Bourbon drinking is a personal affair

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Bourbon drinking is a personal affair

Unread postby Mike » Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:25 pm

Please be advised, as is true of all my bourbon posts, that I assume that you are a bourbon enthusiast, not a bourbon abuser.......... that is extremely important in regard to this site.

As y'all done already know, we ain't all alike. That being the case you best pursue your own path toward Bourbon Nirvana (there ain't one, but let's us act like there is for the sake of this post).

(1) You can find a bourbon that you like, within your budget, and sip that bourbon to your heart's content. Consider yourself a fortunate being. One of life's complexities, Bourbon, does not intervene in your life in a significant way. Sip and Salute!!

(2) You can try several bourbons and find several reasonably priced fellows that you like and sip them as your mood and palate require of you. Consider yourself a fortunate being. One of life's complexities, Bourbon, causes only minor disruption in your life and might effect your wallet only a slight bit more. Sip and Salute!

(3) And then, you can act like a woebegotten human and feel the need to try Bourbon top to bottom, spend yourself into penury, have a confused palate, and deny your beloved baby new shores. Sip and experience regret!

At last, if you pursue the accursed third path as described above, you might arrive at the conclusion that as regards to Bourbon, as it is to the rest of life, ALL IS VANITY. Still, me brothers and sisters, you should have, at the least, bought your way into an understanding of your palate, and the inability of money to to satisfy it (one would hope that one has by then risen above the belief that 'experts' know something about your palate, or that you should mold your palate to that presumed by the most expensive bourbons).

Having myself pursued the path outlined in (3) above, I have, at least, tried pretty much every bourbon on the planet over the years, and tried pretty much all the better known ones. The difference between the most expensive and the least expensive is not (in my opinion) all that great. Among the labels found at the average liquor store there is no rot gut whiskey. A $10 bottle of Evan Williams Green (more on that later), or any under $15 bourbon is quite drinkable. Now, let us not delude ourselves here, in general, more expensive bourbon are 'usually' better, at least marginally better. It is up to you to discriminate that difference for yourself and see if it is really there for you. For instance, the very, very, expensive Van Winkle bourbons generally have a lot of tannins (from their time in the barrel), which is NOT something every palate is partial to.

As I recall, it is almost axiomatic (not mind you, universal) among bourbon 'experts' that if you mix a higher quality bourbon with a cheap bourbon you get a cheap bourbon. NOT SO! If you know your own palate, cheaper bourbons have quality components that can be paired with those of higher cost bourbons.

As an example, I take about 40 ml of Evan Williams Green bourbon and mix it with about 10 ml of any Knob Creek ( in the present case with Knob Creek Single Barrel Maple flavored bourbon) and make a delightful bourbon, to my palate.

To replicate Pappy 15, I take two (not cheap but far cheaper than Pappy Van Winkle) bourbons.......... 20 ml of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked (for the tannins) and 30 ml of Maker's Mark 110 proof Cask Strength (111 proof) wheated bourbon (for the softness of wheat bourbon). As I NOW sip, side by side, Pappy Van Winkle 15 YO bourbon from my laid back supply and the WRDO and MMCS bourbon vatting, the difference is hardly discernable to me.

Now, one could reasonably argue that I am a foolish fellow (I think I have proved that on more than one occasion), but when Bourbon is something almost akin to an obsession with a person, that person might be expected to treat it in an obsessional way. What more appropriate site to do so than a site that proclaims itself as BourbonEnthusiast?

If you disagree, I would like you to say why. Perhaps you have something to teach me.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Re: Bourbon drinking is a personal affair

Unread postby 393foureyedfox » Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:17 pm

i am but a grasshopper to you and squire
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Re: Bourbon drinking is a personal affair

Unread postby Mike » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:21 pm

393foureyedfox wrote:i am but a grasshopper to you and squire


I take that as a compliment. Because you have always been so honest in your evaluations and opinions on bourbon, you are a valued member of BE.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Re: Bourbon drinking is a personal affair

Unread postby 393foureyedfox » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:18 pm

Mike wrote:I take that as a compliment.


it was meant to be.


speaking of vatting, mike.....a friend gave me a 2L new charred barrel for home aging. I was thinking of tossing in a bottle of OGD114 and a 375 I have of BT white dog, giving it some time and seeing what comes out. thoughts?
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Re: Bourbon drinking is a personal affair

Unread postby Birdo » Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:01 pm

An excellent point of view. I myself frequent the mid-shelf offerings and enjoy them quite a bit. I also like some cheaper stuff and a few of the slightly pricier small batch types. Although I have tried some of the pricier stuff, I really don't see the point in many cases.

This stuff is best enjoyed in moderation and that's a good reminder for us all.

How in the world did Wild Turkey 101 get a reputation with Millennials as rot gut swill? These kids don't know what they're talking about. I guess these are the same kids that made Fireball cinnamon flavored whiskey a top seller.

WT101 is great mid-shelf bourbon that compares to stuff costing a lot more. I'll occasionally vat a WT101 and Larceny 50/50 and find the result is better that the two on their own.
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Re: Bourbon drinking is a personal affair

Unread postby ebo » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:26 pm

It's so nice to have you back posting again, Mike. I have always loved reading what you have to say..... and the way in which you say it. Keep posting!
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Re: Bourbon drinking is a personal affair

Unread postby Mike » Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:18 pm

393foureyedfox wrote:
Mike wrote:I take that as a compliment.


it was meant to be.


speaking of vatting, mike.....a friend gave me a 2L new charred barrel for home aging. I was thinking of tossing in a bottle of OGD114 and a 375 I have of BT white dog, giving it some time and seeing what comes out. thoughts?


I have no experience doing something like what you are trying, and little knowledge. Be that as it may, I would tend to think that the bourbon and white dog are going into the barrel (the White Dog is 125 proof, right?) at too high a proof and some of the barrel flavors that are water soluble may be missed. But, follow your own instincts here, and PLEASE let us know how it turns out.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
Mike
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Re: Bourbon drinking is a personal affair

Unread postby Mike » Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:21 pm

Birdo wrote:An excellent point of view. I myself frequent the mid-shelf offerings and enjoy them quite a bit. I also like some cheaper stuff and a few of the slightly pricier small batch types. Although I have tried some of the pricier stuff, I really don't see the point in many cases.

This stuff is best enjoyed in moderation and that's a good reminder for us all.

How in the world did Wild Turkey 101 get a reputation with Millennials as rot gut swill? These kids don't know what they're talking about. I guess these are the same kids that made Fireball cinnamon flavored whiskey a top seller.

WT101 is great mid-shelf bourbon that compares to stuff costing a lot more. I'll occasionally vat a WT101 and Larceny 50/50 and find the result is better that the two on their own.


If I have never said it, I should have, WT101 stands alongside OGD BIB as an essential and elemental bourbon.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
Mike
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Posts: 2231
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:36 pm
Location: Savannah, GA

Re: Bourbon drinking is a personal affair

Unread postby Mike » Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:21 pm

ebo wrote:It's so nice to have you back posting again, Mike. I have always loved reading what you have to say..... and the way in which you say it. Keep posting!


Thank you, ebo, I appreciate that.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
Mike
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Posts: 2231
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:36 pm
Location: Savannah, GA


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