I love this one because it both uncovers and humanizes a part of the beverage process I never really thought about. I expect stories about distillers and yeast seekers, but to read about a cigarette smoking, Romanian barrel maker and to learn about his process is exciting and inspiring. For some reason, more than the others, this story reminded me that the American dream is still alive.
When I read the story, I learned more than I knew about the craft of barrel making, and I realized that the barrels themselves had a soul because they were made by real people using real tools and real fire. I loved the piece because it made me thirsty, and I want to taste wines aged in those barrels. Then I want to taste the rum that will undoubtedly fill the barrels. Beautiful photography. Well written!