If you open a bottle of whiskey, pour yourself a glass and take a sip, you've traveled through time. I'm traveling through time right now as I write this, sipping some Evan Williams single barrel bourbon. For the uninitiated, a single barrel whiskey is a whiskey that has been bottled from and aged in one barrel it's entire life. When you taste a single-barrel whiskey, you're tasting the confluence of chemistry, biology and time that occurred in one specific spot during one specific time period. Sometimes, if you're lucky, the distiller will even mark the label with the bottling date.
The whiskey I'm sipping was bottled on November 5, 2005: three days after my 19th birthday, my freshman year of college. I sip and return to that time of supreme awkwardness, self-doubt and fear. I didn't know it yet, but in a few weeks, my life was about to veer down some dark roads.
It would take another six years to piece it all together. While I wandered the dark roads, I made bad decisions. I hurt people I cared about. I lost friends. I lost family members, but was too emotionally stunted to properly mourn them. I latched on to vague ideas of who and what I should be. And all along, depression sunk its claws deeper and deeper in my back.
And all along, this bottle waited for me. It sat in a Kentucky rickhouse while I became a journalist. It stewed in the sweltering summer heat while I wrote my first pieces of fiction on the third floor of the college library. It absorbed the tannic acid of its charred oak barrel while I played in bands, wrote songs, went on road trips, reconnected with my grandfather, learned to drive a manual transmission, and fell in love. It spent its last Kentucky summer while I planned my proposal and eventual marriage to my beautiful fiance.
And on April 20, 2015, I uncorked this bottle, took a sip and traveled through time. I remembered all of this and was reminded that all of the best things in life -- love, human beings, creativity, whiskey -- they all need time.