A bit of advice: Set down your tumbler of bourbon before watching An Oddly Satisfying Bourbon Distillery Video. That way, you won’t risk dropping it when you drift into a mental state so mellow it’s practically catatonic.
This gentle gem fits into a YouTube niche genre known as ASMR videos. Pardon the brief psychobabble, but these are videos that feature soothing images and, notably, hushed sounds (whispers, rustling leaves, rain patter) to trigger the viewer’s autonomous sensory meridian response, a feeling of calm and well-being. So, yeah, basically they chill you way out.
Filmed at Frankfort, Kentucky’s picturesque Buffalo Trace Distillery, this may be the most Southern ASMR video ever. Starting with a familiar establishing shot of aging bourbon barrels stacked in a rustic rickhouse, it transitions to a slo-mo cascade of clackity corn kernels. (Heck, for bourbon lovers, this interlude by itself on a loop could replace the cherished Christmas-season video of a crackling fireplace, basically the godfather of all ASMR.)
Over the next few minutes, we follow—placidly—the distilling process: Fermenting mash fizzes, bungs are (big action scene!) tapped into freshly charred oak barrels, and those same barrels roll gracefully along an elevated outdoor track between two weathered buildings, even passing through a convenient swirl of steam. Finally, we witness practiced hands applying the distinctive black-wax seal to aged bottles of Blanton’s Original Single Barrel.
At this point, unless you’re blissed out to the point of stupefaction, you may realize that you’ve experienced a novel mashup (no pun intended) of ASMR and also-popular “How It’s Made”–centric videos. Like finding a dusty bottle of Pappy on a bottom shelf, this was apparently a happy accident.
“I figured we’d get one or two good scenes and repeat them, the way it’s often done,” says Gathan Borden, a marketing whiz at the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau, which created the video. (Also check out their hit Neigh-SMR video of a horse contentedly chomping apples and peppermints. No, seriously.) “But when we got to the distillery, we saw so many moments in the process that were perfect for this style, like people filling barrels and applying wax seals. Really, we could make ten more videos from what we got.”
Ten more? That’s not even fair—at some point we have to regain enough motor function to fix dinner. Or maybe just pour another glass of bourbon. Oddly satisfying, indeed.