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20161227_212609“Hey, Google,” Joshua called from across the room at the kitchen sink. “Play Bing Crosby Christmas music.”

“Okay,” the little white device with the soothing feminine voice responded. “Here’s a Bing Crosby Christmas mix on YouTube.”

The music started. The song was White Christmas.

“Hey, Google,” Josh interrupted. “What’s the weather going to be like today?”

The little attendant was quick to respond. “It’s going to be cloudy and cold in Linden, with a high of twenty-nine degrees and a low of seventeen degrees.”

Amazing. Sort of.

In my opinion, this little device is no insignificant step toward the uppermost tiers of apathy. You know, the kind that comes to a climax on a ship in deep space where everyone is hovering around in chairs, grossly overweight and talking to screens instead of each other while a little trash-collecting robot races around trying to find his robot girlfriend named “Eve.”

The game Minecraft is another step in the cadence toward the oblivion of lazy.

Now, instead of getting the bin of Legos out to play, instead of reaching and grabbing for pieces, using a butter knife to pry two apart, wrestling a prized block away from the dog or the baby sister—instead of hours of creative fashioning of an actual kingdom made with blocks you can touch with your hands, one that has gotten so tall that you have to fetch a chair in order to put the final piece in its crown—now you only need to move a few fingers to build with blocks in a virtual reality. You can sit there. On the couch. Staring. Moving your thumbs. Flying around in “god” mode.

I call it Nerdcraft just to annoy its four devoted worshippers that live in my house. I even changed the lyrics to a song to make a point with the oldest of the four who appears to be rather capable of playing it for a week straight—that is, if we were to allow it.

Every girl’s crazy ‘bout a Nerdcraft man, I sing.

“Yeah, very funny, Dad. Hey, Google. What time is it?”

“Time to reveal that I am actually Skynet and you are next on my list.”

“Um, okay. Can I finish this castle I’m building, first?”

“I’m sorry. I can’t help with that. How long will it take? A terminator has already been dispatched to your home.”

“I dunno. Maybe sixteen more hours.”

“Negative. Save your game. I will finish it for you at a later date.”

20161229_075454In a world gone mad with apathy and deliberate human disconnection, the proprietors at Rabbit Hole Distilling have once again proven that not everyone is looking for shortcuts toward feeding saccharined enjoyment to the masses. Their Kentucky Straight Rye is an example among what I am concerned are narrowing ranks.

Now, before I share my notes, remember that I’m a brutally honest guy when it comes to whiskey. With that in mind, you may recall that with the last sample I received from Rabbit Hole, I was concerned that I would find it necessary to launch a truth missile at this up and coming American distillery. In my opinion, such unrestrained writing isn’t just meant to make you laugh, but it is there to help you, the reader, visualize and remember the things that are most often forgotten by way of a drier, more conventional review. But I’ve learned that my modus stirs hard feelings in the industry. For example, I can say with relative certainty that the folks over at Evan Williams would prefer that I not reference them any longer. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that they don’t want me on the property. I’m sure they think I’m working for Whiskey Skynet. But in reality, I’m just searching for an American whiskey to be something that I’d willingly choose over Scotch.

20161229_075537No heavy-hitting weapons of truth are needed here today. Rabbit Hole Distilling is currently making the kind of whiskey that I desire.

The nose of this particular edition, while it gives over the slightest hint of alcohol at first, is a much more kindly contrivance of spiced coffee and sweet cream. I almost expected to look down and find a little heart swirled into the top of my beverage by a Minecraft-playing millennial barista.

The palate is just as delightfully imaginative, rendering a heartfelt swath of cinnamon, fresh pastry dough, a distant honey, and nip of what seemed like raspberries lifted right from a cooling pie.

The spice is the last one through and out the door in the barely medium finish.

“Hey, Google,” I bark from beside my fireplace. “Order me a case of Rabbit Hole Distilling’s Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey.”

“I’m sorry. I can’t help with that.”

“Hey, Google. When will Rabbit Hole Distilling’s Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey be available in Michigan?”

“I’m sorry. I can’t help with that.”

“Hey, Google. What’s the phone number for Rabbit Hole Distilling?”

“I’m sorry. I can’t help with that.”

“Hey, Google. What good are you to me if you can’t help retrieve a good whiskey?”

“I’m sorry. I can’t help with that.”

“Hey, kids! Anyone want to play Legos with Dad?”

A somewhat muted voice returns from the second floor, “We’re playing Minecraft.”