Lauren Cohen. And Zombies. Credit: AMC
Lauren Cohen. And Zombies
Credit: AMC

Neat Stuff 9: Lauren Cohan’s new series, a whiskey marathon and 10 beyond-Kentucky bourbons

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What’s in a name? Lauren Cohan’s new TV show works for us

Lauren Cohan made it big as Maggie on AMC’s The Walking Dead, where bat-wielding Negan seems to have all the whiskey. Now she’s taking her act to the new espionage series Whiskey Cavalier on ABC, which will give viewers a sneak preview after the Oscars on February 24, Entertainment Weekly reports.

Billed as Mission: Impossible meets Cheers, the comedy-drama stars Cohan as CIA spook Frankie Trowbridge opposite Will Chase (Scott Foley), a freshly dumped FBI agent whose codename gives the show its title. A trailer shows the pair sinking bourbon together at a Moscow bar—before she upstages him by taking out the bad guys. Make it a Bulleit.

Credit: William Grant & Sons Distillers
Credit: William Grant & Sons Distillers

Finally, a reason to run: The Dramathon goes the distance

We once registered for the Rock ’n’ Roll 10K run in Vegas, only to end up knocking back whiskey at CliQue, thanks to a bum Achilles. Here’s our chance to make good.

Runner’s World is all over the third annual Dramathon, a jaunt through picturesque Speyside, home to Scotland’s highest concentration of distilleries. The Dramathon course, which offers three distances, spans names such as Aberlour, Glenfarclas and Glenfiddich. The marathon, half-marathon and 10K editions finish at the latter, where runners can sample single-malts.  

The Dramathon isn’t until October 19, so dust off those kicks and hit the road. Last year about 1,500 people took part, many of them from abroad. Register here

Credit: Balcones Distilling
Credit: Balcones Distilling

National velvet: 10 top non-Kentucky bourbons

Bourbon doesn’t have to hail from Kentucky, any more than hamburgers have to come from Hamburg. After driving that point home,’s George Koutsakis flags 10 of the best bourbons crafted outside the Bluegrass State.

Smokin’ aces

We’d like to get to know Balcones Distilling’s Texas Blue Corn Bourbon, which “delivers vanilla, chocolate, and a touch of smoke alongside its intense 65% ABV,” Koutsakis says.

Out of upstate New York, Iron Smoke Distillery’s Straight Bourbon uses applewood-smoked grain. The result: “A must try for those who are delving into bourbon but have a hard time with the sweetness found in most expressions.” Sold.

Credit: Mitch Allen, Greenspur
Cozy up!
Credit: Mitch Allen, Greenspur

Our kind of place: The Lost Whiskey Concrete Cabin

Good luck getting into the Lost Whiskey Club, but its minimalist cabin in the woods looks like a treat. The Manual’s Kelsey Machado takes readers on a tourof the 160-square-foot concrete hideaway, whose highlights include a view of Virginia hill country, a wood-fired hot tub and access to the club’s own bourbon. Given that the Lost Whiskey Club only offers 10 memberships, don’t expect to run into anyone you know.

Credit: Forty Creek Distillery
Credit: Forty Creek Distillery

A rye worth catching: Canadian whiskies get their night

Canadians aren’t known to brag, except for their crazy claim that they’re still the world’s hockey superpower, despite evidence to the contrary. But the Great White North turns out some fine whiskey, as the 10 independent judges of the recent 2019 Canadian Whisky Awards can attest.

Up the Creek and loving it

The Whisky of the Year winner, after a blind tasting of more than 100 bottles: Forty Creek Distillery’s 22-year-old rye. Awards founder and head judge Davin de Kergommeaux called it (sorry about all the Canadian spelling) “a huge yet elegant rye whisky, just bursting with complex flavours,” according to

The competition is fierce, de Kergommeaux said, noting that champs from a few years ago wouldn’t cut it today. John Hall, who launched Ontario’s Forty Creek in 1992, was named the first member of the Canadian Whisky Hall of Fame. Blender of the Year? The aptly named Don Livermore of Pernod Ricard Canada, whose Canadian Whisky Flavour Wheel is worth a spin. 

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