Single Malt, Many Virtues

Can Americans Make Single Malt as Well as the Scots?

In 2012, an American single malt whiskey from Balcones Distillery in Texas defeated nine other world-class single malts from around the world and gained international attention. Today, the American version of Scotch is still booming, reinforced by a number of new distilleries.

25 Best Places to Travel in 2015

The Adventure List

Travel is the desire to be changed -- to go, engage in a place, assimilate into its rhythms and quirks, and return home with its fragrant intoxication still swirling around in the brain. For 2015, these places are where we want to be changed.

A portrait of a changing beach town

Sunset in Montauk

In the last decade of summers, more and more tourists have pushed farther down Long Island until, invariably, they've arrived at its end: the little town of Montauk. With increased tourism comes money, but for many in Montauk, it also brings a yearly headache of inebriated vacationers, rising rent prices, congested beaches and changing culture in between harsh, wasteland-like winters. We set out to Montauk to talk to six locals -- a policeman, a teacher, a surfer, a scenester, a fisherman and a retiree -- about why and how Montauk is changing.

Digging Up History on the Kalaupapa Peninsula

Finding the “Real” Hawaii in Molokai’s Leper Colony

There I was, coming down the mountain like a kid on a playground, happy to finally be in the “real Hawaii”, and all of a sudden I realized that I’d arrived at a leper colony -- one where people still lived.

More: Hawaii
In the Woods with Dad on a January Deer Hunt

Fresh Tracks, Flintlock Rifles

Trying to kill venison in wintry north Pennsylvania is hard. Doing it with a weapon invented 400 years ago can be an exercise in futility. But there's also no better reminder that hunting is about much more than just bagging game.

Disagreement and an Endangered Climb

The End of Ayers Rock?

Ayers Rock, a huge, flat sandstone summit in the middle of the Australian desert, draws huge crowds. But part of that tourism involves climbing over ground that the Anangu tribe, the owners of the land, consider sacred.

Notes from a WWII POW

My Grandfather’s War

GP writer Bryan Campbell's grandfather became a prisoner of war during WWII's Battle of the Bulge. He was imprisoned for just over four months. Here is a glimpse of his experience from his personal journal, 70 years to the day of his capture.

Don't Call It Napa 2.0

New York’s Finger Lakes Wine Finds Its Way

At long last, New York's Finger Lakes wine region is gaining recognition, both nationally and abroad. Can the community preserve its identity in the face of looming challenges?

The Pros and Cons of Abandoning Europe's Hiking Hut System

Hiking the Alps, Sans Huts

Dan had mentioned his novel idea before our summer trip to Switzerland: we’d go backpacking, in the Alps -- no huts. Bring your sleeping bags and bivy sacks, he said. Brilliant, I thought.

A Scotland Travel Guide

The Right to Roam: Day 2

Welcome to our sprawling travel journal of Scotland's environmental, cultural and culinary riches. Over the next two weeks we'll be sharing our collection of 50 essays, videos, anecdotes, photo essays, travel guides, recipes, poetry and tall tales gathered during one hell of a trip. Day Two features two searches in Glasgow: one for great craft beer, and one for a mythical nightlife scene.

A Scotland Travel Guide

The Right to Roam

Welcome to our sprawling travel journal of Scotland's environmental, cultural and culinary riches. Over the next two weeks we'll be sharing our collection of 50 essays, videos, anecdotes, photo essays, travel guides, recipes, poetry and tall tales gathered during one hell of a trip. The journey begins now.

The search for answers around Bourbon's resurrection

Why Is Bourbon Booming?

We've been making a lot of noise lately about our shitshow of an adventure in Kentucky. We got a team of three together, flew to Kentucky, ate great food, drank at the local bars, sometimes too much, interviewed the new and the old of bourbon -- politicians, brewers, drinkers -- you name it, we tried do it.

Canada Hops on the Craft Bandwagon

Learning from the Small-Batch Bourbon Boom

Forty Creek's John K. Hall tells the tale of how American bourbon showed Canadian whiskey the way from counterfeit hooch to finely crafted whiskey.

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.

Single barrel bourbon explained

Hand Selecting Barrels with Chris Morris of Woodford Reserve

“For liquor stores, whiskey bars, restaurants -- having a private barrel label is basically their way of saying ‘This is how we like our whiskey.’” Tom Fischer, the founder of BourbonBlog and a frequent judge at many spirits and cocktail competitions, told me over the phone after we got back from Kentucky. “So it allows them to put that bottle on a shelf and say, you know, ‘This is something we went to Kentucky and we picked up. This is how we like our whiskey, but it may not always be how you like it.’” We shadowed Seattle-based Duke's Chowder House as they selected their own personal barrel of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked.

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.

A Complete Guide to a (Worthy) Legend

Demystifying 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.

More: Bourbon
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.

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.

A Roaming Journal of America's Spirit

5 Days on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Bourbon is booming, but only decades ago, it was on a path toward failure. This was most evident in the 1980s, at the height of vodka and big hair, when distilleries in the Bluegrass State were shuttering their doors. They simply couldn’t give bottles away, the same bottles that just a generation before were lining executive conference rooms and hotel bars throughout America. It was by definition an all-American drink, and it was quickly fading. But then in the mid-2000s, distillers realized the atmosphere was changing. Bourbon started coming back. Fast. This explosion, which continues to grow to this day, raises plenty of questions. What's fueling the bourbon boom? Is it going to burst, like tech and housing? Are some bottles really worth $5,000, and more importantly, who’s buying them? What makes a bourbon good? The best way to get to the bottom of this was to head to the Bluegrass State, where 95 percent of the world's bourbon is made, equipped with a few cameras, some notebooks and clean livers for five days on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail -- a triangle of distillery tours throughout the state with endpoints at Louisville, Lexington and Bardstown — for many early mornings and late nights drinking and talking with some of the foremost professionals in booze. We came back with five days of fear and loathing on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

How to Spite the Elements

Getting Down with Canada Goose

A look inside the manufacturing process of the heartiest outerwear on earth, proudly made in Toronto, Canada.

Riding Levi’s King Ridge Gran Fondo

The Climb, the Coast and 103 Miles to Burn

On a hundred-mile ride, you learn something new about every twenty. Matthew Ankeny reflects on the highs and lows of the biggest century in Sonoma.

Best Choices, Filtered and Purified

A Pro’s Guide to Water Treatment in the Wild

Outdoor survivalists often teach the rough rule of three’s: humans can only survive three minutes without oxygen, three hours without proper shelter (given extreme conditions), and three days without water. H2O is the most suspect of the bunch. We asked an expert to explain the to main methods of treatment, filtration and purification, and recommend the proper gear for staying hydrated in the wild.

Common Sense, the better part of Valor

G-Force and Terror On an Air Racing Ride Along

Already strapped in, with a stranger tightening my parachute, it becomes jarringly clear Red Bull race planes don’t have ejection seats. “In the event of an emergency, the canopy flies open, and I’ll be yelling ‘Bail! Bail! Bail!’” instructs François Le Vot, my French aerobatic pilot.

Elevation: 49 Feet, Speed: 230 MPH

Racing in the Sky

Twenty-five minutes outside the Strip, set in Nevada's stark desert, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway lacks its city's famed opulence -- but today, not its verve. A fresh energy runs throughout the massive 131,000-seat complex, though no NASCAR racers throttle up around the 1.5-mile asphalt track. Instead of staring down, everyone in the grandstands looks to the sky. The loudspeaker booms: Number 9 Lamb. You’re cleared to enter the track. Smoke on. As the plane swoops down from the sky, the crowd descends into a provocative hush. "Smoke on" is the green flag of air racing.