Angels, Devils, and Bourbon

In the Making of a bourbon barrel, even after burning/charring, the barrels aren’t waterproof, but they are water resistant. In addition to adding smoky bourbon flavors, the charring helps the wood absorb some of the liquid being stored in it, causing the wood to swell, which does make the barrel waterproof. However, they are not airtight. A whisky or bourbon barrel can lose 8-10% of total volume in the first year, and up to 60% in an 18 year bourbon. This is from a combination of evaporative loss and loss to the barrel. Evaporative loss is often referred to as “The Angel’s Share” and affects the alcohol content of the liquid in the barrel, because water evaporates out leaving alcohol behind, while the distillate lost to the barrel is often called “The Devil’s Cut”, and generally does not affect the alcohol content of the distillate, as both alcohol and water soak into the wood.

By law, a barrel can be used just one time to distill bourbon in the US, despite the fact that these barrels have a “lifespan” of up to 60 years. This regulation, combined with a renaissance in bourbon popularity, means distilleries and their cooperage partners have a supply of bourbon barrels that are looking for their next calling.

Used bourbon barrels make hearty vessels for distilling other beverages and are used throughout the world to add unique flavor to Scotch, aged rum, and even tequila. And what could be a better vehicle for adding flavor and a good story to craft beer than a charred, bourbon-tinged barrel?



Critical Race Theory is anti-white, but it’s also anti-black. There is a built-in assumption that black people are inferior: black people can’t read, they can’t do math, they don’t have the mental capacity to obtain ID, and can’t show up to work on time. The theory holds that they’re incapable of functioning in any modern society.


Orwell vs Huxley

Orwell feared that there were those who would ban books. Huxley feared that there would be no reason to ban a book because there wouldn’t be anyone who would want to read one.

Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared that the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance.

In 1984, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire would ruin. us.


The American Brain Trust


For Sale

(NY Post) The housing market is hot and it’s looking like Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her banker husband, Richard Blum, are taking advantage of it — listing their Lake Tahoe, California, estate for a whopping $41 million.

In October 2020, the waterfront compound briefly graced the market with a $46 million asking price.

The property is listed under the LLC, Lucky Bluff, which is tied to Blum’s investment management firm, Blum Capital, according to Realtor.

Comprising three separate properties —  the main house and two guest houses – the compound spans nearly 5 acres. Eleven bedrooms and nine bathrooms – for guests, when you’re entertaining. It comes with 172-foot pier with a boat lift, for when you want to cruise the lake.



Will the Federal government cut funding to US States over their refusal to toe the line? If that happens, the states can back down or cite the 10th Amendment.

The states can refuse to send tax receipts to DC.

How will the feds respond? F-15’s and tactical nuclear weapons, as threatened?


    • When I was doing my research for this blog, I found that there is a glut on the market of used bourbon barrels. Since they can’t be reused, I can only guess that the cooper biz is strong.

      • I’ve seen pieces of used bourbon barrels sold to woodworkers for turning wooden pens, or other things. I suppose the shop would smell better than just turning oak…

      • Glut: hmm, that answers a question I had. Founders Brewing makes KBS which is the bourbon-barrel aged version of their “Breakfast Stout” which is made with chocolate, oats and coffee. KBS used to be highly allocated, as in it was seasonal and would sell out on release day. But Founders drastically upped production and now you can get it seemingly all the time. Clearly the proper barrels were not a rate limiting bottleneck.

        Founders also makes Backwoods Bastard (BB-aged Scotch ale) and Canadian BS which is basically KBS with maple syrup.

        I actually like regular breakfast stout better than the KBS or CBS, though either is a nice occasional change of pace. A German friend was scandalized when I told him about Breakfast Stout. “That’s not even a beer! In my country that would be illegal! We ….”
        Cutting him off, “yeah, I know, four ingredients only in Deutsches bier: water, barley, hops, and the will to power.”

  1. The question of Amendment X will become paramount once a state, deprived of federal funding as “punishment” and refusing to send the Danegeld in response, brings up taxation without representation. Does a state have the Constitutional authority to refuse to pay? Does the federal govt have the Constitutional authority to force them? And what, if any, authority is there for the feds to apply punitive punishment through unilateral deprivation of funds (among other things) against the will of the state? We all know (or at least strongly suspect) how federal courts will rule on this; but authority of the courts only lasts so long as that authority is recognized. What happens if or when a state (say, Texas) declares the federal courts to be in abrogation of the Constitution and therefore without authority?
    Such things 1776 and 1861 were made of.
    This is but one issue, and at present underlying and not popularized, being overshadowed by the day-to-day outrages, but it could blow up in DC’s faces (catching the rest of the country, and the world, in the blast wave). It underlies so many of those daily outrages though, and any number of them could bring it to the forefront of national attention.

    On another and more immediate note, how goes White Wolf Mine? Still unburned, I hope?

    • The WWM endures. It’s a nice place. I’d hate to lose it.

      DC is sitting on a powder keg and it’s not just Texas. AZ is almost done with the voting audit and those results are due out. They’ve invited the Federal Govt. to keep its snout out of their business – formally. Idaho and other states are biding their time. Georgia is none to happy and Florida rides that same bus.

      • Glad to hear it.
        Lonely cabins in the high woods are some of my favorite things. I spent many a summer during my formative years at my grandfather’s cabin, usually helping clear brush and deadfall to protect against wildfires. I hated the work at the time, but i can honestly say I would go back and do it all over again.
        I am not jealous of your refuge – it’s yours, after all – but those years spent with ax, chainsaw, and bloody arms from snags and bark taught me to value all such places while they last.
        Best of luck to go with the abatement I’m sure is already there,

  2. Jack Daniels sells charcoal briquets supposedly made from barrels. Now there’s a use I can get behind.

  3. I use the Jack Daniels chips in my smoker almost exclusively (especially oak for brisket). When you open the bag, you can actually smell it and it does impart the taste to the meat, but nice and subtle. highly recommended form my little port of the world

          • They tend to play marketing games, fooling you into thinking your getting something “special”. I’ve seen things packaged as a “Fillet Cut“, and it sure didn’t look like what I’d call a fillet.

  4. “Huxley feared that what we desire would ruin us.”

    For the Krell, literally over night. Forbidden Planet.

  5. Yep, ‘favored’ briquets give meats/chicken a nice little ‘boost’ in flavor. Re the 10th, I can see Texas refusing to send taxes. CRT=Everybody loses…

    • Texas is somewhat of a contradiction. They drink the FEDGOV energy Kool-Aid, causing shortages, yet on other issues like 2A, they stand firm. They’re like a lot of states in that they take the king’s shilling but don’t like the king.

  6. Gee, I remember when several Circuit Courts, during the Trump era, said the FedGov can’t deny monies to sanctuary states and sanctuary cities, when the sanctuary is for illegal aliens.

    Be interesting to see the Circuit Courts flip-flop over the idea of denying FedGov monies to anti-fed Sanctuary States.

    • Not comparable at all. You’re better than that, Beans. Sanctuary for criminal invaders is an act of profound humanity, one that improves the world. Protecting the Constitutional rights of American citizens is insurrection. Duh.

      (I really really despise people who say “you’re better than that”. It’s smug and condescending and tends to come out of the mouths of specific kinds of people. Whenever I use the phrase it is a sign of irony and/or sarcasm. Some goes for “do better.”)

  7. “The states can refuse to send tax receipts to DC.”
    Please excuse my ignorance on how this works. Do the states collect income tax and forward the money to the federal government?

  8. I love bourbon it’s my favorite adult beverage.
    My friend bought into a small batch distillage of rum that was finished in a bourbon barrel, fantastic stuff.

  9. I hardly ever drink bourbon, though I like it on principle. Then there’s DiFi’s socialist beachfront mansion.

    To be honest, I’d say fair play if it wasn’t for the utter, brazen, shameless, in your face hypocrisy of the thing. There she is, a multi-millionaire, octo-oligarch leftist, looking down on the crystal clear waters of her private beach as colored servants scuttle and scurry at her bidding.

    Versailles springs to mind.

  10. I was at a BBQ joint in Kalamazoo last night (did not see Elvis) and their were six barrels outside the door along the wall.
    My FIL asked what I thought they were for, I answered “decoration”.
    The owner concurred.
    I’d like a couple.

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