisk(e)ys (and rum, tequila and other distillates) are made in a version of a pot still, which is the copper one with the rounded base and collared, bent neck, or ‘swan’s neck.’ The other kind, the column still - a.k.a. continuous still, Coffey still, or patent still - is usually made of steel and is the kind used to make most of the world’s clear beverages such as vodka and dry gin as well as grain whiskey used for blends. So basically, if you want your spirit to have some inherent flavor and complexity to it, you make it in a pot still.

    To make matters even more confusing, up until 2011, the whiskeys were labeled as Pure Pot Still. If you see these on a label, you know you have a “vintage” bottle.

    At present, there are only a couple of brands out there making Single Pot Still Whiskey for commercial purposes. The category became less popular in the 20th century when Scotch began to dominate the marketplace, not to mention complications from the Irish Civil War of Independence and the American Prohibition. But with the resurgence of classic drinking habits in the 2000s, it’s finding a new fan base with whiskey aficionados and various history minded booze nerds enthusiasts. Hopefully we start to see more on the way.

  3. WHISKEY DECONSTRUCTED // FINALÉ
We’ve made it all the way - welcome to the grand finalé of our infographic series on the production of whiskey; Step Three: Barreling & Aging.
In Step One : The Mash, and Step Two: Distillation, we covered everything from the grains of the mash bill all the way through the processes of distillation. Here, in Step Three: Barreling & Aging, we find the last (and some would argue largest) portion of the magic behind what you find in the bottle.
(click to view hi-res)

(click to view hi-res)
Bottles ReferencedUsed American Oak:// Canadian Club 1858// Mellow Corn// The Glenlivet Nadurra 16 Year// Powers Gold Label
New American Oak:// Auchentoshan Virgin Oak// Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey// Sullivan’s Cove American Oak// Woodford Reserve Bourbon
Used European Oak:// The Macallan 12// Aberlour A’Bunadh// Kavalan Sherry Oak// Bushmill’s Black Bush
Wood Finishes:// Tyrconnell Port Cask Finish// Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or// Brenne French Single Malt// Teeling Irish Whiskey

    WHISKEY DECONSTRUCTED // FINALÉ

    We’ve made it all the way - welcome to the grand finalé of our infographic series on the production of whiskey; Step Three: Barreling & Aging.

    In Step One : The Mash, and Step Two: Distillation, we covered everything from the grains of the mash bill all the way through the processes of distillation. Here, in Step Three: Barreling & Aging, we find the last (and some would argue largest) portion of the magic behind what you find in the bottle.

    (click to view hi-res)

    image

    (click to view hi-res)

    Bottles Referenced
    Used American Oak:
    // Canadian Club 1858
    // Mellow Corn
    // The Glenlivet Nadurra 16 Year
    // Powers Gold Label

    New American Oak:
    // Auchentoshan Virgin Oak
    // Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
    // Sullivan’s Cove American Oak
    // Woodford Reserve Bourbon

    Used European Oak:
    // The Macallan 12
    // Aberlour A’Bunadh
    // Kavalan Sherry Oak
    // Bushmill’s Black Bush

    Wood Finishes:
    // Tyrconnell Port Cask Finish
    // Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or
    // Brenne French Single Malt
    // Teeling Irish Whiskey

  4. LET’S TALK ABOUT PEAT // THE GREAT SMOKY DIVIDE
This week on The Mash Bill, beloved Tasting Table member and editor of Alcoholprofessor.com, Amanda Schuster delves into the peat - those who love it, those who hate it, and keeping an open mind…
Whisky enthusiasts agree on many things, but they love to argue about peat smoke. As chili peppers are to spicy food, peat is to whisky. Just as people boast of their tolerance for hot peppers in, say a bowl of chili or a fiery vindaloo, whisky drinkers and producers enjoy out-peating each other. All the while other whisky connoisseurs prefer their unsmoked dram, thank you very much. Many whisky fans enjoy both, of course. But they will always inevitably meet the staunch defenders of both sides of the smoke line.
Why is peat in the whisky in the first place?
Peat is a type of soil consisting of partially decayed vegetable matter, found in wet, boggy areas known as ‘peatlands’ or ‘mires.’ The predominant component of it is a type of moss called Sphagnum, which gives it that characteristic, sort of rubbery smell, especially when burned. Dried peat has been used as an effective fuel and heat source in place of wood for centuries, particularly in Ireland, Scotland, England and Russia.
Two of the biggest misconceptions for novice whisky drinkers is that all Scotch is peated, and that it’s only found in Scotch. Peat comes into whisky production as the fuel source for drying barley or other grains (but mostly barley) for malting. However, the grains can be dried without the use of peat, either simply by letting them air dry, which takes quite a long time, or using unpeated fuel such as certain types of wood.
Furthermore, not all peated whisky is the same. You might have rolled your eyes a few times hearing a wine enthusiast use the term terroir to describe the differences between grape varieties in different regions and how that affects the characteristics of specific wines. The same holds true for whisky. Aside from the type of oak used to age a whisky, the other factors that shape the flavors of whisky are the water source, the soil and how the grain was processed, i.e. whether it was peated, which, by the way, is not restricted to Scotland, although that is where the style is most prevalent.
The Islay region of Scotland is known for a particularly fierce style of peated whisky, and this is the variation that earned peated whisky its reputation, with devoted fans and those with a searing intolerance. Thanks to the tempestuous weather conditions and proximity to the sea, Islay whiskies such as Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Bowmore, Ardbeg and Caol Ila tend to taste like the fiery aftermath of a maritime battle, sometimes with rather pronounced elements of seaweed, brine, fish oil, iodine and rubber tire. (One of the more hilarious descriptions of Laphroaig found in their “Opinions Welcome” campaign is that it tastes like “burning hospital.”)
In the Highlands and other parts of Scotland, if used in production (there are many who don’t), the peat, which is found farther inland, lends more of a rich, sweet smoke, more reminiscent of pipe tobacco and even smoked or barbecued meat. Some of the peated Highland malts to look out for are Oban, Benriach, Benromach, Old Pulteney and Clynelish. Highland Park from Orkney has a very subtle charcoal smokiness, while Talisker from the Isle of Skye uses peat smoke as a more dominant element.
Even some distilleries and regions who are known for peat-free maltings release peated expressions. Irish whiskey is traditionally unpeated, but now producers such as Connemara are going peat crazy. The English Whisky Company has peated and non peated styles. Any Glen Garioch Scotch that is older than 1995 hails back to a time they used peated malt, and they are now releasing bottlings such as the 1994 as a peat-nostalgic time capsule. Bruichladdich also reopened as a mostly peat-free distillery, yet you wouldn’t guess it after tasting the Port Charlotte releases. And let’s not leave out the blended Scotches that use peaty single malts for everything from gentle flavor enhancements (Johnnie Walker Black) to creating big in your face expressions like Compass Box Peat Monster.
Single malt whisky production is catching on outside the UK and Ireland too, even in nations that don’t use peat as an everyday heating source. McCarthy’s out of Oregon uses peated barley sourced from Scotland to produce single malt whisky on American shores. Corsair Triple Smoke incorporates peat-smoked barley with cherry wood and beechwood smoked barleys for just a waft of peaty funk. Indian whisky company Amrut is also in on the peat game. Peated Japanese whiskies are of course a thing too.
So just because you might have tried a peated whisky and not fallen madly in love, it’s worth tasting others. It’s like saying you don’t like Chardonnay because it’s too “oaky.” No. Oak is oaky. Peat is peaty. It’s all in how a producer chooses to showcase it and which one works with your palate. And you can’t argue that.

    LET’S TALK ABOUT PEAT // THE GREAT SMOKY DIVIDE

    This week on The Mash Bill, beloved Tasting Table member and editor of Alcoholprofessor.com, Amanda Schuster delves into the peat - those who love it, those who hate it, and keeping an open mind…

    Whisky enthusiasts agree on many things, but they love to argue about peat smoke. As chili peppers are to spicy food, peat is to whisky. Just as people boast of their tolerance for hot peppers in, say a bowl of chili or a fiery vindaloo, whisky drinkers and producers enjoy out-peating each other. All the while other whisky connoisseurs prefer their unsmoked dram, thank you very much. Many whisky fans enjoy both, of course. But they will always inevitably meet the staunch defenders of both sides of the smoke line.

    Why is peat in the whisky in the first place?

    Peat is a type of soil consisting of partially decayed vegetable matter, found in wet, boggy areas known as ‘peatlands’ or ‘mires.’ The predominant component of it is a type of moss called Sphagnum, which gives it that characteristic, sort of rubbery smell, especially when burned. Dried peat has been used as an effective fuel and heat source in place of wood for centuries, particularly in Ireland, Scotland, England and Russia.

    Two of the biggest misconceptions for novice whisky drinkers is that all Scotch is peated, and that it’s only found in Scotch. Peat comes into whisky production as the fuel source for drying barley or other grains (but mostly barley) for malting. However, the grains can be dried without the use of peat, either simply by letting them air dry, which takes quite a long time, or using unpeated fuel such as certain types of wood.

    Furthermore, not all peated whisky is the same. You might have rolled your eyes a few times hearing a wine enthusiast use the term terroir to describe the differences between grape varieties in different regions and how that affects the characteristics of specific wines. The same holds true for whisky. Aside from the type of oak used to age a whisky, the other factors that shape the flavors of whisky are the water source, the soil and how the grain was processed, i.e. whether it was peated, which, by the way, is not restricted to Scotland, although that is where the style is most prevalent.

    The Islay region of Scotland is known for a particularly fierce style of peated whisky, and this is the variation that earned peated whisky its reputation, with devoted fans and those with a searing intolerance. Thanks to the tempestuous weather conditions and proximity to the sea, Islay whiskies such as Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Bowmore, Ardbeg and Caol Ila tend to taste like the fiery aftermath of a maritime battle, sometimes with rather pronounced elements of seaweed, brine, fish oil, iodine and rubber tire. (One of the more hilarious descriptions of Laphroaig found in their “Opinions Welcome” campaign is that it tastes like “burning hospital.”)

    In the Highlands and other parts of Scotland, if used in production (there are many who don’t), the peat, which is found farther inland, lends more of a rich, sweet smoke, more reminiscent of pipe tobacco and even smoked or barbecued meat. Some of the peated Highland malts to look out for are Oban, Benriach, Benromach, Old Pulteney and Clynelish. Highland Park from Orkney has a very subtle charcoal smokiness, while Talisker from the Isle of Skye uses peat smoke as a more dominant element.

    Even some distilleries and regions who are known for peat-free maltings release peated expressions. Irish whiskey is traditionally unpeated, but now producers such as Connemara are going peat crazy. The English Whisky Company has peated and non peated styles. Any Glen Garioch Scotch that is older than 1995 hails back to a time they used peated malt, and they are now releasing bottlings such as the 1994 as a peat-nostalgic time capsule. Bruichladdich also reopened as a mostly peat-free distillery, yet you wouldn’t guess it after tasting the Port Charlotte releases. And let’s not leave out the blended Scotches that use peaty single malts for everything from gentle flavor enhancements (Johnnie Walker Black) to creating big in your face expressions like Compass Box Peat Monster.

    Single malt whisky production is catching on outside the UK and Ireland too, even in nations that don’t use peat as an everyday heating source. McCarthy’s out of Oregon uses peated barley sourced from Scotland to produce single malt whisky on American shores. Corsair Triple Smoke incorporates peat-smoked barley with cherry wood and beechwood smoked barleys for just a waft of peaty funk. Indian whisky company Amrut is also in on the peat game. Peated Japanese whiskies are of course a thing too.

    So just because you might have tried a peated whisky and not fallen madly in love, it’s worth tasting others. It’s like saying you don’t like Chardonnay because it’s too “oaky.” No. Oak is oaky. Peat is peaty. It’s all in how a producer chooses to showcase it and which one works with your palate. And you can’t argue that.

  5. Whiskey Deconstructed // Step Two
As we’ve noted before - we’re fans of whiskey and the wealth of knowledge surrounding it. In part one of the Whiskey Deconstructed series, we took a dive into The Mash.
In Part Two, we take a deeper look at the process of distillation and the various particulars that make it work, ever-focused on that finished product that we all know and love.
(click the image for full-res version)
 
Bottles ReferencedPot Distilled:// Bushmills 10 Year Old// Corsair Triple Smoke// The Macallan 12// Powers John’s Lane Release
Combination Distilled:// Maker’s Mark// Tullamore D.E.W.// Hibiki 12// Alberta Premium Dark Horse
Column Distilled:// Nikka Coffey Grain// Haig Club Single Grain// Greenore Single Grain// Compass Box Hedonism
Thirsty for more? - head over to Distiller (or download for Android/iOS) to get a personalized recommendation for the perfect bottle. Start your collection, add your own ratings, create your wishlist, and connect with friends in their whiskey discovery today. 
As always - Cheers, to your health.

    Whiskey Deconstructed // Step Two

    As we’ve noted before - we’re fans of whiskey and the wealth of knowledge surrounding it. In part one of the Whiskey Deconstructed series, we took a dive into The Mash.

    In Part Two, we take a deeper look at the process of distillation and the various particulars that make it work, ever-focused on that finished product that we all know and love.

    (click the image for full-res version)

    image

    Bottles Referenced
    Pot Distilled:
    // Bushmills 10 Year Old
    // Corsair Triple Smoke
    // The Macallan 12
    // Powers John’s Lane Release

    Combination Distilled:
    // Maker’s Mark
    // Tullamore D.E.W.
    // Hibiki 12
    // Alberta Premium Dark Horse

    Column Distilled:
    // Nikka Coffey Grain
    // Haig Club Single Grain
    // Greenore Single Grain
    // Compass Box Hedonism

    Thirsty for more? - head over to Distiller (or download for Android/iOS) to get a personalized recommendation for the perfect bottle. Start your collection, add your own ratings, create your wishlist, and connect with friends in their whiskey discovery today.

    As always - Cheers, to your health.

  6. The Long Haul // Cardinal’s Building
It’s been a little while since we’ve had the chance to catch up with the folks at Cardinal Spirits as they continue their work towards completing their brand new distillery. In part 3 of ‘The Long Haul’, the construction is coming along nicely, ever-nearing completion, with a video tour of the new facility.
"We had delays, and we’re over budget." said every building owner, ever. I’ve learned that delays and budget overruns are pretty much the rule rather than the exception for construction projects. Luckily, we planned for them, and are still pretty much on schedule for starting initial production in October.
We’ve learned a lot during the process of designing and building our distillery - it seems like we learn about a new concept every day, only to quickly move on to the next. It reminds me a little of the Matrix, where they can just learn to fly a helicopter by downloading the knowledge, and can fly away in a matter of seconds. 
Going into this thing, we didn’t know anything about the glamorous and sensual world of municipal waste water treatment. So we read books, worked with environmental engineers, hired water analysis firms, and met with lots of city officials. Eventually we came up with a good strategy for treating our stillage. So, now we know how to do that. Will we ever use that knowledge again? Maybe, if we build another production facility someday. But as soon as that hurdle was crossed, we had to learn about HVAC system design, then we had to learn about state and municipal health codes for beverage service… it’s never-ending. And it’s a hell of a lot of fun if you love solving problems.
Everyday we are making steady progress on the building. It’s exciting to see our new home coming together. There are a lot of pieces in motion and it’s a slow process, but we are at the stage where you can start to see how everything will look when it comes together. Soon we’ll have doors and windows instead of holes in our walls, and soon after we’ll have a working distillery that we can be proud of.

    The Long Haul // Cardinal’s Building

    It’s been a little while since we’ve had the chance to catch up with the folks at Cardinal Spirits as they continue their work towards completing their brand new distillery. In part 3 of ‘The Long Haul’, the construction is coming along nicely, ever-nearing completion, with a video tour of the new facility.

    "We had delays, and we’re over budget." said every building owner, ever. I’ve learned that delays and budget overruns are pretty much the rule rather than the exception for construction projects. Luckily, we planned for them, and are still pretty much on schedule for starting initial production in October.

    We’ve learned a lot during the process of designing and building our distillery - it seems like we learn about a new concept every day, only to quickly move on to the next. It reminds me a little of the Matrix, where they can just learn to fly a helicopter by downloading the knowledge, and can fly away in a matter of seconds. 

    Going into this thing, we didn’t know anything about the glamorous and sensual world of municipal waste water treatment. So we read books, worked with environmental engineers, hired water analysis firms, and met with lots of city officials. Eventually we came up with a good strategy for treating our stillage. So, now we know how to do that. Will we ever use that knowledge again? Maybe, if we build another production facility someday. But as soon as that hurdle was crossed, we had to learn about HVAC system design, then we had to learn about state and municipal health codes for beverage service… it’s never-ending. And it’s a hell of a lot of fun if you love solving problems.

    Everyday we are making steady progress on the building. It’s exciting to see our new home coming together. There are a lot of pieces in motion and it’s a slow process, but we are at the stage where you can start to see how everything will look when it comes together. Soon we’ll have doors and windows instead of holes in our walls, and soon after we’ll have a working distillery that we can be proud of.

  7. FIVE QUESTIONS // ADAM TURLA OF MURDER BY DEATH
While the band’s name may spark notions of death metal and violence, Murder By Death (named for the 1976 comedy of the same name by Neil Simon, starring Peter Sellers) falls more closely to a style combined of americana and gothic, black comedy and film references. Formed in college in the early 00’s, the band has grown and adapted over time, and took their previous success to kickstarter, where they were one of the most successful music projects ever on the platform. With deep roots in the midwest, and a long term appreciation for whiskey, we asked Adam (vocals, guitars) five questions -
1. As directly mentioned in many of the band’s songs, whiskey is occasionally a prevailing theme - Is there an intrinsic quality to whiskey that you find draws you to it? Or is it simply that you’re a fan?

I remember 1999, my freshman year at college, when an older, wiser friend said to me “You should drink whiskey.” I had tried everything, but hadn’t really given straight whiskey a shot. I knew right away that bourbon was the drink for me. It’s also regional, the band is from Bloomington, IN but I now live in Louisville, KY. I think there’s a pleasure in having pride in your local drink, and bourbon is certainly being celebrated lately.

2. You’ve managed to travel quite extensively as a band - has there been a favorite spot where you always know you’ll find what you like, venue, bar, or otherwise?

There are cities that I always love to go back to, Denver, San Francisco, Savannah- places where the shows are great and the food and drink are top notch. It’s funny tho, sometimes the places that you don’t expect much out of turn to have great refuges. For example, there’s a great tapas bar in Omaha. That’s the best part of touring in the last decade- a lot of cities have become much more entertaining. Des Moines, IA has two great venues, and it used to be rough for shows. Kansas City has become a really cool town in the last ten years. I am constantly surprised at the growth of shows and quality restaurants in the south and midwest.

3. On the same theme of travel - where would you say was the most interesting?

Belfast was pretty wild. When we went in 2004, it was a tense place with a delicate touch to try and keep arguments concerning religion at bay. We had to cover up our tattoos at a bar we went for dinner because they don’t want political tattoos to start fights there. I also love going to Alaska, and our week of shows in The Virgin Islands was amazing.

4. The MBD Whiskey Crew - your semi-unofficial fandom certainly likes to show you their love - what are some of the things fans have done to get the band’s attention?

We have been given a lot of homemade moonshine. That’s pretty serious. Also the kickstarter we did had people who bought a trip with us to Cedar Point. So that’s cool.

5. Your top five bottles?

Here’s just a few (in no order) I like a lot:Pappy Van WinkleWilletMichters RyeBulleit (great mainstream price point and easy to find)And of course, the traditional Louisville cheap but good drink, Old Forester

For more information on MBD, make sure to check out their site and follow them on twitter. And, for all things whiskey, head over to Distiller or download the app for iOS or Android, and as always, Cheers!

    FIVE QUESTIONS // ADAM TURLA OF MURDER BY DEATH

    While the band’s name may spark notions of death metal and violence, Murder By Death (named for the 1976 comedy of the same name by Neil Simon, starring Peter Sellers) falls more closely to a style combined of americana and gothic, black comedy and film references. Formed in college in the early 00’s, the band has grown and adapted over time, and took their previous success to kickstarter, where they were one of the most successful music projects ever on the platform. With deep roots in the midwest, and a long term appreciation for whiskey, we asked Adam (vocals, guitars) five questions -

    1. As directly mentioned in many of the band’s songs, whiskey is occasionally a prevailing theme - Is there an intrinsic quality to whiskey that you find draws you to it? Or is it simply that you’re a fan?

    I remember 1999, my freshman year at college, when an older, wiser friend said to me “You should drink whiskey.” I had tried everything, but hadn’t really given straight whiskey a shot. I knew right away that bourbon was the drink for me. It’s also regional, the band is from Bloomington, IN but I now live in Louisville, KY. I think there’s a pleasure in having pride in your local drink, and bourbon is certainly being celebrated lately.

    2. You’ve managed to travel quite extensively as a band - has there been a favorite spot where you always know you’ll find what you like, venue, bar, or otherwise?

    There are cities that I always love to go back to, Denver, San Francisco, Savannah- places where the shows are great and the food and drink are top notch. It’s funny tho, sometimes the places that you don’t expect much out of turn to have great refuges. For example, there’s a great tapas bar in Omaha. That’s the best part of touring in the last decade- a lot of cities have become much more entertaining. Des Moines, IA has two great venues, and it used to be rough for shows. Kansas City has become a really cool town in the last ten years. I am constantly surprised at the growth of shows and quality restaurants in the south and midwest.

    3. On the same theme of travel - where would you say was the most interesting?

    Belfast was pretty wild. When we went in 2004, it was a tense place with a delicate touch to try and keep arguments concerning religion at bay. We had to cover up our tattoos at a bar we went for dinner because they don’t want political tattoos to start fights there. I also love going to Alaska, and our week of shows in The Virgin Islands was amazing.

    4. The MBD Whiskey Crew - your semi-unofficial fandom certainly likes to show you their love - what are some of the things fans have done to get the band’s attention?

    We have been given a lot of homemade moonshine. That’s pretty serious. Also the kickstarter we did had people who bought a trip with us to Cedar Point. So that’s cool.

    5. Your top five bottles?

    Here’s just a few (in no order) I like a lot:
    Pappy Van Winkle
    Willet
    Michters Rye
    Bulleit
    (great mainstream price point and easy to find)
    And of course, the traditional Louisville cheap but good drink, Old Forester

    For more information on MBD, make sure to check out their site and follow them on twitter. And, for all things whiskey, head over to Distiller or download the app for iOS or Android, and as always, Cheers!