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1. Ohio It is illegal to get a fish drunk.

2. Alaska – In Fairbanks, AK, it is illegal to serve an alcoholic beverages to moose. I’m pretty sure Sarah Palin had nothing to do with this law…

2. New York – According to the New York State Liquor Authority, you can buy wine, wine glasses, wine stoppers and corkscrews at a liquor store, but the state of New York prohibits them from selling wine gift bags. Sell a gift bag to a wine buying customer and you’ll be fined $10,000.

3. Colorado – law requires that wine be sold in containers of at least 24 ounces and spirits in containers at least a fifth of a gallon. But, at the same time, it also decrees that no alcohol beverage can be stored in hotel minibars in anything larger than miniature containers.

Continue reading TOP 10 STRANGE ALCOHOL LAWS

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The story of the wildest party in White House history

The White House has seen a lot of big parties, but nothing compares to March 4, 1829, when Andrew Jackson’s open house sparked a mob scene that almost destroyed the president’s house. Or so we think.

Jackson before the party.

The party was so big that the courageous, battle-tested President Jackson fled the scene (out a back door or through a window) as a huge crowd drank heavily, destroyed furniture and china, and even ground cheese into the carpets with their boots on the White House carpet.

Continue reading The story of the wildest party in White House history

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Distillery Visit – Leven

Nestling deep within Diageo’s Leven global supply plant is something special and unexpected – the Leven Distillery or PLDA (Process Liquid Development Area) as it is less romantically known.  It is Diageo’s least known and smallest whisky making facility, and their 29th that produces single malt.  Leven distillery has quietly been going about its business of innovation and experimentation since production began in 2013.
Continue reading Distillery Visit – Leven
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Earlier this year I was thrilled to have been asked to help with some barrel selections for Aquistapace’s Covington Supermarket.  Adam Acquistapace and I tasted our way through some barrel samples for private bottlings of Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare and Blanton’s.  In the case of Blanton’s, we ended up choosing two barrels.  The first barrel was delivered a couple of months ago and flew off the shelves before I had a chance to review it.


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Great Odin’s Ravin


The history of ‘Truly Great Limited Edition Whiskies’ is few and far between really.
Odd ones pop up getting consumers frothy and excited, then every other brand decides to follow suit in some way, before we all end up gazing forlornly at an overpriced Whisky Auction Site: either regretting missing out on a sold-out purchase, or regretting drinking and finishing a matured investment. Sad really.
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Is it Possible to Drink and Still be Healthy?

Oftentimes, when I’m at a Nerd Fitness meetup, a rebel will ask me, “Do you mind if I have a beer?”

I usually laugh and say, “Nope! Will you get me one too?”

Yeah, I run a fitness website, but as you’ve hopefully been able to tell up to this point, it’s not normal.  I write about Optimus Prime, Office Space, and the Legend of Zelda.  I generally do my workouts on a playground and run around the world for fun.

Continue reading Is it Possible to Drink and Still be Healthy?

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What type of whisky fan are you?

Whisky is a spirit on the rise, spurred by an unprecedented number of new releases and the local pride that followed a Tasmanian distiller recently being named the world’s finest.

But if you think cyclists are tribal with their neat little divisions into fixie-riders, roadies and mountain bikers, they have nothing compared on the clans into which whisky drinkers divide. Regions, styles and brands each have their own fanatical followings.

“Whisky tragics tend to be as bad as (Apple) Mac aficionados,” says Franz Scheurer, the spirits editor of Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine and Australia/New Zealand ambassador for the Islay Whisky Club. “They have a one-track mind. There are ones who like whiskies for a particular flavour or origin; they may like the grassiness of Speyside or the peatiness of Islay.

“Then there are those who like blends. The very snobbish single malt drinkers won’t touch any blends. Blend drinkers tend to be a little bit more open; they will try single malt every now and then, but invariably return to the blend of their choice.”

Scheurer says there are noticeable differences between the whisky tribes. He says the Johnnie Walker brand is favoured by Middle East and Chinese drinkers, who consider it a status symbol. “The company has managed to capture the imagination of a lot of countries that just drink whisky with their food. These are not particularly discerning whisky drinkers, they just like a bottle on the table that people will recognise.”

The biggest whisky fanatics in the world are the Japanese, Scheurer proclaims. And they really relish drinking their local product; imbibing everything from Hibiki to Hakushu. Apart from the Japanese those who enjoy a Japanese whisky tend to be adventurous types, he says. “They are almost always really young whisky drinkers; the kind of person who will jump off a cliff with a hang-glider is likely to try a Nikka from Japan.

“On the other hand, your average Speyside drinker is more likely in his 40s, reasonably well-to-do, and will drive a Saab or a Volvo.”

Scheurer says of all the whisky regions in the world, the one that attracts unprecedented adoration is Islay, a small island in the Southern Hebrides off the coast of Scotland. There are eight distilleries on the island, but the one that appeals to the most fanatical supporters is Ardbeg.

Continue reading What type of whisky fan are you?

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Marijuana wins big on election night

Voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada approved recreational marijuana initiatives Tuesday night, and several other states passed medical marijuana provisions, in what is turning out to be the biggest electoral victory for marijuana reform since 2012, when Colorado and Washington first approved the drug’s recreational use.

Of the five recreational marijuana initiatives on the ballot, three passed and one more — in Maine — was leading early Wednesday in preliminary vote totals. A similar measure in Arizona was trailing with 68 percent of votes counted.

On the medical side, voters in Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas have approved medical marijuana initiatives. A separate measure in Montana that would loosen restrictions on an existing medical pot law was leading early Wednesday with only 30 percent of votes counted.

Reformers were jubilant. “This represents a monumental victory for the marijuana reform movement,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, in a statement. “With California’s leadership now, the end of marijuana prohibition nationally, and even internationally, is fast approaching.”

How marijuana legalization in Washington, Colorado and Oregon is working out so far

Five states have marijuana legalization initiatives on their ballots. Here’s what they can learn from Washington, Colorado and Oregon, states where marijuana use has already been legalized. (Daron Taylor, Danielle Kunitz/The Washington Post)

California has long been seen as a bellwether by both supporters and opponents of marijuana reform. The state is home to about 12 percent of the U.S. population. Given the size of the state’s economy and the economic impact of the marijuana industry there, California’s adoption of legal marijuana could prompt federal authorities to rethink their decades-long prohibition on the use of marijuana.

In a recent interview with Bill Maher, President Obama said that passage of the legalization measures on Tuesday could make the current federal approach to the drug “untenable.”

Still, the likelihood of a Trump White House leaves a lot of uncertainty about the fate of marijuana measures in the next four years. Under Obama, federal authorities largely took a hands-off approach to state-level legalization efforts. But an incoming administration more skeptical of drug reform could easily reverse that approach.

“The prospect of Rudy Giuliani or Chris Christie as attorney general does not bode well,” the Drug Policy Alliance’s Nadelmann said in an interview. “There are various ways in which a hostile White House could trip things up.”

Still, Nadelmann pointed to the success of marijuana measures in the midst of an evident Republican wave as a sign that support for legalization now cuts deeply across party lines. And citing Trump’s often contradictory statements on marijuana and drug use in the past, Nadelmann added that “Donald Trump personally could probably go any which way on this.”

With today’s votes, legal marijuana is also making significant inroads in the Northeast. “Marijuana legalization has arrived on the East Coast,” said Tom Angell of the marijuana reform group Marijuana Majority in an email. “What Colorado and other states have already done is generating revenue, creating jobs and reducing crime, so it’s not surprising that voters in more places are eager to end prohibition.”

Opponents of legalization said they were disappointed by the outcomes. “We were outspent greatly in both California and Massachusetts, so this loss is disappointing, but not wholly unexpected,” said Kevin Sabet of the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana in a statement. “Despite having gained considerable ground in the last few weeks, the out-of-state interests determined to make money off of legalization put in too much money to overcome.”

Votes on medical marijuana in Florida and North Dakota were decisive. Florida’s Amendment 2 passed with 71 percent support, according to the Associated Press. In North Dakota, the AP reports that 64 percent of voters approving of the medical marijuana measure.

Two years ago, a medical marijuana measure in Florida earned 58 percent of the vote, just shy of the 60 percent threshold needed for passage. Then, as now, opposition to the measure was fueled by multimillion-dollar donations from Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate and GOP donor. In 2014 Adelson spent $5.5 million to defeat the measure. This year he’s spent $1.5 million in Florida, and several million more to defeat recreational marijuana measures in other states.

“This is a major tipping point,” said Tom Angell of Florida’s vote. “With Florida’s decision, a majority of states in the U.S. now have laws allowing patients to find relief with medical marijuana, and these protections and programs are no longer concentrated in certain regions of the country like the West and Northeast.”

The victory in North Dakota is something of a surprise as no polling was done on the measure.

The Florida amendment has the potential to be one of the more permissive medical marijuana regimes in the nation. In addition to diseases like HIV, cancer and PTSD, the measure also allows doctors to recommend medical pot for “other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, and for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.” While the 2014 measure allowed doctors to prescribe marijuana for any illness they believed it would be useful for, the new measure requires they show the illness is severe — though the wording gives physicians considerable leeway in determining which conditions would meet those criteria.

The medical pot measure in North Dakota allows doctors to recommend the drug for a number of severe medical conditions.

With the passage of Amendment 2, Florida will become the first Southern state to enact a robust medical marijuana regime. Medical marijuana is already legal in 25 other states and the District.