Chris KelleyThe Drink: Colonel E. H. Taylor Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
The Comic: Absolution Rubicon published by Avatar Press

The Bourbon
Colonel E. H. Taylor is widely known as the founding father of the bourbon industry. In 1870, Colonel Taylor purchased what was then known as the Old Fire Copper Distillery or, the O.F.C. Distillery. (If you read last week’s installment, this should sound familiar.) Taylor owned seven different distilleries throughout his life. The O.F.C. was by far the most successful.

In June of 2009, The Buffalo Trace Distillery (part of The Sazerac Company) bought the Old Taylor brand and all its inventory from Beam Global Spirits & Wine, the makers of Jim Beam. Since the purchase, Buffalo Trace has repackaged the whiskey and made a big push to compete with the higher-end Bourbons.

The Small Batch Bourbon has a wonderfully sweet and nutty yet peppery nose to it. You can also pick out caramel and vanilla. Right away you can taste the vanilla and caramel followed by a bit of spice. Each sip seems to finish a bit spicier than the last. This is amazing bourbon and one I encourage people to try. It will run you anywhere from $40-$50 a bottle, but it is well worth it. This is one to keep around for a while.

When I first sat down with this bourbon in my hand to research Colonel E.H. Taylor, I was expecting to find many pieces on his legacy. I was surprised when I found very little. Fans of bourbon do owe a lot to him, though. A lot of the techniques that are still used to distill bourbon today were developed and perfected by him. I guess you don’t need a fancy online biography for people to remember you by. For Colonel E. H. Taylor’s legacy, all you need is a glass.

The Comic
Every once in a while, when I’m at the comic shop on a Wednesday, I’ll pull a book down from the wall that I’ve never heard of before. I’ll read maybe the first few pages or flip through and look at the art. On a July day in 2009, I did that with a book called Absolution written by Christos Gage, drawn by Roberto Viacava and published by Avatar press. I am so glad that I took a chance with that book. It was a 6-issue mini series, and I loved every second of it. It was the first Avatar Press book I read, so I wasn’t quite prepared for how brutal and mature it was.

The story follows John Dusk, an “enhancile” (or superhuman) who works in the Special Victims Unit of the local police department. For John, the horrible, disturbing things he encounters on a daily basis begin to take their toll. One fateful night, he decides to do something about it and murders a criminal instead of arresting him. This causes a backlash not only from the local government, but from his fellow “enhanciles” as well.
Absolution Rubicon picks up 6 months after the ending of the original mini series. Dusk is on the lam and still up to his old habits. This issue starts in a courtroom with a man whom Dusk had put behind bars. We find out that many of the criminals Dusk had arrested over the years are trying to get the charges reversed because Dusk is now a wanted criminal himself. Any evidence in the cases has been called into question due to Dusk’s admittance to killing people who “needed to be killed.”

This is a fantastic continuation of the story. Christos Gage asks some very intriguing moral questions with this series — questions that come up time and time again and make you really think about what you’d do if faced with some of the horrific cases that Dusk has been faced with. The art by Daniel Gete is nothing special. I thought it was fine. It’s very reminiscent of Viacava’s work on the original series, and I’m sure that’s what they were going for. Oh, and if you thought Hit Girl was a badass, just wait until you meet Happy Kitty. Wow.

I fell behind on this new series, but after reading this first issue, I cannot wait to catch up. I absolutely love this. I would recommend reading the first mini series before starting this. The story is much more effective if you have.

Thanks for reading,
Christopher Kelley

Chris Kelley is Matt Baum’s cousin. We try not to hold that against him.