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20161113_181753“Sir,” the officer began, “do you know why I pulled you over?”

I took a breath and then stepped into my guilt. “Because I really gunned it out of that parking lot? Yeah, I was trying to get into traffic before the light at the corner changed. I’m really sorry.”

“That’s not why I pulled you over.”

“Oh, it’s not?”


“Is it because I didn’t put my seatbelt on until I pulled up to the stoplight?”


“Oh, good. Is it because you saw me check the time on my phone while I was driving?”

“No, sir.”

“Is it because my rear passenger side turn signal is out?”


“Is it because my tabs are expired?”


“Maybe because my left brake light is burned out?”

“No, that’s not it.”

“Should I keep guessing?”

“Probably not,” he said having already taken out his note pad to scribble.

“Then may I ask why you stopped me?” I pestered politely.

“Because it’s pastor appreciation month, and when I saw you, I just wanted to thank you for your service.”

A moment passed—a potently obtuse moment.

“I should probably expect you to show your appreciation by way of a ticket, right?”

“Just one?” he asked with a grin that revealed my question as having entertained him.


“At least.”

Let this be a lesson to those of you who pursue knowledge in certain contexts where, in the end, questioning will be more self-revealing of one’s stupidity as opposed to one’s capable intellect. In other words, sometimes it’s far better just to accept that you are ignorant—that you don’t really need to know the intimate details—and move along.

I sort of feel that way about the Beer Barrel Bourbon edition from New Holland Brewing, the crafters of New Holland Artisan Spirits.

I was intrigued that this artisan microbrewery would venture into the whiskey realm, although I am also well aware that just because you make booze, doesn’t make you an expert in each of its forms. So with that, when I took a skeptical sip, I was pleasantly surprised that they hadn’t miss-stepped, although they most definitely want you to know that there’s beer in the bottle somewhere.

The nose is beer. It’s a stout, for sure. There’s a tinge of dark chocolate in the elixir which leans ever-so-slightly away from a typical bourbon sweetness to something salty—almost blood-like. And to my prior point, I don’t want to know what that “something” is. I fear I’ll stumble into a news article about a brewery worker who went missing and whose last known whereabouts was near the whiskey still.

The barley malt is present in the first sip. The chocolate returns, and so does the salt from the nosing. At this point, the consumer will begin to realize that the beer soaked barrels in which this whiskey is finished has indeed thrown into an upheaval everything one would expect from this bottle that, technically, carries the label “Bourbon.” It’s a strange concoction. Again, not all that bad, just weird.

The finish is a little sour, although it manages to maintain nearly all that is described in the palate.

By the way, I received this edition as a birthday present from my good friend, Shawn, who is also a State Trooper. At least I assumed it was a birthday gift. I try not to ask too many questions of officers of the law.

Oh, yeah… and the story of a certain preacher getting pulled over and asking a bunch of stupid questions is complete fiction. It never happened. Never ever. Not ever. Nope.