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There are so many versions of each thing, might as well figure out where you stand on some of them.
Hosses, I’m starting to get a tiny bit worried about the two-shot vaccines*. When they started talking about the possibility over the summer I was like “Hey, make it 10 shots, what else I got to do but get stabbed in the back room at CVS every third Thursday for the first half of 2021?” but I’ve changed my thinking a little on that recently because I’ve been busy trying to get my WKRP-cap podcast off the ground and also because I’m not sure I trust quite enough of us to follow through. We’re not great at that.
*of course you have to get whatever vaccine you can ASAP, bars are still closed!
A lot of public health campaigns are undermined by being necessarily designed by people who, generally speaking, know how to get shit done. I don’t doubt that these spreadsheet perverts should be in charge, but one drawback is that they tend to pencil the rest of us in for a drop more compliance than we might always have in the tank. I know so many otherwise reasonable people who at first glance have their acts sufficiently together but who also oops forgot to file their taxes that one hectic decade, or dropped out six credits short of a degree, or haven’t had their adequately insured teeth inspected in years, or continue to date and/or loan money to men named Jeff despite just fucking decades of evidence. We don’t always act in our individual or collective self-interest, especially when doing so requires onerousities such as making appointments and showing up on time.
Take voting, for instance. The very intentional racial barriers to voting in many places are our biggest problem in this regard, followed in some order by restrictions on mail-in ballots, de facto disenfranchisement via the electoral college, and impractical polling hours and locations. But just between you and me, and on behalf of dozens of deadbeat friends who will remain Jeffless, another little factor is that whole bunches of millions of perfectly empowered people just kinda … don’t.
Our low turnout rate is why ranked-choice voting, despite all its advantages, makes me a little nervous. I love the idea in theory but worry about the practice of further complicating (by like one tenth of one percent—it’s not that hard!! But still) something so important that so many people already just aren’t that inclined to bother with. Hmm looks like preliminary research indicates ranked-choice voting probably has a neutral to slightly positive effect on turnout, which is nice and also not the point I’m trying to make here, which is that you get what you pay for, more or less, with Four Roses bourbon.
When I ran out of Eagle Rare early in unemployment I replaced it with the basic yellow-label Four Roses, a grand austerity gesture that has not one fucking time been mentioned never mind appreciated by the cat or anyone else in this house. I prefer Eagle Rare and will go back to it as soon as I get my next private sector gig; Four Roses will remain the house bourbon for as long as I am employed by the WPA’s Federal Beer Bloggers act. There are a bunch of other Four Roseses, it turns out, and I bought a bottle each of the bottom shelf one ($20), Small Batch ($32), and Single Barrel ($44) so we could blind-taste them here on New Year’s Day. These are my notes, which look made WAY the fuck up in hindsight, but I swear I was trying to play it straight at the time.
Four Roses Yellow: cinnamon, orange, vanilla
Small Batch: red bell pepper and toast
Single Barrel: oily, bergamot and clove, more caramel
I don’t even know what bergamot is! Anyhow, it was pretty easy to tell them apart. The Yellow tastes like the back of my hand and the Single is all thick and greasy in the good way higher-end liquor can be, which made the Small Batch the other one. Since the official ranking event I’ve found myself reaching for the Small Batch most often when keeping it neat, because at 90 proof it’s a bit more couth than the Single Barrel’s brutish 100, plus I guess like really like red bell pepper, but the Single Barrel is objectively better, especially for my fellow cloveheads and bergamonsters.
In December I started stockpiling imperial stouts, too, but I haven’t done any kind of controlled comparison; we just drink one or two on Friday nights. We’ve probably had a dozen so far. The best of the bunch have been Brooklyn Black Ops, which is aged in Four Roses barrels these days and is great but too expensive; Jack’s Abby Lager Ness Monster, a 15% ABV baltic porter that’s also aged in bourbon barrels and is good enough to overcome the egregiously corny name; and my favorite so far, Jackie O’s Bourbon Barrel Oil of Aphrodite, which is brewed with, get this, indigenous Ohioan black walnuts! I guess I could taste walnut in there, but maybe only because it said so on the label. The predominant flavors were the usual bittersweet chocolate and vanilla and roasted toast, augmented in this special case by a very strong impression of the leather jacket Joan Jett wore in the “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” video.
Today’s recommendations are Jackie O’s Bourbon Barrel Oil of Aphrodite and ranked choice voting.