Private barrel selection at Woodford Reserve and the drive back to Louisville

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Travelogue: Day Five

In day five of our Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure, we soak in the last rays of Kentucky sun, watch a group pick their own single barrel of Woodford Reserve, and more.

A Video Tour of the Process from 12 Bourbon Distilleries

How Bourbon is Made

We toured 12 distilleries in a five-day blitz, asking everyone we met to walk us through the bourbon-making process. Here, you'll find all of the steps that go into making America's unique take on whiskey.

Gleaning the Importance of the Family Tree

Buffalo Trace’s Hunt for the Perfect Bourbon

"Buffalo Trace is already making the bourbons of the future”, said our guide Freddy Johnson. It sounded bold until we stopped to think about it. Whiskey has to age before it can qualify as bourbon, so technically, every distiller is making “the bourbons of the future” today. Still, after we spent an afternoon learning about the company’s quest to make the world’s perfect bourbon, his phrasing seemed prophetic.

Admiring the Selection at Lexington's Blue Grass Tavern

Rare Bourbons Not Named Pappy: A Budding Collector’s Guide

Call it the Pappy effect if you want, or just plain business savvy, but most distilleries saw an opportunity in limited, premium bourbons in the early 2000s. At one of Lexington's best bourbon bars, the Blue Grass Tavern, we laid eyes on some of the absolute best.

Demystifying A Legend

The Complete Guide to Pappy Van Winkle

I'd say that Pappy Van Winkle is a brand that needs no introduction, except that it does. The truth is that most people don’t know anything about “Pappy”, other than that it’s supposed to be the best of its kind. So let’s set the record straight by getting a couple of basic facts out of the way.

Wilderness Trail, Four Roses, Wild Turkey and More

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Travelogue: Day Three

In day three of our Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure, we check out small (Wilderness Trail) and big (Four Roses, Wild Turkey) distilleries on the way to Lexington -- and get to taste something particularly special.

A Night in Kentucky's Oldest Family-Operated B&B

Stay: The Beaumont Inn

Close your eyes. Form a picture in your head of what a historic B&B in the heart of Bluegrass country should look like. What remains though in the mind’s eye should look quite close to Harrodsburg’s Beaumont Inn owned by the Dedman family.

How a next-generation master distiller helped relight the stills

Willett’s Long Path Back to Bourbon

Willett Master Distiller Drew Kulsveen doesn't have time for bullshit. It's not something he has to tell anyone. The message shoots from his eyes like a railgun. Even at a relatively young age, it's clear he's heard it all before. He talks like someone who’s lost years listening to others dribble on, and worked hard to eradicate the behavior in himself; his speech is terse, verging on curt. You can't blame him for him ignoring the noise. A lot rides on his shoulders. He and his family worked for years to rebuild the family distillery, which reopened in 2012, and now he's determined to prove a point.

From Brunch Spot to Global Food Sensation

Louisville’s Hillbilly Tea Has a New Take on Soul Food

Hillbilly Tea sounds like an Urban Dictionary revelation -- or the latest product from the minds of White and Pinkman. For all we know, both of those statements are true. It’s also one of Louisville’s hottest brunch spots, and a burgeoning international brand. And if founders Karter Louis and Chef Arpad "Arpi” Lengyel realize their ultimate vision, that’s just the beginning.

Inside Louisville's Copper & Kings Distillery

Making Brandy in Bourbon Country

A stack of freshly painted neon orange and black shipping containers stand in stark contrast to the red brick warehouse aesthetic of East Washington Street in the Butchertown area of Louisville, like a shiny new Google campus in the middle of a housing project. The large steel rectangles are the first of many signs that the Copper & Kings distillery is anything but traditional.

Whiskey Wisdom

Bourbon Terms, Explained by the Pros

A full command of bourbon terminology is a necessity when it comes to distinguishing between distilleries and knowing what's in your glass. We asked employees in the bourbon industry to arm us with a basic vocabulary.

One Size Never FIts All

Live Active, Track Smarter: How Fitbit Has Changed the Wearable Game

The mere thought of becoming more active isn’t a tough one to grasp, but for millions of people, making fitness a reality is easier said than done. Falling in love with the journey to better health doesn’t begin with a longstanding commitment to eat better, exercise more, and meditate more often. It begins with the very next step you take, and Fitbit’s innovative line of trackers will be there to capture it. In a world obsessed with convergence, Fitbit’s mantra has been making the best activity tracking tools on the planet. Learn more about the company's history and discover which Fitbit device is best suited to you here.

Backcountry Snuggie

Sierra Designs Mobile Mummy 800 Sleeping Bag

It's easy to understand the appeal of a sleeping bag that hugs you tight, but the first part of the Mobile Mummy's name represents the most useful and novel aspect of the product: ultralight and minimalist packers will enjoy the opportunity to use the sleeping bag as an insulating jacket, eliminating the need to pack two separate items or multiple layers and lightening the overall load.

Wireless Fidelity

Arcam miniBlink Bluetooth Receiver

Arcam’s miniBlink Bluetooth receiver lets audiophiles integrate wireless streaming without replacing a single piece of their existing setup.

Silence's Gold Standard

Bose QuietComfort 25

Ambition comes easily when there’s someone to dethrone. What happens after you make it -- now that's what separates the best from the rest. The QuietComfort 25s improve on almost every aspect of their acclaimed predecessor, ensuring Bose’s reign as the king of noise canceling technology will continue well into the future.

A Higher Plane of Audio

OPPO PM-2 Planar Magnetic Headphones

Oppo's latest planar magnetic headphone improves on its predecessor by smartly stripping away luxurious elements to create an incredible value proposition for audiophiles on the go.

Sound in Three Dimensions

Pioneer Dolby Atmos-Enabled Elite Speakers

Pioneer's new Dolby Atmos Elite speakers, designed by the legendary Andrew Jones, bring Atmos technology into the home without requiring additional ceiling-mounted speakers. That means more sound with less equipment.

A Bag for Big Peaks

Eddie Bauer Sorcerer Pack

Packing for the mountains often means packing a mountain of gear into a big, sturdy pack -- but quick summit bids favor leaner, minimalist packs. Enter Eddie Bauer’s shape-shifting Sorcerer, which manages, through a slick conversion trick, to be both at once: a 40-liter summit pack and a 55-liter freight hauler.

Whiskey For A Cause

Parker’s Heritage Collection Original Batch Wheat Whiskey

The eighth installment in the Parker's Heritage collection is a unique 13-year-old barrel-proof wheated whiskey that redefines the category. In addition, $5 from every bottle will go to support research in the fight against ALS (a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's disease).

Rookie of the Year

Willett Family Estate Small Batch 2 Year Rye

Why is a new, young rye that barely meets the legal age requirement to be called "Kentucky Straight Bourbon" worthy of praise -- especially when compared to other excellent ryes that are more than twice as old and cost half as much? For one, Willett Family Estate 2 Year Rye Small Batch is bottled at cask strength and delicious. Its existence also marks a momentous occasion in the world of American whiskey, reconnecting decades of bourbon-distilling heritage to an incredibly bright future.

Future Icon

adidas ZX Flux

Adidas has no shortage of iconic sneakers: the Superstar, the Stan Smith and the Samba, among countless others. As much as these silhouettes have done for the perception of adidas across generations, the new ZX Flux will someday join their ranks -- or even surpass them.

Greed is Good

Jack Spade Benton Suit

The Benton is a much-appreciated compromise between modern aesthetics and timeless appeal in a day where what’s trending can shift in the chirp of tweet.

A Fold-Up Lawnmower

Toro Recycler SmartStow Mower

The secret to Toro's new standing mower lies in Briggs & Stratton's new 190cc engine that prevents oil and gas leaks when vertical. The result is 70% reduction in the Toro Recycler’s SmartStow mower’s storage footprint compared to its standard operating position.

What to pack for the adventure of a lifetime

Essentials for a South African Winter Safari

Traveling too much of Africa is intimidating. Years of headlines, let alone the complications of getting there, are foreboding enough. But South Africa has come to establish itself as a gateway to the larger continent for travelers around the world. When packing for a South African safari, versatility is key; here's everything you'll need.

The lesser-known safari destination that's not to be missed

Photo Essay: Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa

Witnessing a million wildebeest migrating from the southern Serengeti to Kenya's Masa Mara reserve looks just as incredible in the flesh as it does in HD on Planet Earth. But to assume it's the only real way to take in the circle of life on the great African continent is a rookie mistake -- as four days spent on safari in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa made viciously clear.

WHAT'S NEW, NOW

Today in Gear: September 29, 2014

Today in Gear: Nike's new driver, a great game from Middle-Earth, cases for your iPhone 6, cocktails wisdom from Death & Co. and Vizio's crazy affordable 4k TVs.

Shear genius

Elements: Wool

Wool is a miracle material, known by more names today than ever before. Merino from sheep. Cashmere and mohair from goats. Angora from rabbits. Not to mention those other exotic forms most mortals can't afford. Behold: the versatility of wool.

Whats new, now

Today in Gear: September 24, 2014

Today in Gear: Snow Peak shifts into apparel, Tretorn's collab with MASHBURN, Amazon's best Kindle Yet, a Brian Cranston bow tie and more.

What makes a good wearable?

The Misfit Shine, the Fitness Tracker that Refuses to Fit In

From the Archives: What makes a good wearable? Comparing a laundry list of features is one way to start the conversation. The Misfit Shine proves, however, that there’s still something to be said for keeping it simple.

Beware of the dark side

Highland Park’s Dark Offering Takes Aim at New Fans

We review Highland Park's latest edition to their core lineup of single malts, Dark Origins, which is defined by a high percentage of double first fill sherry casks and a peatiness yet unheard of from the brand.

The real gear you'll need to survive when it all falls down

The Almost Serious Apocalypse Survival Guide

From the Archives: The world didn't end in 2012 (whew). But things could still get hairy sometime in the future. So, what would you need to carry on after the grid permanently dissolves? What are the necessities, and how could you improve your chances of accessing them over the long haul? As a team of curious souls, we decided to dive into the brain trust of the unsociably paranoid and prepared -- the sharers of secrets across dedicated survival blogs and forums -- in search of answers.

Discovering an incredible escape plan in the former Portugese colony

Stay: andBeyond Benguerra Island Lodge, Mozambique

Few sunsets beat the one at &Beyond Benguerra Island Lodge in Mozambique, where the sun crawls close to the horizon and drenches the local fishermen boats in hues of orange and pink, all while you sit back and order another cocktail.

Is a dedicated TV streaming device irrelevant? It depends

Tested: Slingbox M1

It's easy to think that the ground made up by "TV Anywhere" streaming services from television providers as well as on demand resources like Netflix, Hulu Plus and HBO GO have made owning a dedicated device like the Slingbox M1 irrelevant. But is that really the case? After spending a few days testing the newest member of the Slingbox family, the realistic answer is: it depends.

We're Gonna Need a Bigger Wall

A Millionaire’s Guide to Mega TVs

The home entertainment arms race has evolved to include factors like pixel counts, connectivity and even screen shape. But the importance of size...that will never change. Meet the TV heavyweights of 2014 that redefine big.