When you drink a glass of whisky, spare a thought for the lonely Quercus Alba. Without the thousands of American White Oak trees harvested every year, we wouldn’t have Bourbon or most other whiskies, since Bourbon barrels wind up at distilleries all over the world. Kentucky claims to make 95% of the world’s Bourbon, so one might think the Commonwealth would honor that with its choice for the state’s official tree…but no. Lexington-based forestry scientist Tom Kimmerer and some of his colleagues want to change that, and are starting a campaign to persuade state lawmakers to replace the yellow poplar with a much more popular (and logical) choice. We’ll talk with Tom on WhiskyCast In-Depth about the logical reasons for choosing the White Oak, along with his op-ed column last week in the Lexington Herald-Leader on how Kentucky could become a destination for “climate change refugees” escaping coastal communities.

In the news, the big mystery in whisky circles is what happened to a $5,800 bottle of Japanese whisky given as a gift to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo two years ago. State Department investigators are trying to find out, and we’ll hear from Pompeo himself…who says he wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a $58 bottle of whisky and a $5,800 bottle.

Links: Kimmerer.com | Lexington Herald-Leader | Glengoyne | New Orleans Bourbon Festival | Whisky Auctioneer | Gordon & MacPhail | Prima & Ultima Collection | BenRiach | Old Fitzgerald | J. Rieger & Co. | Stranahan’s | Basil Hayden | Horse Soldier Bourbon | Lost Lantern Whiskey | Leopold Bros. Distilling