Nine Bourbon and Literature Pairings

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Author: John O'Callaghan '96Ph.D.

Nine bourbons every Notre Dame faculty member should want to stash in his or her office because according to the faculty handbook it is forbidden.

Early Times. Because — per Walker Percy — of “the noxious particles and the sadness of the old dying Western world, and him thinking: ‘Jesus, is this it? Listening to Cronkite and the grass growing?’” Stash behind Love in the Ruins.

Evan Williams. It’ll do. Payday isn’t until Friday. Stash behind The Lost Weekend.

Wild Turkey (101 not 81). Essential drinking for essential reading: Elmore Leonard. Stash behind Three-Ten to Yuma and Other Stories.

Maker’s Mark. Because sometimes it seems the world isn’t quite as awful as it appears to be. Stash behind Augustine’s Confessions.

John B. Stetson. Because the world is as awful as it appears to be. John B. will help you make it through the night. Stash behind Paradise Lost.

Woodford Reserve. Sometimes class went well. Stash behind Deus Caritas Est.

Bulleit. If you’re good, it may give up the ghost for you. It did me. Stash behind Hamlet.

Basil Hayden’s. Because it’s the Catholic bourbon. Stash behind Wise Blood.

Blanton’s. Because Pappy Van Winkle is for rich people and other criminals. Blanton’s is one-fourth the price and is what Christ serves to the saints while they smoke their cigars on the veranda of His Father’s mansion. Why bother hiding? Crown the Summa Theologiae.


John O’Callaghan is a Notre Dame associate professor of philosophy.


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