“Understanding” is thin ice. I have visited distilleries. I have read books on whiskey. With Rob, I have contributed one. Until a few days ago, I thought I had a pretty good handle on whiskey… more specifically, the science of whiskey. Crack. I thought that I was going to leave this beautiful city with “new knowledge” on the culture of whiskey with the excuse that it would complement my foundation in understanding its science. Crack. The great fortune of this visit has been the opportunities to meet people who redefine what “a good handle on whiskey” really means. Wonderful visits with Erik Adkins of Hard Water and “H.” Ehrmann of Elixir, respectively, effectively dropped me into the icy water. One of the great joys of life, all too rare, is to meet people who really know, live, love, and share “their stuff”. Not only did H. leave me with words that I will hold close for a long time… “I’m just a bartender,” he and Erik each offered a hand to start my journey out of the pond.