Spring 2024 Issue Preview

What You’ll Find Inside: Spring Issue 2024


There are love songs and heartache songs; holiday songs; hype songs; sad songs and murder ballads; dance and party songs; songs about places and states; lots of songs about rivers; anthems, fight songs, and school songs; and, of course, drinking songs…a lot of drinking songs. And many of them are about whiskey. “Whiskey River” by Willie Nelson, Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey,” David Allan Coe’s “Jack Daniel’s, If You Please,”

The Doors’ “Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)”…the list is endless. We know that whiskey and bourbon are impactful to the human experience—bourbon raises jaw-dropping amounts of money for all kinds of worthy causes. We know it brings people together. But we find it fascinating that this brown spirit also moves us to create art. And in this issue, we feature an artist who not only plays guitar, but also hand-crafts them from bourbon barrels—Mike Mankel of Bourbon Barrel Guitar Company who is our cover model and “Personality” feature.

Speaking of barrels, have you heard of a winestillery? We explore the edge that a freshly emptied barrel gives a vintner in the spirits space, and the results are turning heads. Another winemaking brand that dove into distilling is the subject of our “Young Spirits” column, Redwood Empire Whiskey in California’s mystical redwood forest where the brand plants a tree for every bottle sold. Its current tally: 1.2 million trees.

We feature the classic New Orleans Mint Julep in “Mixology,” then turn to a brand using the very same cocktail as its moniker: Mint Julep Experiences, a company that has single-handedly supercharged bourbon (and equine and music) tourism. And while we’re on the topic of travel, we explore the B-Line, Northern Kentucky’s bourbon trail, followed by a hop across the pond to Ireland and the historical grounds of Slane Castle, home to Slane Irish Whiskey. There, we enjoy a quick Q&A with Brand Ambassador Aoife Mc Eniff. The last stop on our travel itinerary is a trip back in time to the days of the Rat Pack, when Lauren Bacall was miffed that she wasn’t invited to be a member of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Squires and gave the Tennessee distillery a run for its money.

In the epicurean side of things, we offer up our own twist on a famous Kentucky pie, the Derby-Pie©, as well as a blueprint for a fresh herbal-infused and fat-washed spirit that anchors a cocktail that elicits the savory sweetness of a Michelin-starred chef’s rosemary-maple duck entree paired with a complex aged bourbon. We go directly from that heady experience to a decidedly more left-brain headspace when we delve into the science of proofing. It’s much more complicated than you might think.

But reading this magazine is simple! We hope it provides an escape, new insights, perhaps a chuckle, new culinary and mixology tricks, or even talking points for the next cocktail party. We raise our glass to you, dear reader. Cheers!


Cover Photo by Victor Sizemore

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Michael Eman
Official Contributor
Kevin Gibson is a free-lance writer who writes for numerous publications, including Bourbon+ magazine, Thrillist, and Alcohol Professor.