I’m one of just five BlackBook employees who made it into the office on this snowy Monday, and yes, we all deserve medals for our efforts. But given that gold is not forthcoming, I’ll settle for the subtle amber hue of the Jim Beam Black Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey that’s in a flute on my desk. Yes, a day like this requires a spot of drinking at the office, a far less frequent occurrence than one might expect, given the licentiousness of the subjects we cover. But with two feet of flakes on the ground – and a blissfully quiet Manhattan – the sauce seems apropos. And it’s good. I had actually planned on picking up a tiny bottle of Baileys, since that seems even more fitting for a snow day, but the liquor store would only take plastic for purchases of over $15. I said screw it, I’ll help myself to the bottle that Nick has stashed under his desk while he’s in Canada or wherever. Perhaps I’ll revisit the Baileys Irish Cream idea another time. In any case, the Beam is everything it should be right now, warming, nuanced, and a little bit sweet. Yeah, I think I’ll survive the bracing walk to the subway station, and the long ride back to Brooklyn.
I’m actually surprised at how much I’m enjoying this (very small) glass of bourbon, given that I’ve been drinking expensive Scotch for the past couple of weeks in anticipation of a whisky/whiskey article I’m currently researching for an upcoming issue of the magazine (brown-spirit makers of the world, get in touch!). In my experience, most bourbons can’t hold a candle to a fine single malt in terms of flavor and smoothness, and are best mixed with cola (nothing wrong with that), but I’d go so far as to deem Jim Beam Black perfectly suited for sipping neat, with nothing more than a splash of water to open it up. At 86 proof, it’s substantial enough to let you know it’s working, but it lacks the astringent moonshine burn of the downscale brands. I was never a member of the Beam Team (save for a brief, cringe-worthy period in college), but the Black might just make a convert out of me yet.
And as for the blizzard, what can be said that hasn’t already been Facebooked and Twittered a million times? It was coming down like crazy last night, and it is beautiful. There’s nothing like a blanket of of deep snow covering New York. It silences the traffic, covers the trash, keeps the whiners inside, and brings out the kid in everybody. And for kids my age, you get the added bonus of bourbon at your desk as a reward for standing up to nature’s wrath. All in the name of journalism.