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Every region in the United States produces distinctly identifiable things.

In a group conversation, it won’t be difficult to tell who was born and raised in Boston. On a cool October day in Wisconsin, while the natives may still be wearing shorts and t-shirts, visiting Floridians will be easily discovered by their hats, scarves, and thick winter coats. California has its sunlit coastal towns and palm trees. An easy-speaking gent from the Louisiana bayou may need to repeat himself when chatting with a newfound acquaintance from Massachusetts. The high school parking lot in a deeply central Indiana town may have a tractor or two. “Yous guys” and “Y’all” will draw lines between a New Yorker and a Texan.

Michigan is no different. Like all other places, we have our quirks. Specifically, we’re well known for our roads and the aggressive natives who traverse them.

I’m pretty sure you’ll know you’ve crossed the border into Michigan when your vehicle suddenly begins convulsing and spitting fluids as though it’s possessed by the devil and Fathers Damien Karras and Lankester Merrin are in the back seat sprinkling holy water while shouting, “The power of Christ compels you!” Yes, the roads are that bad. Another clue will be when, with your turn signal blinking the whole time, you find yourself traveling seventy-six miles of congestion behind a slow-moving truck before someone finally allows you into the passing lane. Yes, everyone in Michigan appears to be in competition with one another. I’m guessing the goal of this high-speed death race is to be the first to find the largest, most car-consuming, pothole on the freeway to smash into.

Thankfully, Michigan has a little more to offer its visitors than thousands of miles of nearly unnavigable roadways and the promise of car repairs. Our lakes are quite nice. The autumnal color change to our tree-covered landscapes is always a memorable experience. We also have craft whiskies. And as it is with other regional offerings throughout the United States, while some of our whiskies are to be avoided, others are well worth the Thunderdome-style crossing into our wilds. The Borrowed Time 12-year-old Northern Rye from Mammoth Distilling is one of those whiskies.

With an aggressive nose of spice, namely cloves and nutmeg, you’ll know well before the first sip that this 12-year-old is anything but shy. Of course, that’s to be expected at 62.5% ABV.

An undiluted sip brings a biting (but still incredibly pleasant) mouthful of buttered and honey-dipped toast generously dusted with cinnamon. With a few drops of water, the honey challenges the butter for prominence.

The finish is surprisingly longer than expected, but not unenjoyable, like the seventy-six miles behind the truck. Instead, it’s a pleasant stroll at the edge of a favored stream, one carrying along in its warmer trace the spices that first upsurged in the nosing.

Keep in mind, if this edition isn’t available in your state, acquiring the pleasantries I’ve described will come with a price. To pay it, I recommend donning a mohawk, black hockey mask, chainmail, shoulder pads, and studded leather pants before attempting to cross over into Michigan. What’s more, I’d preemptively contact your auto insurance company to let them know your car was totaled.

Just trust me on this one.