For the most part, drafting is a simple concept. You like something, and no one else holds the rights to that liked something, you take it. People probably drafted in a Pavlovian manner back in simpler times. Things have become much more complicated in these Twenty-tens, with Brad Pitt inventing Moneyball and such. We plot on, however, picking great things beer, wine, spirits, food, or lagniappe. This is the 2012 Anything Mock Draught, y'all.

With the second pick in the 2012 Anything Mock Draught, K Dub selects:

Oak Barrels

When you picture the wine making process, what one thing comes to mind? Stomping grapes? Stainless fermentation vessels? Grapes growing on the vine? Well, you might. But being the homebrewer that I am, I think about barrel aging. Barrel aging (especially in the case of most red wines) is the longest part of the wine making process. I don't know how those winemaker guys do it, the constant reminder of ends on ends of stacks and rows of barrels every day. So much delicious liquid just waiting, aging, developing, improving and just waiting for that perfect moment to be bottled and shared with the masses. All thanks to magic that lies within the oak barrel.

So how does a barrel create all that flavor? Well, like most plants there are many variables, soil types, location, breed of plant, climate patterns, etc. On top of environmental factors that the tree goes through during its life, there are only man made factors that can affect a barrel's flavor such as toasting the barrel. So there are literally an unlimited number (well I'm sure J.R. could calculate an exact number) of variables that could affect the final flavor of barrel. And to add to it, no matter how hard the cooperage's try, there are always variations from barrel to barrel. It is common for brewers to have a barrel or two that don't taste right or just plain suck, so instead of blending those two barrels in small amounts with the rest of the bottles to get a higher yield (more bottles to sell), they have been known to dump the barrels.

The same goes with whiskey (I'm guessing here). They taste the barrels, and if a few barrels exhibit great flavors, they get the Grade A Gold Star label and the rest gets blended into the mass marketed items. I'm sure there are exceptions to this, but I don't know what I'm talking about. Thank you oh massive oak tree for giving your life so that human adults (21 years and older) could enjoy liquids that have taken the flavors and aromas that have taken years to develop from your burned cellulose.