Dear Mr. President,
As I write this, bourbon brands sit in meetings discussing how to get a bottle in your hands. Your comments yesterday about joining Sen. Mitch McConnell for a Kentucky Bourbon lit a fire under their fannies. You should know there's presidential history with American whiskey. President George Washington distilled whiskey. In the 1870s, a group of distillers conspired to defraud the government of excise taxes to fund President Ulysses S. Grant's reelection campaign. In 1909, President William Howard Taft gave formal government definitions of whiskey categories in what is known as the "Taft Decision."
And now you, President Barack Obama, reach across the aisle to a Kentucky senator, whom the bourbon industry supported, and want to enjoy a fine Kentucky bourbon. I hope this happens. If you want the bourbon to actually mean something, to perhaps transcend the typical president and senator meeting, you can only sip one bourbon -- the Parker's Heritage Collection 7th Edition "Promise of Hope."
The Parker's Heritage Collection is named after the legendary Heaven Hill Distillery master distiller Parker Beam. Last year, Mr. Beam announced his battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease. The Promise of Hope bottling raised funds for ALS Association. Through the now legendary "Ice Bucket Challenge," ALS received a great deal of attention, but your sipping Promise of Hope will bring even more attention to a debilitative disease that renders one's body all but useless.
It's true, Mr. President, I'm a whiskey writer and I'm supposed to be objective. But Mr. Beam is a legend, one of the last great "old school" distillers. His smile lights up rooms and rivals yours, actually. Despite the disease, Mr. Beam -- a genuine bourbon celebrity -- still signs bottles of bourbon for his fans.... when he can. But he struggles, likely every day, and his family cherishes his every moment. The good days. And the bad ones.
Mr. President, I cannot think of a better bourbon for you to enjoy than the 2013 Parker's Heritage "Promise of Hope." Yes, it's a limited edition and not easy to find, but I imagine you can pull some strings. As a wine connoisseur, you'll find the Promise of Hope bourbon is rich with caramel, fruit and crème brûlée. I recommend two pieces of ice and paired with a nice slice of Derby Pie.
And lastly, Mr. President, the name on the bottle offers a subtle hint of what many Americans want -- a Promise of Hope.
Fred Minnick is the author of Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch & Irish Whiskey. This post originally appeared on FredMinnick.com.