Bourbon's Existential Terror
You don't have to read Kafka to understand what an existential crisis is—just hang out in the Bourbon section of any major retailer long enough and you'll witness it first hand. I've never seen a topic of conversation that strikes as much dread into the hearts of customers as does American whiskey. Not even Scottish single malt causes the anguish, self-loathing, anxiety, and sheer terror that selecting the right bottle of Bourbon seems to inflict. We're talking about deep, intense, metaphysical questions that go far beyond pure flavor. Sir, can you tell me: does this Bourbon have value? Does it have any meaning? Any purpose? And, if not, what does that say about me? Should I be drinking a Bourbon without meaning? Does that mean that my life has no meaning? What will people think? What meaning is there in my life if I'm not drinking the absolute best American whiskey available? What can I do? Can you help me? Can you get me a bottle of Pappy? Oh shit, I'm hyperventilating! I need a brown paper bag. Breath! Breath!
I'm at a complete loss these days. There's still plenty of great Bourbon available on the shelf at K&L, it's just that none of it will:
-increase your social standing at parties
-be worth taking an Instagram photo of
-make you feel like more of a man
-secure your place in history as someone who drank only the rarest of the rare
No other spirits category seems to symbolize more of a Nietzchean mindset to its most passionate consumers—namely the idea of a will to power: achievement, ambition, and striving to reach the highest possible echelon as the chief motivators of human existence. If the best and most-coveted Bourbons cannot be obtained, then what's the point of even drinking Bourbon in the first place? Is God dead? Or have we replaced him with a bottle of wheated whiskey? I'm freaking out.