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Do you want to know how I know that alien lifeforms aren’t being kept alive in captivity or stored in glass jars filled with formaldehyde in a government vault somewhere?

Because it’s hard to keep secrets from a pastor.

Most folks take us for innocent dolts. But they forget that we interact fairly regularly with the underbelly of mankind’s visceral grotesqueries. Infidelity, drug abuse, you name it. I’ve seen and heard just about every veiling lie for covering a human’s tracks. I’m more than accustomed to the facial expressions and I’m overly familiar with the accompanying body language.

If you’re hiding something from me, ninety-nine percent of the time I’ll know just by listening and watching. It’s almost eerie how accurate I can be in this regard, too. And again, it’s also why you can trust me when I say we’ve never experienced first contact.

Here’s why.

The President of the United States holds absolute executive authority. Absolute executive authority assumes full access to all government facilities, programs, and documentation. This means that no sitting U.S. president is subject to security clearance requirements. It follows then that the only thing keeping a U.S. president from knowing every single one of the highest tier secrets of our nation, past or present, is the level of his own personal interest.

You’ll never convince me that any of the men who’ve ever achieved the highest office in the land did so without feeding the beast of self-interest. And so once again, the reason I know the U.S. government isn’t keeping any other-worldly secrets hidden away in steely bunkers six miles below the earth is because if it was, the presidents would have been asked this on camera, lied about it, and ultimately been discovered by guys like me who know what to listen and look for.

I mean, just think about it simply. They’re human, like the rest of us, right? Not that we’re all chronic liars, but rather just imagine if either of us were newly elected as president. You and I both know that one of the first things we’d want to know is what’s going on in Area 51. Upon learning that we’d been visited by beings from another planet, and we’d actually held their technology in our hands, do you really think either one of us would be able to hide this knowledge so easily behind a stale faced persona? I don’t think we would. Certainly, we’d hold to the oath of office and wouldn’t betray the secret verbally. But my guess is that most regular human beings would betray it visibly before the cameras as they struggle to find any bit of interest in the major geopolitical situations going on around them. My guess is that at the first run-of-the-mill press conference with another world leader, it would be easy to tell they’d learned something fantastical.

“Thank you for taking my question, Mr. President,” a reporter would say, his recorder outstretched toward the two dignitaries. “You’ve only been in office a few days, so with that, what points of discussion took place between you and the French Prime Minister regarding the war in Syria?”

“Yeah, well,” the President would reply, a distant stare revealing his struggle to care much about the here and now. “I told him some stuff. He told me some stuff. Then we ate lunch.”

“What did you eat for lunch, Mr. President?” another reporter would call with a chuckle from the back of the room.

“Well, the Prime Minister had soup. I had an alien spaceship—I mean, um, an Episcopalian sandwich.”

“Sir,” the same reporter would ask, “what makes a sandwich Episcopalian, exactly?”

“Um, because, everything on it is out of order. The meat’s on the outside and the bread’s on the inside. Very weird. Thanks, everyone. No more questions.”

It’s true that the government lies to us about a lot of things, but alien contact probably isn’t one of them.

Do you want to know how I know that the folks at Penderyn must be lying about using Buffalo Trace and Evan Williams barrels for the aging of their whiskies? Because Penderyn whisky is good. It’s well balanced and crisply sweet—especially this particular edition of the Welsh Gold finished in Madeira casks.

Okay, so maybe Penderyn isn’t lying and I’m merely betraying my dislike for Buffalo Trace and Evan Williams. With that, the truth to Penderyn’s story remains sturdy, just as Oliver Wendell Holmes said truth would be:

“It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch; nay, you may kick it about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening.”

No matter the barrels, Penderyn has a fine dram here. It’s round and full all day long.

The nose of the whisky is one of malt and dark fruits—back raspberries, perhaps. There’s a flow of warmed vanilla that tapers into a stream of honey.

The palate is generous with the malt. At first, it feels like the whisky might be hiding something metallic behind this particular flavor, but then it comes clean on the copper still used in distillation, and then rounds a corner toward balance with a well-timed dash of wood spice.

The whisky’s medium finish is as it began in the nose—malty, fruity, and warm. It’s the perfect dram for a summer evening on the deck beneath the stars. It’s even better to have in hand if that star-filled night is suddenly disturbed by an alien spaceship landing in the back yard. Your best bet for establishing peace between two worlds is to make the strange beings an Episcopalian sandwich and then let them wash it down with this particular edition from Penderyn.