The 15 Best Post-Apocalyptic Movies of All Time
Global pandemics seem to have a habit of making people think the worst about our future, and while things look to be getting better across the globe, most of our favorite stories don’t have quite as happy an ending…
Post-Apocalyptic movies have become a staple of our modern age. We love them and can’t get enough of that apocalyptic goodness. So, given the state of our world, we put together a list of the 15 best post-apocalyptic movies of all time.
1. Escape From New York (1981)
John Carpenter does it again! Escape From New York features a post-apocalyptic world in which the island of Manhattan has been converted into a maximum-security prison for all of the country’s criminals. Kurt Russell (the world’s greatest actor) stars as ex-soldier Snake Plissken, who, after Air Force One crashes onto the island, is given 24 hours to rescue the president from certain death or risk no pardon for his crimes.
This is one of those high-octane action movies that any self-respecting 80s action fan has no right not to have seen. Russell’s Snake is the obvious highlight of the film as he does what every great action hero does best, he kicks ass with little trouble. They even made a sequel set in Los Angeles called (you guessed it) Escape From L.A. in case you need a little more Plissken action.
2. The Road (2009)
We briefly mentioned this one on our 10 best movies based on books list, but The Road is one of the best post-apocalyptic movies out there. An intense father-son drama based on the book of the same name by Cormac McCarthy (which is excellent by the way), the flick stars Viggo Mortensen (Green Book) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Alpha) as characters known only as man and boy. We follow them as they travel to the coast hoping to find warmth there, all while avoiding gangs and cannibals.
The post-apocalyptic landscape of an extinct America is chilling, combined with the already intense survival story mixed with a heavy flashback (featuring Charlize Theron as the woman) to the beginnings of the apocalypse, The Road is an honest look at how the fight to survive might look in our modern world. If you’re looking for a romanticized view of the apocalypse, this isn’t it.
3. Mad Max Film Series (1979-2015)
After a nearly 30 year hiatus, Mad Max returned to the spotlight in 2015 with the post-apocalyptic masterpiece Mad Max: Fury Road, which not only wowed audiences and critics alike with its intense, high-octane road sequences (praised for using practical effects) but also the performances from its incredible cast, including Tom Hardy (Venom) as Max and Charlize Theron (Monster) as breakout character Furiosa. Fury Road is a true delight.
The Mad Max series began with the original film in 1979, back when Mel Gibson (Lethal Weapon) played ex-cop Max Rockatansky. The indie film did so well that two sequels were made, The Road Warrior (also known as Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior) in 1981, considered to be one of the greatest post-apocalyptic road movies ever made, and a third film, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome in 1985. The Road Warrior is often cited as the inspiration for video games like Borderlands and RAGE.
4. The Book of Eli (2010)
One of the most powerful films of Denzel Washington’s career, The Book of Eli sees Washington (Fences) as the silent loner Eli as he wanders across a scorched America, facing cannibals, gangs, and everything in between. Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour) plays the manipulative and on-edge Carnegie, the leader of a small town who desperately wants Eli’s sacred book so that he might have the power to control the masses.
The film is a stunning commentary on the power of faith and religion among desperate people, and the backdrop of a nuclear war seems to only enlighten the message. Atticus Ross’ aetherial score works wonders to compliment the film’s setting and themes, blending the eerie world with a more hopeful finish. Washington’s performance is powerful, and his mentorship with the young Solara (That 70s Show’s Mila Kunis) is a highlight of the film, making one wonder what happens next.
5. Snowpiercer (2014)
Before winning his Oscar for the comedy-thriller Parasite last year, Bong Joon-ho was most well known for his adaptation of the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, entitled Snowpiercer. Set in an icy world where humanity failed to stop global warming via climate engineering, humanity’s last survivors live aboard a high-speed locomotive that travels across the globe.
Chris Evans (Avengers: Endgame) plays Curtis Everett, the leader of the rebellion of the lower-class tail-section passengers. Everett and his group work to rebel against the elites who “live large” at the head of the train, fighting their way to the front. The unique premise of this film is what makes it worth the watch, and it’s basically the only post-apocalyptic film that specifically relates to climate change. It’s even been adapted recently to television (on TNT), with the third season set to premiere next year.
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6. I Am Legend (2007)
Probably one of Will Smith’s most iconic films, I Am Legend is based on the Richard Matheson novel of the same name. In it, Smith (Bad Boys, Independence Day) plays Dr. Robert Nevill, a former U.S. Army virologist who lost his family in a helicopter crash just after Manhattan was quarantined. Since then, he has spent all his time alone (well, except his dog), working on his own blood to find a cure for a disease he is immune to. Those who didn’t die have turned into vampiric, albino, cannibalistic mutants known as Darkseekers. These creatures are incredibly vulnerable to sunlight, making it the perfect time for Neville to roam free.
I Am Legend is an amazing movie. Its post-apocalyptic world, including the Darkseekers, feels full regardless of it being literally empty. Smith’s performance as Neville is one for the books and is both honest and exciting. Not to mention, the Darkseekers are a really interesting mix of zombies and vampires that will have you intrigued all the way through. Oh, and there’s also an alternate ending to the film that better matches the novel, and does tease a possible sequel.
7. 12 Monkeys (1995)
It’s 2035, and a lethal virus has wiped out over 5 million people on Earth (seems like a common theme, doesn’t it?), forcing the last remaining members of humanity to hide underground. Sounds like just about every other post-apocalyptic film on this list doesn’t it? Well, wait, because in this one Bruce Willis (Die Hard), aka James Cole, is sent back in time (to the 90s) to help scientists find a cure before the outbreak occurs.
Not only is this a post-apocalyptic film, but it’s a time travel one also. Madeleine Stowe (The General’s Daughter) and Brad Pitt (Se7en) also star, because of course Brad Pitt’s in this, it was the 90s. 12 Monkeys is a weird, yet interesting take on the apocalypse that is often overlooked, yet loved enough for SyFy to adapt the film as a four season series. If you like the film, go check that out next!
8. Planet of the Apes film series (1968-2017)
Now, to be clear, we’re specifically talking about the original Planet of the Apes (1968) and the two most recent reboots; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) and War for the Planet of the Apes (2017). The original classic (loosely based on the French novel La Planète des Singes by Pierre Boulle) features Charleton Heston (The Ten Commandments) as US astronaut George Taylor as he finds his way to a mysterious planet ruled by apes. In the spirit of not spoiling anything, we won’t say anymore, other than that it’s still a classic for a reason.
Dawn and War, which both take place in our world in the wake of a virus that makes apes sentient and slowly dulls humans to submission, are headlined by Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings) who plays Caesar, the leader of the apes, in a stellar performance that rivals his portrayal of Gollum. These additions modernize the Apes concept and add a sympathetic element to the apes that had been missing in the original, not to mention still including enough human interaction that we’re left wondering how we might respond to an ape-ruled world.
9. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
Originally developed as a standalone film, 10 Cloverfield Lane ended up becoming a spiritual successor to the 2008 found-footage film Cloverfield, set during an attack on New York by some sort of “large-scale aggressor.” This film features Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs the World) as Michelle, a young woman taken to a mysterious bunker to escape some sort of attack on the surface.
The film plays more like a psychological thriller than your traditional post-apocalyptic narrative, showing the slow mental breakdown of Howard Stambler, played masterfully by John Goodman (Monsters, Inc.). With every new twist and turn, there’s constantly a reason to be on edge. It’s a terrifying look at what it’s like to fall in with the wrong people during the worst of times.
10. The Omega Man (1971)
The second adaptation of Richard Matheson’s novel I Am Legend (but long before the Will Smith feature), The Omega Man (often stylized as The Ωmega Man) is a very different adaptation than Smith’s version. Another post-apocalyptic film starring Planet of the Apes’ Charleton Heston, this film trades the viral outbreak for biological warfare and the Darkseekers for “the Family,” a cult of albino mutants.
A vastly different take on the source material than I Am Legend, The Omega Man’s overall message keeps much closer with the spirit of the book, while also adapting to the times (the biological warfare being the result of the then-urgent Sino-Soviet border conflict). What I Am Legend has in being flashy and action-packed, The Omega Man more than makes up for in theme and substance.
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11. 28 Days Later (2002)
When some genetic experiments go wrong, a deadly virus (known as “Rage”) is released out into the world. After a month, Jim (Peaky Blinders’ Cillian Murphy) wakes up from his coma to find all of London seemingly deserted (you know, like in all zombie movies)… Or is it? Like most zombie media, a small group of survivors does their best to make it to a fabled “safe zone.”
28 Days Later is a low-budget yet incredibly well-produced, bloody, and violent take on the zombie apocalypse that will leave you scared (like World War Z, but more up-close and personal). The film’s take on zombies is some of the scariest out there and its sequel 28 Weeks Later does just as good of a job creating a horrifying world in which “Rage” rules supreme (the escape scene alone brings real shivers to your spine).
12. Stalker (1979)
The only Soviet science-fiction art drama on this list, Andrei Tarkovski (more well-known for his films Mirror and Solaris) directed this gem loosely based on the book Roadside Picnic by screenwriters Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. The film is led by Alexander Kaidanovsky (The Bodyguard) known only as the “Stalker,” as he leads a depressed writer and a hungry professor into the irradiated “Zone” (and no, it’s not The Twilight Zone).
The interesting thing about Stalker is its unique take on this semi-Chernobyl-inspired post-apocalyptic world. Fear of alien life, and the inclusion of these “stalking” scavengers, bring a real-worldness to this Soviet tale, while also doubling as a parable; a warning about the dangers of selfishness and greed.
13. Delicatessen (1991)
Another French tale, Delicatessen is a black comedy with a post-apocalyptic backdrop that’s a really weird take. In a world where food is scarce, an out-of-work circus clown named Louison, played by Outlander’s Dominique Pinon, finds work at a butcher’s shop, only to learn why the position was vacant in the first place.
Delicatessen is an odd one, but certainly earns its place on this list. Between Louison’s boyish charm, the mystery behind the meat (which you’ve probably guessed by now), or the oddly humorous consequences that follow, the film is certainly a hidden gem among most post-apocalyptic tales.
14. A Boy and His Dog (1975)
Another black comedy film, and the “original” American post-apocalyptic tale (based on a novella by Psycho scribe Harlan Ellison), the film follows a teenage boy named Vic, played by Miami Vice’s Don Johnson, and his telepathic dog, Blood, voiced by Tim McIntire (American Hot Wax). The two wander through the wasteland that is the American southwest, doing all they can to survive.
It’s a classic tale of wasteland survival but earns its rightful place on this list due to the odd plotline in which Vic is lead to an underground community where they, get this, want to use him as a sex slave to impregnate at least 35 different women before being sent to “the farm,” where most are never heard from again. A Boy and His Dog is one of the more interesting takes on the genre and is one you won’t easily forget.
15. Terminator Salvation (2009)
While not the best film in the Terminator saga (that belongs to Terminator 2: Judgement Day, so go watch that first!), Terminator Salvation is the only film in the series to exclusively take place post-Judgement Day, and it’s actually not as bad as some people might think. In a world where Skynet, an artificial intelligence activated by the U.S. government, decided that the best way to protect humanity was to eradicate it, Christian Bale (The Dark Knight) stars as the prophesied leader of the human Resistance: John Connor.
This action-packed film (also starring Avatar’s Sam Worthington) features a ton of man-on-machine action, a spicy love story (especially if you watch the Director’s Cut), and plenty of Terminator action that will get you ready to throw your smartphone out the window before it tries to take your head off. If you’re a Terminator fan, or at the very least a fan of many of the post-apocalyptic tales above, Terminator Salvation is a fine addition to this list.
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The 10 Best Grilling Tools for Your Summer BBQ
If you want to be a grill master, you need the right tools for the job. While having a top-quality grill is obviously vital, there are many other things you need to make your life at the grill as easy as possible.
There are plenty of tools out there that will enhance the flavor of your food and allow you to cook your meat and veggies to perfection. We’ve looked at a range of them from meat thermometers and grilling gloves to cedar planks and grill baskets.
While all these tools are different, they’re all great ways to enhance your grilling experience. We’ve searched high and low to come up with 10 that you’ll love. All you need to do is read on and choose the best grilling tools for you. Let’s get started!
1. Kizen Digital Meat Thermometers for Cooking
When cooking on the grill, it can be easy to be a little nervous about whether or not your meat is ready. With this Kizen meat thermometer, you can put those fears to bed and know exactly when your meat is done.
The reading on this thermometer only takes around three seconds, so you’re not going to be waiting around for your results. It’s waterproof and durable. This is a tool you’ll be using time and time again.
It’s versatile too. Thermometers are often required for beverage and candy making, among other things. This tool is perfect for them all and will give you readings to a very high level of accuracy.
It will automatically turn on/off when you take out the prong and there is also a temperature guide written on it. It’s very easy to use and the magnet and handle hole also makes it simple to store.
2. Alpha Grillers Heavy Duty BBQ Grilling Tools Set
You can’t become a grilling master without having a high-quality set of grilling tools. While you can buy them all separately, it makes sense to get a set such as this. It’s brilliant and comes with a spatula, fork, basting brush, and tongs.
All of them are made out of thick steel so you don’t need to worry about them succumbing to the heat. They’re also fitted with silicone grips which keep your skin safe and the tools firmly in your hand.
Their design also makes them very simple to use, including the lockable tongs that allow them to stay compact when not in use. Added to this, all four of the tools have hooks for easy storage.
One downside of grilling tools is needing to clean them after use. With this set, that won’t be an issue. Not only are they easy to wipe down, but they are also dishwasher safe. This is perfect for anyone needing a brilliant set of essential grilling tools.
3. GEEKHOM Grilling Gloves
Your hands are going to be near very hot pieces of metal and you also have the risk of fat spitting onto your skin. For those reasons, it makes sense to invest in a pair of high-quality grilling gloves.
These are made of silicone which can cope with very high heat of up to 446F. On the inside is soft cotton, making the gloves very easy to wear. The material is breathable, so you won’t need to worry about your hands sweating.
The safety of these gloves doesn’t stop at the high-temperature resistance. They also cover your wrists and have a non-slip surface, allowing you to securely grip whatever you’re holding.
Usability is also exceptional as the gloves are non-toxic and machine washable. Five colors are also available, so you can pick ones that suit your style. If you want to grill in safety and comfort, these gloves are a must.
4. Kona 360 Clean Grill Brush
You’ve cooked all your food, everyone’s loved it, and you’ve had a fantastic day. You then look down at your grill and your heart sinks. You know that it’s going to take a long time to clean and you simply can’t be bothered.
If that sounds like you then you need to get the Kona 360 Clean Grill Brush. It will drastically cut down the time you need to clean your grill. It takes minimum effort and you won’t have that dreaded feeling after you’ve finished cooking.
A great aspect of this brush is that it can be used on all grill types. The three-pronged brush allows you to clean three times faster than most other models. It’s also very easy to use with the textured finger grip and 18” handle.
Impressively, the durability is also very high here. You get a limited five year warranty which is no surprise due to its solid construction. It’s going to last for a long time and you’ll enjoy that super-quick clean time and time again.
5. Primal Grilling Premium Cedar Planks For Grilling
For those that want a unique way of cooking their food, using cedar planks is a brilliant way to do it. All you need to do is soak them in water and then grill away. It results in food that is full of moisture and flavor.
These planks are quite thick which means they don’t burn easily at all. You can use them repeatedly before they become too charred to use. They come in a pack of five, which is going to last a very long time.
The natural cedar doesn’t contain any chemicals and is a very natural way of cooking food. It’s particularly good for fish but the planks will also enhance the moisture and taste of any meat, along with any veggies you want to cook.
When you’re finished using your planks, you can pop them in the drawstring bag provided and use them again whenever you want. You’ll love the results and if you’ve never done it before, you should definitely give it a try.
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6. The Seasoned Griller Store Professional Grade Stainless Steel Grill Basket
While we love grilling, there’s no doubt that it can get messy. Veggies can also be very difficult to cook as they are hard to move around with your grilling tools and can easily fall between the gaps.
An ideal solution is to get this grilling basket from The Seasoned Griller. It’s a great way to keep all your cooking contained while heating it perfectly. The holes are big enough to allow the heat in without letting any food out.
It’s made of stainless steel and can be used on almost any grill. It is worth double-checking the dimensions to make sure it’s a good fit for your model. It’s not too big, so it shouldn’t be an issue. While it’s great for vegetables, you can cook anything with this and it makes it exceptionally easy. It saves cleaning your grill and prevents any lost food. It’s a great addition to your BBQ.
7. Victoria Cast Iron Grill Press
When it comes to pressing down your meat, most people will use the back of a spatula. It’s not what it’s designed for and isn’t great for the task. Instead, you should get a cast iron grill press.
It will help to reduce cooking time while also adding excellent flavor to your food. This model is seasoned with flaxseed oil to produce great results. It’s the ideal tool for searing or flattening meat.
It’s also simple to use, thanks to its excellent design. It has a removable cool-touch wood handle along with a textured bottom for a secure hold. It can be used for a wide variety of different meats and is ideal to have while grilling.
8. OXO Good Grips Meat Shredding Claws
Shredded meat can add an extra dimension to your food in both texture and taste. It works brilliantly with pork but you can also get wonderful results with the likes of chicken and beef.
When it comes to shredding meat, most people try to do it with regular forks, which can be extremely difficult. With these meat shredding claws, you’ll find the task to be incredibly easy.
The long handles and interlocking teeth mean that the task will get completed in no time at all. The grips are also comfortable and have a high level of heat resistance. If you want delicious shredded meat, then there’s no better tool than this.
9. Ofargo Plastic Marinade Injector
Adding flavor to your meat can be difficult. One method is to pierce holes into it with a fork or knife and try to rub marinade or seasoning in. The problem with this is that it’s not very efficient and produces mediocre results. With a marinade injector, you can put that flavor directly into the meat. The difference in results is huge.
You’ll find the meat to be much tastier and the flavor to be much more consistent throughout the meat. This injector is perfect for the job. It’s lightweight and compact so you can just place it on your shelf next to the grill, ready to go. It can easily be used one-handed and is food-safe too.
There are two different needles, one for sauce and another for liquid. It’s a great addition to your grill and takes the flavor to another level.
10. Hudson Durable Goods - Professional Grade Chef Apron
Unless you want clothes that are full of grease, food splashes, and charcoal stains, it’s a good idea to get an apron. This one comes in six different colors and they all look stylish. They’re made from heavyweight cotton that is very tough while still being comfortable to wear. Once you’ve finished using it, then you can throw it in the washing machine before using it again.
There are some great features here, such as the back straps which will prevent any neck pain. There are also four pockets and a towel look, for easy use. It’s easily adjustable and can be taken off quickly with the back buckle.
The versatile apron can be used for a lot more grilling and can be used time and time again. The quality is excellent throughout and most importantly. It’ll keep you and your clothes protected.
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Grilling Tools FAQs
At a very basic level, you definitely need a spatula, fork, and tongs. After that, it depends on what you’re cooking and how you want it to be cooked. For safety, an apron and gloves are essential whereas other tools such as cedar planks are a great luxury extra.
Grilling tools need to cope with a high level of heat and need to keep you protected from that heat. They should also be comfortable and allow you to grill with ease. Once they tick those boxes, it’s all about how they make your life easier or improve the taste of your food.
This is difficult to answer as there is a vast range of brands that make a wide array of high-quality grilling tools. We think it’s more important to focus on the quality of the product if the tool meets your needs and the customer reviews. All the tools we looked at here get our seal of approval.
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The Difference Between Bourbon and Whiskey
The difference between bourbon and whiskey is as clear as mud when you’re trying to choose between brands and bottles. Bourbon needs to be American-made, aged in oak for four years, and have at least a 51% mash bill, while other American Whiskeys are made using wheat and/or rye or utilize other variations in the distillation process.
Whiskey was a term first employed during the late 1800s to differentiate Irish Whiskey and American liquor from Scotch whisky and Canadian whisky (which everyone called rye). The in-vogue Japanese whisky also went with the Scotch spelling (click here for the full breakdown of whisky versus whiskey).
The following article defines what mash bill is needed to make bourbon, but also identifies the other major American whiskey styles, bottled-in-bond, Tennessee whiskey, and single malt varieties that are beginning to become more prevalent in the US.
What Makes a Liquor Bourbon?
A frequent refrain that can be heard in Kentucky is: “Not every whiskey is a bourbon, but every bourbon is a whiskey.” To be called bourbon:
The liquor needs to be crafted from at least a 51% corn fermented grain mash bill that has been stored in charred oak barrels for four years. The spirit must have been distilled within the United States.
95% of the bourbon whiskey bottled in the U.S. is distilled in the state of Kentucky.
Is All Bourbon From Kentucky?
Kentucky is considered bourbon country, and your home bar is most likely to be stocked with expressions from the Bluegrass state. The majority of bourbon has been distilled in Kentucky since American whiskey production was drawn from the corn-producing farms of the 1700s.
Despite this, other regions – such as Tennessee, Colorado, California, and even New York – are beginning to craft and/or bottle amazing bourbon expressions. Just like with peat and barley malt for Irish Whiskey and single malt and blended Scotch in the British Isles, your liquor of choice comes from the source material.
Finding the best Kentucky bourbon is like finding the best single malt Scotch – it’s entirely subjective and based on a wide variety of factors including flavor, taste, aroma, price, and accessibility.
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Wheated bourbons are those made with a large proportion of the mash bills secondary grain being wheat, in addition to the mandated 51% minimum corn. Wheat as the secondary grain provides subtlety and contrast, adding a creaminess and gradual sweetness to the spirit than that derived from the majority corn, malted barley, or rye recipe.
Wheat is also useful during oak barrel aging, with a tendency to age much better than many traditional bourbons (up to around the 20 year mark).
Best choice: Maker’s 46 Wheated Bourbon
Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon and Whiskey
The Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 was a set of legal regulations created by the U.S. Government to standardize and authenticate the quality of American distilled alcoholic beverages, especially bourbon, wheat, and rye whiskey.
Prior to the time the Bottled-in-Bond Act was legislated, the American whiskey market was being decimated by inferior quality, unregulated booze. Bottled-in-bond is a whiskey label that adheres to a set of legal regulations contained in the United States government’s Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits.
The regulatory jargon breaks down as follows:
- The whiskey must be the product of a single distillation season
- The distilled spirit must be made by one distiller at one distillery
- The distilled spirit must be at least four years old
- It must be stored and aged in government bonded warehouses
- The whiskey must also be at least 100 proof (50% ABV)
- Only water may be added to the mash bill
If you purchase a bourbon whiskey or rye labeled bottled-in-bond the regulations from the Act must be met.
Best choice: New Riff Straight Bourbon Whiskey
American Rye Whiskey
For a spirit to call itself American rye whiskey, the grain mash must be made up of at least 51% actual malted rye cereal grain.
Certified rye whiskey’s initial alcohol content can’t be higher than 160 proof, or roughly 80% alcohol before it’s distilled down and eventually bottled.
Aside from the straight rye whiskey, you’ll find some rye mash bills filled out with brown sugar, corn, or malted barley, or have the wooden barrel finish in wine, rum, or brandy casks to add another flavor dimension.
Best choice: WhistlePig Rye 10 Year
American Single Malt Whiskey
Single malt and blended whiskey expressions made from malted barley are becoming more popular craft spirits in the U.S.
With Scotch whisky at its highest popularity level of all time and the emergence of Japanese whisky as a power player in the billion-dollar market for blended malt whisky, there’s an opportunity for local distillers to make quality single malt. While it lacks the cultural cachet of Scotch, American malt whisky is meticulously crafted and caters well to craft distillation.
Best choice: Westward American Single Malt
There’s a simple, yet important distinction between Kentucky bourbon and Tennessee whiskey which makes a huge impact on the taste and what goes on the label. The crucial difference is that Tennessee whiskey is filtered through sugar maple charcoal as part of the Lincoln County Process, a charcoal filtration method in which fresh whiskey passes through charcoal chips and is then put in oak casks for maturation.
For a whiskey to attain the Tennessee label, it must go through the charcoal mellowing stage, in the state of Tennessee.
Best choice: Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey
To be called bourbon, your whiskey needs to be distilled in America for a minimum of four years in oak barrels, with a mash bill of at least 51% corn. If it’s predominantly rye, wheat, or malt grain-based, then by law the spirit can’t be called bourbon.
Figuring out what constitutes whisky or whiskey is a lot simpler than in the past when nobody really knew what was going on. The simplest way to remember is If the country of origin has an “e” in it, then spell it whiskey. See, clear as mud!
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The 10 Best Jordans of All Time
Even if you are not a sneakerhead and don’t know all the nitty-gritty details of every pair of kicks on the market, you’re sure to recognize a pair of Jordans when you see them. Or not. I can spot a pair from a mile away; however, I have a friend that doesn’t know the difference between a pair of Nike Jordans and a pair of Adidas Gazelles, which is upsetting, but I digress…
One of the most classic and iconic sneaker styles ever, Jordans have been around for over 30 years and continue to be a part of rare and exclusive collaborations, making them a collector’s dream, with some pairs going for $12k or more. So get your wallet and credit cards out because you may just max them out as you go through this list.
1. Jordan 1 Retro Chicago (2015)
Undoubtedly the most popular style and colorway of all time as far as Jordan’s go. Last released in 2015, this iconic high-top silhouette has become the staple for street ballers, basketball fans, and sneakerheads alike. Since the airing of The Last Dance, the white/varsity red-black Chicago colorway has skyrocketed in popularity, but for the right price you can still get your hands on a pair.
2. Jordan 3 Retro Black Cement (2018)
To celebrate Mr. Jordan’s 55th birthday in 2018, the Jordan 3 Retro emblazoned sneakers feature the original “Nike Air” branding on the black cement for the first time since 2001. This mid-top kick has a black-based leather upper with cement grey, fire red, and white accents. Finished off by the iconic elephant print detailing, it’s one of the most iconic Jordan’s around.
3. Jordan 6 Retro Black Infrared (2019)
The Air Jordan 6 Retro “Infrared” is a 2019 re-release of the OG colorway. The shoe’s black nubuck upper includes a reflective 3M layer with perforations throughout for breathability. The heel, tongue, and lock sport Infrared accents, with the color also featured on the signature midsole detailing. Visible Air in the heel provides cushioning, while the translucent sections continue down onto the outsole for traction.
4. Jordan 1 Retro High OG Shadow 2.0
This very rare OG colorway has hit shelves only three times in the 30 year history of Jordans, making these a must-own for any AJ1 collector. The shoe features a black and grey leather upper with original “Nike Air” branding on the tongue tag and insoles, along with a white midsole and black outsole. It should be noted that the grey leather panels found on the “Shadow 2.0” are lighter in color than the original grey leather on the first “Shadow.”
5. Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Shattered Backboard
Released in 2015, the “Shattered Backboard” Air Jordan 1 High is inspired by a 1985 exhibition game in Italy in which Michael Jordan broke the glass backboard after a dunk. Constructed in high-quality tumbled leather in the original high top silhouette, the orange, black, and white colorway is taken from the team uniform MJ wore during the game and modeled after the OG “Black Toe” AJ1 color block. Highly limited upon its initial release, the “Shattered Backboard” Air Jordan 1 disappeared quickly and is now one of the most sought after pairs of not just Jordans, but of sneakers, in general.
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6. Air Jordan 1 Retro Royal (2017)
An original colorway of Michael Jordan’s first signature shoe, this 2017 re-release receives an upgrade in regards to the quality of materials used and its shape, which is truer to the actual 1985 release. The Varsity Royal blue paneling appears in tumbled leather on the toe box, Swooshes, heel, and ankle.
Black premium leather covers the remainder of the upper to complete the classic color blocking. A clean, white midsole balances out the shoe, maintaining the iconic motif along with the Varsity Royal outsole.
7. Jordan 13 Retro Low Chutney
Putting a spin on the iconic Jordan 13 design, Tinker Hatfield designed the Chutney as a stand out in the Air Jordan family. And stand out they do.
The difference between this chutney design and a traditional 13 lies in the cut. These retros replace the classic high top style with a mid top and feature a tan suede upper.
8. Jordan 1 Retro High Dior
If you happen to have $10k-12k burning a hole in your pocket then here is a place for you to spend it. One of the most highly anticipated launches, The Dior x Air Jordan 1 High sneakers are the first collaboration between the luxury brand and sneaker giant.
Featuring a premium white leather upper with wolf grey overlays and the classic Dior logo on the swoosh, this version of the iconic high-top silhouette is a stand-out. The collar has also been altered, stamped with a special “Air Dior” logo.
9. Air Jordan 1 Retro High Rust Pink
Again, if you happen to have $6+ grand just waiting to be spent, first, what do you do for a living, if I may ask, and second, please buy these shoes. These Jordan 1 Retro High Rust Pink kicks were released in early 2017, adding a coral pink “Rust Pink” hue to the two-tone color blocking previously seen on other classic AJ1 silhouettes.
The black paneling features a premium tumbled leather construction, while the midsole appears in white.
10. Air Jordan 5 Retro SP PS “Off-White - Sail
Every sneakerhead remembers when Nike teamed up with Virgil Abloh for the now iconic “The Ten” collection. Abloh added a second colorway to his Jordan 5 collaboration with the Jordan 5 Retro High “Off-White Sail.” This release pays homage to the first pair of Jordans that Virgil ever owned, the Air Jordan 5.
In signature fashion, Virgil has reimagined this classic silhouette with his own recognizable style. This Jordan 5 consists of a sail textile mesh upper with translucent netted panels and circular window inserts throughout the shoe. 3M reflective tongues, fire red Jordan branding, and an aged translucent outsole completes the design.
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