The condition of being an American trying to scrape together a reason and a means to stay alive post-2008 financial crash is that of constantly wavering between a sense of guarded optimism and a knowing embrace of doom. “The sun will come out, tomorrow / If it doesn’t you can always / Burn your house down.” Every hour of the day is another footstep on a razor’s edge.
Lemme tell you what I’m talking about, in case you’re one of the forty or so billionaires who somehow don’t know. You may be aware that health care in America is completely FUBAR. It’s literally distressing. The amount of money they try to leech out of you for even the tiniest concession is discomfiting to me on a downright existential level. Old as spring as the notion may be, it is completely unfathomable to me that the Greatest Country in the World would allow people to be abused so much by a health marketplace it ostensibly regulates, leaving the sound body and mind of its supposedly fortunate citizens dependent entirely on the much-doubted mercy of the most bloodless capitalists history has ever produced. Some of this stuff is just hopeless, guys. You’re not allowed to win. This is the sort of stuff that’s on my mind whenever I get caught sighing out loud to nobody that I wish I was dead, which I usually find myself doing a couple of times every hour, at this point. Pretty much any time I’m out of earshot, I’m mumbling about how much I want to die.
Anyway, welcome to Spiritual Voyage, the new series wherein I will write about the things in life I’ve dranken, and what I thought about them. Some of these will inevitably be written while I am tipping one back, but some will be more wistful, hearkening back to times long past, and drinks I’ll never taste again. I guess the goal is to create a living encyclopedia of every beverage ever made, filtered through the charcoal of my mind.
The inaugural entry for this sure-to-be-long-running feature is Old Overholt Straight Rye whiskey. I’ll be straight up from the jump: I love this stuff. Old Overholt goes in the rotation quite a bit, and the reasons are threefold: 1) it’s good, 2) the price, and most essentially, 3) it’s good for the price. I cannot overstate how important this is. Old Overholt is my favorite rye for the same reason that Evan Williams Black Label is my favorite bourbon. Inexpensive without being cheap, as good as one can ask for; a standard. Aside from hot fire, it tastes and smells lightly of vanilla and pepper. It is not particularly smoky. It goes down smooth. It’s, like, $14 for a 750 ml bottle, and that shit is so on point to me. Just because we live cheap doesn’t mean we have to live cheap, you know.
Other than that, I don’t have a lot to say about this. It’s rye, which makes it baseline spicy, in a mulling spices sort of way. It’s hard to explain. The rule of tongue is that bourbon is sweet and rye is spicy, but if your palette is totally new to whiskey then all any of it’s really going to taste like is used ass. But this blends okay into mixed drinks and cocktails, and it’s not expensive enough to care about savoring each sip. Drink up.
Anyway, I’m off to suck strangers and murder the weak for gas money or whatever. Maybe I’ll get eaten by a wolf. Jesus Christ, this healthcare thing. It’s going to get so much worse before it gets better. We’re gonna start seeing people demanding dental work at gunpoint. This feature is getting off to a real optimistic start.