Whiskey’s Just Like Wine: Environment Influences Taste, Study Finds

Whiskey’s Just Like Wine: Environment Influences Taste, Study Finds

Whiskey might not have a reputation for the same complex flavor profiles as wine, but a new study says the environment where barley is produced has a definite influence on the beloved spirit. In winemaking, the environment where the grapes grow is known as terroir and it’s essential to how wine tastes. Turns out whiskey’s terroir is just as influential.


“It’s the weather, it’s the soil, it’s everything that has to do with the growing of it,“ says Dustin Herb, Ph.D. of Oregon State University. But he’s not talking about vineyards, he’s referring to the barley used in whiskey.

Looking for Whiskey’s Terroir

Herb did his doctoral research on how barley imparts its flavor on beer. Four years ago, this work attracted the attention of Waterford Distillery, who brought Herb to Ireland to see if he could design a study that would answer the question, “Does terroir exist in whiskey?” The short answer to that question is yes.

Named the Whisky Terroir Project, the study took two varieties of barley and planted them in two different environments with different soil types and climates, one coastal and one inland. The barley was harvested, stored, malted, and micro-distilled into ‘new make spirit,’ the substance that’s aged and eventually turned into whiskey.

The Sniff Test

Smell tests followed using both gas chromatography mass spectrometry and human testers. The mass spectrometer and human noses were looking for a wide-range of odors that affect taste—everything from walnuts, cream, and fresh laundry to cabbage water, lawn clippings, and tobacco.

“All these compounds we can smell have unique fingerprints,” says Kieran Kilcawley, co-author of the study.

Published in the journal Foods, the study proved that terroir could be detected in samples. The new make spirit produced from the inland site’s barley had notes of toasted almond and a biscuity, oily finish, while its coastal counterpart was lighter and floral with a fresh fruitiness.

A Taste of What’s To Come

Herb says results of the study might change how whiskey is made and consumed.

“What this does is actually make the farmer and the producer come to the forefront of the product,” Dr. Herb says. He also believes that, like wine, we may someday be seeking out our favorite vintage years.

We’ll say Sláinte! to that.

For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!


Brad Marchand on Playing With Patrice Bergeron, the Last Time He Cried, and More

Brad Marchand on Playing With Patrice Bergeron, the Last Time He Cried, and More

Bruins winger Brad Marchand is an imposing (and productive) presence on the ice. As of Feb. 25, he’s just one goal shy of cracking 300, and he notched two assists during the Bruins’ 7-3 thrashing of the Philadelphia Flyers at the 2021 Honda NHL Outdoor Games at Lake Tahoe on Feb. 21. Off the ice, though, he’s a just a regular guy who tears up at father-daughter scenes in movies and can’t stop leaving his stuff all over the house (much to his wife’s annoyance). We recently caught up with him virtually to learn more about his life at home and with his teammates. He shared a few choice tales from the locker room, like the unique way David Pastrnak celebrates.

“He’s notorious for putting people on his shoulders,” Marchand tells Men’s Journal, “when we’re celebrating any kind of event.”

In our last conversation with Marchand, we dove into his training and preparation for Lake Tahoe, but in this conversation we kept things light. We learned the NHL star definitely has a soft spot for his daughter, Sawyer, and we got him to divulge his favorite canned response for press conferences (listen close during his next post-game interview).

“I think it’s like the typical hockey response,” he says. “‘We had a good night tonight, but we could be better.’”

We also got to the bottom of a little childhood mystery: One night when Marchand was eight or nine years old, his father came home from a rec hockey league game with a sheet of paper full of autographs from NHL stars like Steve Yzerman, Joe Sakic, and more. Marchand and his brother were ecstatic, and they had the piece of paper framed. Years went by, then one day Marchand asked his dad if those autographs were legit.

Watch the full interview above to find out his answer.

For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!


Ocean-Crossing Kayak Legend Aleksander Doba Dies On Kilimanjaro

Ocean-Crossing Kayak Legend Aleksander Doba Dies On Kilimanjaro

Late Monday morning (Feb. 22) on the 19,341-foot summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, 74-year-old Polish adventurer Aleksander ‘Olek’ Doba broke into a wide grin and hollered “Wild Africa!” into the wind. Moments later he sat down and died. The cause of death was not determined.

A compact man with an enormous beard and boundless enthusiasm, Doba was best known for crossing the Atlantic Ocean three times in a heavily modified kayak. He made all three crossings in his seventh decade of life, and each was tougher than the last.

His first crossing from Senegal to Brazil in 2011 was the longest ocean kayak journey ever, lasting 99 days. His second, from Portugal to Florida in 2014, totaled 167 days at sea. For 47 of those days he had no communication with the outside world, because someone on his support team had forgotten to pay the bill for his satellite phone. Doba didn’t care. When a Greek cargo ship stopped to render assistance, he waved it off. His third Atlantic crossing, and west-to-east venture, featured a pair of trying, errant starts leaving New York Harbor, ultimately totaling 110 consecutive days at sea following his departure from New Jersey to France.

His 23-foot oceangoing kayak weighed 1,500 pounds loaded, and included a massive self-righting mechanism that made it nearly impossible to paddle into the wind. Designed to keep him upright in violent seas, it snapped off during his second voyage near Bermuda. The kayak’s rudder failed with alarming regularity, but inside his tiny cabin, the fiberglass walls signed by loved ones and decorated with his granddaughters’ art, Doba feared nothing. “I trusted my kayak,” he said. “If my kayak could survive it, so could I.”

Doba racked up impressive trips in conventional kayaks too, circumnavigating Lake Baikal and the Baltic Sea, and paddling 3,336 miles from his home in Poland to central Norway.

He’s best remembered for his Sisyphean ocean crossings, in which storms and contrary currents pushed his tiny yellow craft backward time and again, until the track of his progress resembled a series of loops drawn by a child. Through it all, Doba—65 during his first voyage, 67 on his second, 70 on his third—just kept paddling. He never doubted himself, and never allowed hardship to cloud his enjoyment of the journey. On the contrary, when tropical storms battered him for three weeks running in the South Atlantic, he reveled in their elemental power.

“It brought me such a close relation to the beauty of mighty nature,” said Doba, who wore nothing over his gnarled torso but that beard and a crown of windswept hair.

“Watching the storms approaching. The amazing silence, just before a storm hit. The powerful energy pulsing, and then struggling with the heart of nature; the isolation,” he said. “These experiences filled me to the core with profound emotions.”

On Monday he experienced that joy one last time. The septuagenarian slowed to climb at his own pace, reaching the fore-summit at about 10 a.m. There his guides asked him if he wanted to go down, saying the fore-summit counts as reaching the top. Doba wasn’t having it. “No way,” he said. “I’m going upstairs!”

On the true summit an hour later he died as he lived—exuberant, irrepressible and until the very end, unstoppable.

For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!


Take the David Attenborough 10-Minute Challenge

Take the David Attenborough 10-Minute Challenge

The latest challenge craze doesn’t have you pouring an ice bucket over your head or learning a viral TikTok dance. The David Attenborough 10-Minute Challenge simply suggests you go sit quietly in nature—specifically someplace wooded.

It started when famed broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough was a guest on the World Wildlife Fund podcast, Call of the Wild. A vocal supporter of environmental causes, Attenborough was asked if he had any tips on how people could make a difference. He had a simple answer.

How the David Attenborough 10-Minute Challenge Came to Be

“Just stop,” the 94-year-old says. “Sit down. Don’t move. Keep quiet. Wait…10 minutes. I’d be very surprised if something pretty interesting didn’t happen in those 10 minutes. Doing that in a woodland, if you haven’t done it, it’s extraordinary. Don’t get too impatient, either.”

Of course, when a beloved media personality (at least 20 animal species have been named after him) tells you something extraordinary will happen if you sit in the woods, people listen. And whether they’ve been hearing woodpeckers drumming or feeling the bark on trees, people have been accepting the challenge.

Now, Attenborough didn’t frame his advice as a challenge, but we took it as such. There’s something meditative in the exercise, but you’re not focusing on yourself as much as what’s going on around you. At first, you may notice the sound of a truck that seems to be slowly backing up for eternity and a day, but as the minutes go by, you begin to notice the smaller stuff—like the fresh smell of winter soil or a crow stirring up a commotion. By being present in the natural world, you connect with it, which seems to have been Attenborough’s cunning plan all along.

It doesn’t have to be an extraordinary experience; nature acts as a natural salve to calm frayed nerves regardless. So we’re encouraging you to take the David Attenborough 10-Minute Challenge. We bet it’ll be the highlight of your day.

For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!


Are Turmeric Benefits Worth the Hype? A Sports Dietician Sounds Off

Are Turmeric Benefits Worth the Hype? A Sports Dietician Sounds Off

You’ve probably heard of turmeric by now, the golden spice that’s been promoted for a host of health boons. But what exactly is it? Can turmeric benefits make a difference in your day-to-day life? And what are the best ways to consume it? Here’s everything you need to know.


What Is Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that’s derived from the curcuma longa root, which is part of the ginger family. In fact, it looks remarkably similar to ginger root. The major difference, however, is turmeric has an intense golden-yellow color. That pigment comes from its active compound, curcumin (more on this below). The spice is used worldwide, but is especially common in Indian cuisine and as a remedy to treat certain health conditions such as arthritis and heart conditions.

Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric contains many plant-based substances that have a number of proposed health benefits. One group of these substances is called curcuminoids, which provides the greatest health-promoting benefits. That includes the powerhouse we mentioned before, curcumin, which is revered for its anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and antioxidant properties. In fact, it’s arguably the most potent, naturally occurring, anti-inflammatory agent around.

Now post-workout, inflammation increases in your body as a healing measure. But excess inflammation can be disruptive to healthy cellular processes, like metabolic function, and can damage certain cellular structures, like arteries. By prioritizing a spice like turmeric—and nixing bad behaviors like smoking, being sedentary, and consuming foods that are processed or high in saturated fat—you can boost recovery and overall well-being by lowering inflammation.

The downside to curcumin is that it isn’t absorbed very well in the gut when consumed. To get the dosage that’s going to be most beneficial, supplementation is often needed. Luckily there are many methods that can help increase absorption. Two of the most common: Pair turmeric with piperine (or black pepper extract), or combine it with fats. We’ll show you how below.

How to Consume Turmeric for the Greatest Health Benefits

It’s easier to combine fats and turmeric than you’d think. Add the spice with black pepper, avocado oil or coconut oil, and veggies, tofu, and/or chicken to boost its bioavailability. Golden lattes have also become incredibly popular: heat together coconut oil, almond milk, fresh turmeric, honey, and cinnamon. (Make it at home so you know you’re getting high-quality turmeric.) You can even blend turmeric into your post-workout or morning smoothie; just make sure you use almond milk or full-fat dairy as your liquid to get those healthy fats to bind to the turmeric. There’s one caveat: When you add the spice to meals, it might contain as little at 3 percent curcuminoids, the beneficial active compound. In this case, supplementation is your best bet to get the benefits of turmeric and curcumin.

Take 1,500 mg of curcumin with 60 mg of piperine per day. Or, try supplementing with Meriva, a patented form of curcumin; take 400–1,000 mg per day. Extracts like these are the most potent forms and yield the greatest health benefits.

Top 3 Turmeric Supplements to Take:

Jordan Mazur, M.S., R.D., is the coordinator of nutrition and team sports dietitian for the San Francisco 49ers.

For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!


Tiger Woods in Surgery After Rollover Car Accident in California

Tiger Woods in Surgery After Rollover Car Accident in California

Golfing legend Tiger Woods has been hospitalized following a serious single-car rollover accident in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. According to the LA County Sheriff’s Department, the accident occurred Tuesday morning and the “Jaws of Life” were required to extricate Woods from the seriously damaged vehicle. He was the only occupant.

The 15-time major champion was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center where he’s undergoing surgery for “multiple leg injuries,” according to a statement made to Golf Digest by Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg.

Earlier this year, the 45-year-old underwent the fifth back operation of his career. In an interview with sportscaster Jim Nantz on the PGA Tour’s Twitter feed, Woods said he was “feeling fine” but “a bit stiff” following the spinal fusion. He was scheduled for another MRI at the time.

Born Eldrick Tont Woods, the athlete is widely regarded as one of the greatest golfers of all time. Woods was the PGA Rookie of the Year in 1996 and won his first major, the Masters, a year later. The holder of numerous PGA records, Woods is tied with Sam Snead for the most PGA Tour wins and is second in men’s major championships. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame earlier this year.

On May 29, 2017, Woods was arrested near his Jupiter Island, FL, home for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He was asleep in his car, which was stationary in a traffic lane with its engine running. Woods later stated that he had taken prescription drugs and did not realize how they might interact together. On October 27, 2017, Woods pleaded guilty to reckless driving and received a year of probation and a $250 fine.

The Rancho Palos Verdes crash is currently under investigation.

For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!