Angel’s Share

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The craft distilling world has lost a giant this week.  Jim Harrelson passed away Sunday after suffering a heart attack nearly a week ago. Jim was the Head distiller and “Lead Janitor” as he liked to call himself at Do Good Distilling in Modesto California. Do Good is a collaboration by friends and colleagues who banded together after the death of Paul Katuszonek, Jim’s brother in-law, an Oakdale police officer killed in a car crash on his way to work.

 

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The announcement of Jim’s passing was posted to Facebook in the early morning hours of Monday by his wife Liz. “Despite earlier improvements, my sweet, strong, husband, Jim, passed away yesterday after his heart attack on Monday. He was the very best that person I’ve ever met. We welcome continued prayers and positive energy as we all work to navigate the world without his laughter, guidance, and support.”

 

The community went to work as soon as they heard with thoughts and prayers for Jim’s speedy recovery and social media lead the charge with #prayingforJim wanting Jim to wake up. The massive heart attack as it has been described sent him into coma that family and friends hoped he would awake from. Sadly, #hopingforamiracle was unanswered along with why this would happen to such a good man. On August 4th, it looked like he would wake up and that hope was strong with the family until the end.

 

On Jim’s Facebook page, he claims that “I do things that sometimes can be confused with work” and that seems to be how people will remember him, with an unwavering sense of humor.

He was a visionary and understood the needs of the industry. According to the Do Good website Jim consumed knowledge of distilling and brewing and even attended classes when he could. His love for knowledge and fervor for the craft industry lead him to become president of the California Artisanal Distiller’s Guild. The page also tell us that he was an avid runner, loved gardening and going to concerts.

 

I last saw Jim a year ago, while collecting bottles for an event at a conference I was putting together. We spoke about the state of the craft industry, the changing landscape of spirits in America and he had plenty of advice. He was always willing to share information and from what I gleamed he was the type to make friends everywhere.

Jim was a respected member of the community in California and was a former Deputy Sherriff of Stanislaus county. He is survived by his wife and three daughters who filled his life with laughter and love. Their loss will be felt by the community, family and an entire industry.

 

I will be raising a glass of Night Hawk in his honor this evening and hope many will do the same.

 

Jim, your lust for life and whiskey will be remembered.

 

May peace find you.

Categories: Spirits, Whiskey

Rules for 2017! Part 1

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So,

For many of us 2016 sucked. It certainly did for Hollywood and the Music world. Fuck 2016.. It’s a new year new rules, new beginnings and let’s have some goddamn fun!

Here are some general rules for 2017.

Rules for 2017…

  1. stop being your own worst enemy
  2. become hedonist like me, you will have better skin
  3. Boycott junk food 6 days a week go nuts have fun on the last one
  4. You know that thing he wants you to do. DO IT….
  5. Smoke cigars.
  6. Move away from Ohio!
  7. Wear that dress! Trust me!
  8. Guys get a fucking haircut
  9. Skinny jeans are for women…
  10. Visit Brattleboro
  11. Give Oral more and give it better!
  12. Drink Armagnac
  13. Stop ordering obscure shit to stump the bartender.
  14. Read a book or several
  15. Do NOT take this too seriously
  16. Gents… and I use that term loosely these next few are for you
  • Open the goddamn door for her or him.
  • Man buns are acceptable if you are
  • From the islands like Hawaii,
  • American Samoa
  • NZ
  1. Never ask if you can kiss her just do it…if she slaps you or maces you then you misread the situation. (DO not Be TRUMP)
  2. Look people in the eye..
  3. ohh and stop playing video games.
  4. befriend 2 or more lawyers
  5. give your friends more on yourself
  6. Take your head out of your ass!
  7. Put down your fucking phone.. (not now, keep reading) but afterwards
  8. Drive as if you are not a fucking blind moron.
  9. Drink responsibly
  10. Send a thank gift when someone gives you a ride home.
  11. You will all arrive at the same time. Do not jump the line to get on a plan early. All in the same boat.
  12. Register to vote. As long as you are 18 by the next Election Day you can register whenever.
  13. Listen to someone over 70 for an hour a month. Knowledge runs deep.
  14. Inexpensive whiskey is ok..

Do those things this month and for the rest of 2017. Each month there will be a new rule for each day. Do not fret there will be plenty of reviews and tasting notes even in the rules…

 

Love Justin

P.S

Make 2017 your Bitch!

Categories: Uncategorized

Mercer Estate Part 2

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mercer-bottle-and-people-138-683x1024

“The terroir of the Horse Heaven Hills creates wines that are balanced and elegant with graceful power and structure.  These are the reasons that winemakers all over Washington state seek out fruit from the Horse Heavens, and why I count myself as one of the lucky few who get to work with it exclusively.” – Jessica Munnell

Mercer Estates Part 1

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mercer-bottle-and-people-138-683x1024

“The terroir of the Horse Heaven Hills creates wines that are balanced and elegant with graceful power and structure.  These are the reasons that winemakers all over Washington state seek out fruit from the Horse Heavens, and why I count myself as one of the lucky few who get to work with it exclusively.” – Jessica Munnell

 

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