Chris KelleyThe Drink: High West Whiskey Campfire

The Comic: Fantastic Four #16 published by Marvel Comics

The Drink
David Perkins worked as a biochemist in the bio-pharmaceutical industry for many years. In 2002, that changed forever. While attending a friends wedding with his wife in Kentucky, they decided to visit the Maker’s Mark distillery. It was at that distillery when he had his awakening. They had just walked into the aging room and were completely immersed in the wonderful aromas. It was then and there that he decided that he wanted to make whiskey. In 2004, David moved to Park City, Utah to begin his dream.

In 2007, David opened the High West distillery in Park City, Utah. It is the first legal distillery in the state of Utah since prohibition.The distillery also doubles as a saloon with a full bar and menu. It is situated in the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains and located adjacent to the Park City town ski lift making it the worlds first and only ski-in distillery and saloon. David’s love of cooking and his background in biochemistry led the way for some truly remarkable flavors. He began by blending American straight whiskeys which was a practice that most distillers had stopped doing decades ago. When the distillery first opened, this was the only way they made whiskeys. David would purchase already distilled whiskey from an undisclosed location on the east coast then blend them creating something truly unique. They still create these very successful blends, but now they also distill their own whiskey.

When I first read what comprised the Campfire whiskey, I was immediately interested. It is a blend of bourbon, rye and scotch all aged between 3-5 years. I had to try it as soon as I could. It has a lovely spicy yet sweet nose to it. The flavor is sweet like vanilla with hints of oak and spice followed by smoke. The finish is medium in length with lingering smoke and a touch of vanilla. It is a perfect balance of bourbon, rye and scotch that is unlike anything I’ve ever had. If you are a fan of a smoky scotch like Laphroaig, you must give it a try. This is a truly unique whiskey that I encourage any fan of the brown stuff to seek out. With a cost of $65, it is pretty pricey, but definitely worth every penny.

The Comic
I’ve always been a fan of science and superheroes so I fell in love with the Fantastic Four right away. I first started reading FF with Mark Millar’s run. I quickly read it all in trade and moved on to the next chapter with Jonathan Hickman at the helm. Now I know I haven’t read that much FF, but to me, this is the quintessential FF story. The epic tale that Hickman had sown was absolutely beautiful. Naturally I was a bit nervous about a new creative team coming on board, but I had read some of Matt Fraction’s other work and enjoyed it. Plus, the premise sounded like so much fun: the FF start losing their powers so they set out on a journey through time and space to discover why.

Matt Fraction’s run on the FF started out strong, but eventually lost me. Fraction ended up leaving the book to concentrate on Inhumanity (which he also ended up leaving) and writer Karl Kesel came on board. Fraction had outlined the story he wanted to tell and Kesel carried that out, but also made it his own. This issue is the end of the Doomed storyline and the last issue of this run. The final battle between the 616 FF, the alternate reality FF and Doom The Annihilating Conqueror is rushed and at times confusing. The source behind them losing their powers, what they have been looking for this whole story, is finally revealed in a very lackluster way. There is a moment where it appears that the FF has died. Then, with a quick and awkward page turn, they are alive and well with very little explanation. There is a wonderful backup story that brings all of the characters from the Fantastic Four and FF books together for a BBQ that reminded me why I loved this book to begin with.

The art by Raffaele Ienco and Paul Mounts is pretty rough in spots. The characters faces seemed to lack emotion and depth. He did, however, draw a pretty great Doom. The action sequences were clean and easy to follow as well. The backup, drawn by Joe Quinones, Mike Allred and Laura Allred is absolutely gorgeous. The art just pops right off the page.

I loved the 1950’s sci-fi feel of this book and I had a lot of fun reading it. In the end, it just fell a little flat for me. The FF has been near and dear to me for some time now. I’m sure that no matter who writes it, I will always give it a chance. Next month, James Robison and Leonard Kirk take over and I cannot wait to see what they have in store for 2014.

Thanks for reading,
Christopher Kelley

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