Bourbon Blitz – Week 1: August 28, 2023

We cover a wide variety of topics here at Thirty-One Whiskey:  cigars, whiskey, bar tools and accessories, and various DIY projects.  However, we’ve not ventured into the world of sport… until now. We’ve decided to try out a weekly article called the Bourbon Blitz, which is your go-to weekly read (at least until the football season ends) in which we mix the excitement of football, mouthwatering grub, and fantastic drinks. Get ready for a wild ride through sports, delicious bites, and the best sips to go with ’em.


In full disclosure, I am a big fan of The Ohio State Buckeyes and the Cleveland Browns, so there will be an inherent bias (beware UM and Steelers fans). That said, we will cover a wide variety of events that happen every weekend. 

This weekend we wrap up the NFL pre-season, and I am not sure it’s worth mentioning too much… does anyone really care about watching backups for 3 games? The only real feeling that I have about this pre-season is that Cade York continued his streak of mediocracy, I hope that Cleveland can find a decent kicker by the time the season starts.

Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The college football season kicks off this weekend with what’s commonly referred to as Week 0. The big headliner game is Aer Lingus College Football Classic in Dublin, Ireland where Notre Dame took on Navy.


The game itself was a snooze-fest. I mean who wants to watch the Fighting Irish destroy the US Naval Academy 42-3? Most of my interest in the game was getting a feel for the 2023 Notre Dame team, as my Buckeyes visit South Bend later in September. They look like they have gelled as a team and should prove to be an exciting matchup in a few weeks.

Photo: Matt Cashore // USA TODAY Sports

If you are a fan of the Dan Patrick show, I would highly recommend that you watch the episodes from September 23, 24, and 25 where they broadcast live from Dublin (they’re currently available on Peacock). The one and only Will Ferrell was a guest Danette. Where else would you see Will get hit in the face with a pie and wrestle former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn? 


The most important thing about my college football Saturday was relaxing on my roof, watching football, smoking a pork butt, and enjoying some Teeling Irish Whiskey (the official whiskey of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic — and a distillery that I had the pleasure of visiting during a trip to Dublin). 

On the Traeger were two 8-pound pork shoulders as I was asked to help with the food for a party on Sunday. I mean, it was quite the Saturday sacrifice to sit around and watch the Meater readout on my phone while the Treager did all of the heavy lifting — I really deserved that dram of Teeling. 

For the pork, I planned on about a 12-hour smoke. The standard pellets were swapped out for Traeager’s apple flavored pellets. I started the process around 7am by pulling the pork from the fridge and getting the smoker pre-heated to 225°. I put on the nitrile gloves and slathered both of the butts with yellow mustard and then a healthy dose of Traeger’s Perfect Pork Rub, which is a blend of brown sugar, paprika, garlic, and other spices. That was the hardest part of the day — after that, they were both put in the Traeger for about 14 hours (took a little longer than I anticipated) and out popped perfectly cooked pork. 

Next week the college football season fully kicks off!  The highlight of the Saturday slate is my Ohio State Buckeyes at the Hoosiers in Bloomington, IN. However, the national highlight will take place on Saturday night with #5 Louisiana State University visiting #8 Florida State. As of writing this, Draftkings is giving FSU 2.5 points, so I expect a close one in Tallahassee. I will also be rooting for the Pirates of East Carolina, because it’s 5:12pm and M*ch*g*n still sucks.  Things should be quiet across the shield as pre-season wraps up and teams get ready to start the NFL season on Thursday, September 7th.

As we wrap up, remember to tune in every week to the Bourbon Blitz for your fix of football, food, and drinks. And until next time, let’s all shout out together, “Muck Fichigan!” Cheers and see you soon!


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