This year’s annual Analog Gift Guide for Attorneys Who Analog has taken the concept of analog onto a new path to offer you, our discerning readers, a collection of small-batch, hard-to-find, mostly unknown, rather extraordinary and award-winning American whiskies.
I know what you’re wondering: Where are the pencils? Where are the Post-it notes? I assure you, I swear, there is nothing more analog than creating a truly brilliant bottle of whiskey, bourbon or rye. It is a craft that can only be wrought by hand, slowly, over time, resulting in a product where every bottle is unique. Like a signature.
Because the American Whiskey Renaissance Is Real
You may have heard of some of the brands that have leaped into the public eye in the last decade. Brands like Pappy Van Winkle, Michter’s and Basil Hayden’s. But here’s the interesting thing about these and other seemingly independent whiskies you may have noticed at your liquor emporium: They’re made in the same distilleries as the big brands that own them. They are fine whiskies, but they are just the tip of the spear. Hundreds of startup distilleries in nearly every state are racing to be the next Pappy.
Distilleries like Milam & Greene, started by two Texas legends, entrepreneur Marsha Milam and global whiskey consultant Heather Greene. Greene’s status in the whiskey world is unassailable. But you’ve probably never heard of her whiskey, which is swoonfully good.
Garrison Brothers is another regional spirit poised to breach the brand recognition level enjoyed by Woodford Reserve and Jim Beam. Produced in Hye, Texas, which is exactly nowhere, Garrison Bros. bourbon is unique and in such insane demand, that its annual release of their signature Cowboy Bourbon is met by thousands of cars lined up the dirt road to their distillery.
Shadow Ridge and Hotel Tango are both whip-smart startups owned by veterans whose intense work ethic and obsession over details help them create stand-out spirits.
St. Cloud Bourbon is a mostly unknown brand aiming at the small-batch luxury market. Their bourbon’s flavor profile was developed by an award-winning sommelier — and their bottle is something to behold.
Uncle Nearest is a distillery named after Nathan “Nearest” Greene, the slave who taught Jack Daniels (yes, that Jack Daniels) how to whiskey.
If you’re a wine lover, then you know all about the explosion of small vintners in California and pretty much all over the world who’ve contributed to the new wealth of independent, highly prized, collectible wines. You might have watched “Sideways,” and you might know all about the Judgement of Paris that put American wines on the map. Imagine if you’d been in on that shift at the beginning?
This Brings Us to All American Whiskey
Earlier this year, your humble Analog Attorney columnist and a capable colleague launched a new website and business: All American Whiskey. Our purpose is to publish top-shelf writing about the culture of American whiskey. Not reviews, because how you experience the flavor of a whiskey is purely subjective and tasting notes never really make sense. There are 86 other whiskey websites doing reviews; also, see the previous sentence about subjectivity. We are storytellers. Our goal is to tell the stories of the people making the whiskey, from the entrepreneurs with the necessary craziness to launch a distillery, to the master craftsmen who develop unique flavor profiles, to the people pouring you a shot in a bar. Their stories are what makes the whiskey good.
Discounts Collected Just for You
The distilleries listed above — and a few more — are all in the annual gift guide curated by All American Whiskey (and yours truly). We’ve developed a little bit of a relationship with these folks, and some have graciously offered a discount for our readers. Clicking on this link will take you to a page where you can opt-in to join All American Whiskey (we swear you’ll love it) and get the gift guide delivered to your inbox.
And look, I know there are no pencils on this list or in the gift guide, but I’ll make up for it later with an all-encompassing roundup of the best independent pencil producers in the U.S. In the meantime, check out All American Whiskey and take advantage of the discounts in the gift guide.
Editor’s note: When Bull told us about All American Whiskey, our first question was how can we get in on that for Attorney at Work? He then set off to create this guide and convince the chosen distillers to offer discounts. Neither the author nor Attorney at Work is being compensated by the companies listed. Happy holidays and please drink responsibly.