The Angel's Share

free thoughts & vapors from M&G HQ

Here for a Good Time: You Can't Control the Weather in Kentucky

Once, when our co-founders were doing a presentation with Bourbon Women for our beloved friends at Moonshine University, another presenter pointed out - and stop us if you've heard this one - that Kentucky's strange weather patterns are a key ingredient in our state's native spirit. Bourbon goes into a barrel as white dog; the barrel itself gives bourbon its extraordinary color and most of its flavor. Should you ever feel guilty about your whiskey consumption, comfort yourself with this reminder: bourbon is all but a health food. The majority of what you're drinking is water and wood.

Because of this simple design, some distilleries come up with weird and innovative ways to age their product; our friends at Copper & Kings distillery in downtown Louisville play music to their barrels continuously, and when standing among them, you can feel the bass slosh through the liquid. But ultimately, to move the bourbon in and out of the wood staves that comprise a barrel, drawing the flavors and color out, what you need more than anything else on God's green earth is the weather.

If you've ever lived in an old house, or even visited one, you'll have noticed the warp; floors a little slanted, doors that don't quite align with their doorways, that just won't close right. Time and changeable weather, heat followed by cold and vice versa, do funny things to wood, and those things - the wood constricting and expanding and constricting and expanding - pull on whiskey, in and out of the staves, moving it around, exposing it to everything that particular oak has to offer, imbuing it with flavors that most often remind you of the finest campfire memories you can ever hold.

During that same presentation at Moon U, the presenter who had spoken on the importance of the weather also pointed out its helpful extremes. Our state's temperature over the course of a single week, she noted, can shift by 30 to 40 degrees. But she was downplaying the very moment itself; in Louisville, the temperature had actually dropped by more than 30 degrees on that very day.

All of this is only to say that the weather in Kentucky is ever-changeable, and rather than being a burden, that changeability is a blessing. When you're excited for a day out in bourbon country, or an evening in the city with your friends, and the temperature suddenly drops or the rain comes on without warning, find it in your heart to be thankful. Most of all, remember that your gracious hosts here in Kentucky cannot control the weather or change it to suit your liking, much as we may wish to, so find it in your heart to be patient - and remember to tip. 


Views on the Ohio River on a very nice night. The next day it stormed for the entire day. ::shrug emoji::